The kitchen may not be the first place one thinks of when wanting to teach children about maths or impart life lessons about self-confidence. But it’s a great place for hands-on learning and experimenting. Your child might have observed you kneading dough, mixing batter, and putting a tray of batter into the oven. And magically, out comes a delicious, wondrous batch of chocolate chip cookies – ready for them to eat. Don’t let it stop there; tap onto their curiosity and guide them into the world of baking and cooking.
From learning maths skills through measuring and converting, to understanding scientific topics, the world of cooking presents the perfect opportunity for your child to explore, learn and grow. Start your journey of cooking and baking with your little Champ now.
How can children learn in the kitchen?
1.Literacy, numeracy and science
The very first step of baking brownies or making creamy carbonara involves reading and understanding instructions. As children decipher the ingredient lists and instructions, they will learn new words in the process and this becomes a fun, interactive way for them to improve their reading and comprehension skills.
Next, as you weigh out the flour, sugar, butter and baking powder, your child would have to measure, calculate and determine if they need to add more ingredients. This puts into practice what might be abstract topics of quantity and volume and make mathematics subjects more relatable.
Baking and cooking is also a great way to learn about the world around us and simplify scientific concepts: why does butter melt when it’s taken out of the fridge? Or why does heat transform liquid batter into a delicious solid cake?
Being able to work well with others is an essential life skill that children should pick up as early as possible. Through a baking or cooking activity with their siblings or friends, your preschooler can interact, give and listen to ideas and instructions, share and take turns. A socially well-adjusted child will be able to go on to form meaningful relationships, successfully collaborate in class and eventually go on to have a fulfilling social life in adulthood.
Whenever toddlers and children are involved in the process of creating something new – as they are in making a sandwich or decorating a cake – it provides the perfect opportunity to get their creative juices flowing. Ask them what they would like in their fruit smoothie and take them along on the shopping trip to pick out what they like. You can bet that your child will be bursting with creative ideas and would want to have a say in what goes into the dessert or the meal you’re planning to cook.
4. Independence and cultivating healthy eating habits
Familiarising children with making their own food and what goes into the preparation of a meal goes a long way in how they view cooking as adults. When you’re there to break the barrier of unfamiliarity at the start, your child will start to feel in control in the kitchen and will not hesitate to whip up a quick sandwich or stir fried noodles for themselves when they’re hungry. Not only will this make them hardy, independent individuals able to to care for themselves, but they also become confident in their own skills and competencies.
Take this chance to also teach your preschooler about healthy eating through the activity of buying and making food. Explain how superfoods, like salmon, are packed with nutrients or how they should be “eating a rainbow” to get a variety of vitamins and minerals into their diet.
If you have a little garden or backyard in your house, try growing your own vegetables and herbs. You can then incorporate this when cooking with your child. Apart from them learning about the life cycle of plants, it’s also the right time to teach them about carbon footprint and how living sustainably starts with us.
Cook up a storm with your little Champ
Baking and cooking does not just combine a host of different lessons, it’s also a wonderful way to bond in the kitchen with your child. Not to mention, it’s also an incredibly rewarding activity – as you get a fresh batch of baked goodies or a simple meal you can enjoy with your little Champ after.
We also groom our Champs holistically just as you would at home — find out more about the curriculum at MindChamps and how our pedagogy is uniquely designed to nurture your child’s skills and abilities.