Holiday Cooking with Children
Cooking with children is an excellent way for them to practice and develop several skills. The benefits include:
- Social-Emotional Development- by following a recipe, children are encouraged to be self-directed and independent while also teaching them to follow directions and develop problem-solving skills.
- Physical Development- children are working on fine and gross motor skills by mixing, squeezing, chopping, etc.
- Cognitive Development- cooking allows children to count, measure, use their creativity, and follow sequences.
- Language Development- While cooking with your children,talk with them about what it is they are doing, count with them, ask them about the texture, the taste, make observations, ask questions that will encourage children to talk about what they are doing.
Recipes and involvement should be developmentally appropriate. Two year olds are able to wash fruits and vegetables, carry unbreakable items, and mix. Three year olds should help pour liquids, spread butter and other spreadables, knead, put things in the trash, and help serve. Have your four or five year old help juice, peel, cut, measure, set the table, and clean.
It is important that you make sure the cooking environment is safe, clean, and enjoyable.