Cooking with your child can be fun and provide many opportunities to develop skills in math, literacy, language, and science. Children also develop self-confidence and healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.
Some areas of development that cooking promotes include:
Language and communication-Children learn new vocabulary, increase language and promote early literacy. Children can tell you what they did, the order of steps and ask questions. Early language and communication are the building blocks for reading.
Math-Children learn to count, one to one correspondence, simple addition, measurement and simple fractions such as half.
Science- Children can learn how foods grow, how things change such as liquids turn to solids when baking, make observations.
Social /emotional- Cooking helps to develop confidence in their skills. They learn to become independent and learn skills that will last a lifetime. Cooking also helps children learn to follow directions and solve problems.
Physical development- Squeezing, spreading, and mixing help develop small motor control and eye-hand coordination.
Preschoolers can help in the kitchen in the following ways:
-Assemble a pizza
-Making a sandwich
-Make a salad
-Cutting food such as bananas with a plastic knife
-Spreading butter, jelly or peanut butter
-Wash fruits and vegetables
-Wiping counters after cooking
-Setting the table
-Clearing the table after eating
Preparing meals and cooking with your child will foster independence and help to develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime! Here are some great resources to learn more about cooking with your children at home. If you have little ones attending preschool, here is a resource to share with their teacher!
Guest Blogger: Bonnie Duthie, Early Childhood Consultant at Wayne RESA GSRP
Great Start Readiness Program is a Michigan state-funded preschool program for four-year-old children with factors which may place them at risk of educational failure. The program is administered by the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Great Start. Funding is allocated to Wayne RESA to administer the program locally.
These blogs were developed and funded under a grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Education.
Research on preschool programs and specific research on GSRP indicates that children provided with a high-quality preschool experience show significant positive developmental differences when compared to children from the same backgrounds who did not attend a high-quality preschool program.