With March around the corner, and in promotion of National Nutrition Month I’d like to encourage involving children of all ages in the kitchen. When we work together as a family to put a meal on the table it helps everyone to have a sense of responsibility. As a part of the family, everyone has a place and a task to do, even young children can put napkins or plastic cups on the table. Here’s a short list of other skills that can be accented by kitchen activities.
*Following directions, as in making a recipe and involving children with the steps
*Developing reading and language skills (not to mention cooking terms like whisk, beat, or dice)
*A great science experiment—taking all the individual ingredients and coming out with a final product
*Measuring is math, fractions and counting
*Develops motor skills with fine muscle control, hand-eye coordination and directionality (hand beating an egg—which way does the mixture flow?)
*Think of all the kitchen gadgets you may have to do specific tasks- to peel, mash, slice, etc.
*It’s a great time to work together on a recipe and experience accomplishment when it’s all finished
Learning in the kitchen is sensory learning at it’s best, we can touch, smell, hear, watch and taste most of the things that we put together. Along the way we can talk about taking turns and using our manners to be considerate of one another. In the end, our home classroom can be the base of family traditions as we have our family pizza night, or game night with healthy snacks. Beginning when the children are young is a great way to keep them involved as they grow older. If you have older children, ask them what they would like to make or rotate cooking nights. Whatever you choose, draw everyone to the kitchen, it’s a great way to have conversations and work together to create a healthy and strong family in more ways than one!