Cooking with Toddlers and Preschool Age Kids
The Next Masterchef
Cooking can be pleasurable for all age groups. It is never too late or too early to promote learning basic kitchen skills. Cooking with toddlers and preschool age kids can be the high point of your day. Encouraging children to help out in the kitchen for any meal of the day or a desirable snack can do beneficial ways that many others may never think of. As an older sister to three and Aunt to three, it has been a great pleasure to see them grow and develop while enjoying a nice snack/drink/meal. It can be messy at first but there are many wonderful benefits to allowing children to begin learning how to cook.
● Increases Focus & Attention:
When you are in the kitchen, you have to focus and pay attention to each detail or the recipe will turn into a big mussy disaster! When it comes to a desirable treat such as brownies or cookies, a child will quickly learn that in order to get the desired treat, they have to pay attention. Cooking with toddlers and preschool age kids will increase focus and attention.
● Increases Math Skills:
Now let’s all be honest here, we all have a school subject that we don’t enjoy learning. However, math can be less intimidating when you are in the kitchen cooking since you are making a nutritious meal to fuel your body! Kids will have to learn various skills such as measurements, fractions, utilize addition and subtraction skills, and percentages.
● Social-Emotional/Cognitive Development:
When a child is able to help out in the kitchen, this will develop confidence and independence. Not only will it boost their confidence but also encourage them to think. This opportunity will allow them to use their problem-solving, creativity, and reading skills.
● Language Development:
Reading recipes, food labels, and packaging encourages language development. When you are cooking, you can have your children read the recipes to you or the number of cups of flour that is needed.
Just remember to take things slow and start small when introducing cooking. Let them get familiar with the kitchen. Wait for children to show interest. And encourage pretend to play in a toy kitchen to get them started. Be flexible while you are in the kitchen. We are all human so we make a mess from here and there. So having a flexible mindset is the best way to make it enjoyable for everyone. Let them choose what they would like to make, and give them the independence to make a choice. There are simple recipes such as egg muffins, pancakes, and quesadillas! This can be a wonderful bonding moment. In many cases, while promoting development in different ways is possible when you introduce cooking in the kitchen!
This blog was created by Alexus Dennis who is a current Child Development Associate (CDA) student with CDAClass.org. Alexus has been working with children for about 2 years as a Teacher Assistant in Baltimore, Maryland. She hopes to become a preschool lead teacher once she completes her CDA. Additionally, she enjoys spending time with her siblings/nieces/nephews, playing with her hedgehog, and promoting mental health awareness.