Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Kitchen as a Classroom

I heard someone speak yesterday about using cooking as a great learning tool. Here are some ideas:

* For infants: Let them watch you cook from their highchair. Give them small amounts of safe and appropriate things you use while cooking. Examples: small amounts of flour, baking soda, baking powder to touch and explore.

* For toddlers: Same as above, but some can start to help pour things into batter, salad mixes, etc. Explain simple concepts like, "The water is in the cup. Now mommy is pouring the water out of the cup and into the bowl." Start to explain relational concepts such as a cup is more than a tablespoon.

* For preschoolers: Same as above, but this is where it can get fun! Help them understand numbers (ie, "we need three eggs in this bowl. We already have one, how many more do we need?") and math, and perhaps more fun (or messy!) let them stir, measure and do appropriate helping. Let them see how things change when you bake or cook them. Also, allow them to start to help prepare their own lunch and simple parts of dinner.

* For school age children: Let them choose simple recipes that you can help them cook. Pizza is a great options. Help them learn to roll the dough, place the toppings and prepare for the oven.

As children get older, who know you may just have a budding Julia Child or Bobby Flay on your hands.

Of course, things don't always go as is a picture of my older sweet pea when he was 2 1/2, when I turned my back...

The options are really endless...any other great creative ideas out there for involving and interesting children in cooking?

No comments: