Cooking with kids can be fun but it can also be quite a challenge. It’s especially tough if you have 16 littles that want to be involved. For years we did a bit of a Rachel Ray Preschool Food Hour. You know how that goes… you have seen it before. I will bring all the materials to the table and I will measure, mix and pour. You can follow me to the kitchen where we will place it in the magic oven and wait for it to cook and we will serve it at nap time. What is learned during the Rachel Ray Preschool Food Hour ? We learn that our teacher can cook ! YAY!
Ever once in a while I get to be a smart alec, right ?
Here’s how we do cooking experiences now. We take a small group, usually 4 at a time to the kitchen . We gather around the island on a bench Mr Randy made specifically for our cooking projects. This bench even allows the shortest of our friends to be part of the action. We look at our recipe. The kids help measure , pour and mix. They even help make decisions about the cooking . Today they decided what color we would use. We used terms like cup and tablespoon. We talk about whether what we are cooking should be hot or cold. Today we used words like knead and moisture. Do I expect the littles to retain all the vocabulary that gets used every day ? No, but it certainly gives them exposure to higher level language skills. While our dish today was in the microwave we talked about what we like to cook at home with our parents. I told them what I used to like to cook with my mom. While cooking is a great time for some individualized conversation and fun.
Children learn by using all of their senses. They can taste , touch , feel, smell, and see everything that is going on . We have learned that young children learn best when all their 5 senses are engaged. This is a recipe for success !
From kids-cooking-activates.com Here is a great list of what all kids learn while cooking.
What do Kids Learn While Cooking?
Sequencing- what comes 1st, 2nd, 3rd
Problem solving-what happens if something goes wrong
Improving their reading skills
Vocabulary through new words
Discovering food groups
How food grows
How food changes while cooking
Sensory exploration-with hands on and feeling the ingredients while cooking
Try this section on Kitchen Science experiments
Where food grows
Try this section for more geography and cooking
Creativity-make their own unique recipes
See more art and cooking ideas in arts and crafts recipes
Recipes through generations
Family recipes/family history
Learn more about cooking through history
How to eat healthy
Safety and Cleanliness
Building self esteem
Fine motor skills
Chopping, whisking, kneading, pouring, mixing, cutting, rolling
It is amazing that one hobby can be shared universally. After all, everyone throughout the world must eat to survive. It really is no wonder cooking with your children is an opportunity not to be missed. It is an opportunity; to not only learn an important life skill, but multiple lessons and skills while having fun doing it.
Our recipe today was homemade playdoh. This one is my favorite recipe.
Microwave Bisquick Play-Doh
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup salt
2 cups water
1 TBSP cream of tartar or alum
1 TBSP oil
food coloring and/or KoolAid
(You may also add cocoa, peppermint…whatever you like to add color or smell.
Pour ALL into a MICROWAVE-safe bowl and stir.
Microwave for 4 min.
Stop, mix and scrape the bowl.
Turn out on the table and knead.
You are now a playdoh chef. 🙂