Learning isn’t just restricted to classrooms; any place can be turned into a learning haven. Your kitchen for starters!
Have you seen your child pretending to be a little chef? Or do you have a family recipe that you want your child to try out? Now is the time to bring out the matching aprons and get your child to assist you in the kitchen. Children love the idea of cooking! Cooking together isn’t just a fun family activity, but it also fosters healthy habits that can last a lifetime. Allowing children to cook is one of the ways to spark interest in children to try out different kinds of food. This is good for picky eaters as they tend to be more receptive to the food they took part in preparing! Additionally, kitchens are great classrooms. While you empower your child with an important life skill, it’s also a place for them to put their classroom knowledge into practice in real life.
Here are a few ways to involve your child in meal preparations and ensure learning along the way!
Field Trip to the supermarket
Let’s start with the most fundamental aspect of cooking – ingredients. While collating and collecting ingredients, bring your child along with you. They have been learning about fruits and vegetables in class, why not test them on it! Make it fun by playing guessing games like “I Spy” or “Knock knock, who’s there?” when shopping.
Here is an example:
“Mr. round and red. Can you guess who I am?”
(Your child would guess an apple or a cherry)
Games involving simplistic, leading questions urge your child to use their critical thinking, observation, and recall skills. These exploratory games actually build on their vocabulary banks as they learn different descriptive words. On top of that, they develop a heightened awareness of their surroundings and enhance their analytical thinking abilities.
Game of scales
Measurements are integral to cooking. Measurements are all about the practical implementation of math. You can ask your cute little assistant simple questions like “How many eggs do we need?” or “What do we put in first?”. You can even give them tasks such as ‘fill half a bowl with sugar’ and ‘Count the number of ingredients we need.’ This way, they reinforce what they learn in school. Such continuous exposure and practice help them master the concept and improve their efficiency in the subject. As they grow older, you can even improvise your lessons to include more complicated calculations and fractions too!
World through cuisines
Delve into the world of cuisines by researching on their favourite dish together! Both you and your child can learn new insights on how pizza originated. Google or YouTube different cuisines from around the world and teach your kids all about different cultures and their history while whipping up a scrumptious dish or over a full stomach!
Food for thought
Cooking is all about the process, and the science of cooking is a lesson itself! Mixing ingredients together in the right proportion, understanding baking temperatures and experimenting with spices, there is a lot to absorb and learn. While your food is on the stove, conduct little experiments. For e.g. What happens when you sprinkle salt on ice? Enter the world of exploration with your child to discover new things while your pasta simmers.
Your artsy child
The final step of any dish is its decoration and presentation before serving. Let your child use their creativity to complete the final look of the meal. Whether it’s as simple as sprinkling some Choco-chips or jelly or serving some sauce to accompany your dish, let them take the lead and express their creativity!
Convinced – Why wait? Let the cooking championships begin! Who knows your child can be the next “Masterchef Junior”!