Playing is one our kids most important jobs. One thing that seems to be universally popular with kids is baking and cooking. In this post we share some ideas on the benefits of baking and cooking with children.
Now my twins are a bit older, it seems a lot easier to get them helping in the kitchen. We often make pizza dough and then cook home made pizzas. Everyone in our house likes pizza too, thank fully. So I know its a meal that will get eaten.
Letting the kids make their own pizza allows them to make dough, to roll it out, to work it, feel it and experiment. They are getting to do something real. Something that is important to their well-being. And then there is the fact that they love having their own pizzas and choosing what goes on it. They are in charge, and responsible for the consequences of their choices.
What are the benefits of baking and cooking with children?
Not only is it fun, cooking is such a great learning and play activity for children. There are so many benefits from baking and cooking with children.
Baking or cooking with new foods may lead to your child being more willing to at least try a new food. Often kids may be more open to trying something they had a hand in making. Your little ones can also learn, practice and develop new skills when they are baking with you. Some of the benefits for them from cooking or baking may include:
- Language development, particulary vocabulary – names of foods, cooking terms, procedural language (next, then, after)
- Following directions – single and multi-step directions
- Sequencing skills – following the steps in the directions, retelling the sequence of steps
- Fine motor skills and hand eye co-ordination – stirring, pouring, mashing, grating, and cutting soft objects
- Social interactions: feelings of pride and a sense of accomplishment, following directions, turn-taking, participation
- Science knowledge – change of state from liquid to solid, heating and cooling, dissolving, cause and effect (hopefully not too many explosions!)
- Math language and skills– concepts like more, less, measuring and weighing, counting
- Sensory experiences – tasting, licking, smelling
Although baking and cooking with children can make an enormous mess, it is lots of fun for all ages. It is a very empowering experience for them and an opportunity to engage in some really important real life activity and skills. Plus you get something yummy to share at the end.
Want more ideas on play? What about the benefits of superhero play?
Mummy to three small boys