If you are one of the many harrowed parents looking for new ways to keep your kids constructively engaged, look no further than your kitchen. Cooking with your children opens up endless possibilities of learning and imparting valuable skills to them. Even as they have fun cooking up a storm, they are learning so much with this exercise.
- Comprehension: It begins with the recipe the child needs to read and follow. Their powers of comprehension, reading and retaining information gets better. They learn to develop a clear thought process and follow instructions.
- Organization: A good cook needs to organize his ingredients and kitchen tools before delving into the recipe. Kids begin to understand the importance of prep in a kitchen. It teaches them to be organized and put things in order to be more effective.
- Doing the Math: What better way to get practical with numbers and figures, than measuring out ingredients for a dish. Your child can have so much fun even as they weigh and measure out everything needed for the recipe. To make it more challenging you can ask them to halve the recipe to make less and practice their division skills.
- Being Careful : A kitchen teaches you to follow the rules. A child learns the basics of safety and looking out for themself in the confines of a kitchen. It inculcates a sense of responsibility and acting with care.
- Love for food: It’s the best way to teach your children about different food groups and incorporating them in their diet. When a child chooses his own fruits and vegetables, marinates a chicken, or kneads dough he learns to understand food and respect it. You can make them get adventurous with their eating by throwing in new ingredients too. Their cooking skills and love for food can grow together.
- Science: Cooking is a great way for kids to learn science in a meaningful context. Talk about why a fresh egg sinks in water but a bad eggs floats to the top. Or discuss why you add baking powder to the cake batter. There's so much science in the kitchen and it's such a fun way to learn.
- Learning about cultures: Talk about why different cultures eat certain kinds of food. Is it because of the geography, religious or cultural practice?
- Teamwork: Be it parent or a sibling, cooking can be a great exercise to learn teamwork. Sharing, delegating and tackling problems as a team help the child to learn to work successfully with somebody towards a common goal. In this instance whipping up the perfect cupcakes!
- Thinking On Their Feet: A recipe can be a tricky thing. Sometimes in the middle of your cooking experiment you need a quick fix or an alternative to make it work. That’s where thinking on your feet and being quick with coming up with a solution helps. Your kids learn crisis management in the kitchen.
So what will you cook with kids in the kitchen this week?