COOKING WITH KIDS
Cooking with Kids
Kids don’t always want to learn over the holidays, but cooking is an excellent way to combine education and fun. Plus the end result is food, so everybody wins! Cooking is an important life skill, and it is never too early to get your kids involved in the kitchen. Even if they are too young to help out, explaining what you are doing while they watch you cook is a great way to help them understand the process.
Spending time in the kitchen also allows kids to understand that food doesn’t just magically appear on their plate whenever they demand it. Involving kids in cooking means it’s about to get messy, so it’s a good idea to prepare for that in advance. Aprons, plastic tablecloths, and non-slip utensils and mixing bowls can help keep the mess under control.
Don’t worry too much about the mess though! Lean into it and unleash your inner child.
As well as teaching your kids life skills, it is a great way to incorporate other kinds of lessons into a cooking session. Handling food and putting together a meal is an excellent time to talk to your kids about nutrition and the importance of having a balanced diet. Cooking cuisines from different countries provides an opportunity to talk about different cultures and their history. It is also a perfect bonding opportunity for you to share stories with your kids.
If you want to emphasise the educational aspect, there are a variety of ways to incorporate food and more traditional educational activities.
SLICED FRUIT FOR FRACTIONS
Fruit can be sliced and used as a visual representation to help practice fractions.
Fruit also makes excellent building blocks to create edible animals (here are some links for inspiration: Butterfly; Pig; Ladybug). Kids could even construct habitats for their new edible animals using vegetables!
LETTER AND NUMBER RECOGNITION
For little ones who are still learning their numbers and letters, you can use Nutella or peanut butter (not for allergy kids like my daughter Ava of course!) to pipe letters and numbers onto slices of banana for recognition practice. Or they can have fun rearranging letters to make words, then eating them afterwards as a reward.
For spelling practice, you can also use this soft pretzel recipe to form letters, words, and even maths equations.
COOKING WITH MATHS
For a fun maths and baking activity, you can make domino biscuits! It combines a popular numbers game with cooking skills to form an excellent opportunity to practise counting with built-in rewards in the form of delicious treats.
CHEMISTRY COOKING SOUNDS A BLAST!
The most natural lessons to work into cooking projects are science-based. After all, cooking is just chemistry by a different name. The Exploratorium has a whole website about the Science of Cooking, and the science behind your favourite meal is only an internet search away. Here are a few of our favourite science-y cooking projects:
The Science of Cooking website has a whole page of information on the science behind bread making. Most of us don’t bother to make our own bread. It seems like such a complicated and mysterious process. Turns out it is much simpler than you might think. We found these recipes for Honey Bread and Pizza Dough that are easy and little helper friendly.
This recipe takes chocolate lava cake to a whole new level! We all love a good chocolate lava cake, but a bit of creative and food colouring turns this cake into a replica volcano. It’s a simple recipe, but it provides a fun way to talk about how actual volcanoes work.
You don’t need a fancy ice cream maker to make ice cream at home, all you need is science! It’s incredibly simple and doesn’t require any fancy equipment or ingredients. This page provides a fun recipe for making soft serve ice cream in a bag. Your kids will love watching the cream transform in front of their eyes. They can even customise the recipe to experiment with flavours and textures to find their favourite.
For more difficult food science experiments, check out the Cooking & Food Science Project Ideas at Science Buddies. The site is full of project ideas of all types with different difficulty levels depending on your child’s abilities and interest levels.
Remember, if you are feeling overwhelmed with planning, you’re spending too much time on school work and not enough at home with your family, your leisure time is non-existent…we give you all this free-time back by planning, preparing and creating teaching resources that have been developed by classroom teachers who have over 40 years’ experience teaching children in the classroom.
Sign-up free for a whole week FREE sample of the 10 Quick Questions a Day program, as seen on channel 9’s TODAY SHOW, which gives you 5 literacy and 5 numeracy questions every single day for 40 weeks to have all your revision needs covered and most importantly, peace of mind knowing the fundamental basics are consistently and constantly being revised.
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