Sunday, September 20, 2009
Why Cook with Kids?
In my previous post, I passed on a recipe that the children made in class last week as part of our exploration of North Africa. But why should we cook with kids? In this case, it was a very hands-on and meaningful way to experience a little culture of the place we are studying. But beyond this, the benefits of cooking and baking with children are many.
Cooking is one of my favorite things to do with kids, both as a parent and as a teacher. I encourage you all to spend some time in the kitchen with your child – they really do learn a lot of “academic” skills! Most children love the whole process of measuring ingredients, mixing things together, and seeing/eating the finished product. Little do they realize that learning is taking place!
Math skills (counting, fractions, sorting, sequencing, weighing and problem solving), reading skills, scientific concepts (making predictions, experimentation, how food changes while cooking, sensory exploration), as well as geography (where food grows) and history (family recipes) are all things that children learn as they cook.
It is also a wonderful way to extend books that you have read together. For instance, after reading Charlie in the Chocolate Factory, why not make a chocolate cake together? Or a blueberry pie in honor of Violet Beauregarde? You could even make your own recipe books with illustrations in order to document the fun you've had together in the kitchen.