At Kool Kidz Mill Park, our children get the opportunity to explore many activities to help gain skill and knowledge. This is why this week we implemented a cooking experience with our toddlers in the Honeybees Room. This was a fun and interactive experience that helps to build and improve their language skills and further develop their fine motor skills and hand eye coordination.
The children helped make cupcakes to celebrate our Room Leader’s birthday. Our children took turns to pour the ingredients into the large mixing bowl and mixing all the ingredients together.
This was a wonderful experience to see the children so engaged in what they were doing. The best part was seeing the children’s enjoyment on their faces as they sang happy birthday and then ate what they had created.
SKILLS GAINED BY COOKING EXPERIENCES
CONNECTIONS – Working side-by-side, talking through a recipe, measuring, mixing, pouring; these are all opportunities to connect with the children. Busy hands often lead to stories of the day or pretend stories of the task at hand. Beyond connecting with one another, cooking can connect across these concepts, bundling disciplines together. For example, a “failed” recipe: Did the dish burn? (Understanding time) Did the bread not rise? (Science in action) Were enough scoops of flour added? (Basic math) Was the recipe followed correctly? (Reading foundations) and so on.
COMMUNICATION – Cooking or preparing a meal together takes clear communication in order to succeed. As you read through a recipe or instruct the children on the cooking steps you are both enhancing your communication skills; the children are learning how to communicate instructions based on your modelling and you are learning new ways to explain things so that your children understands. In fact, this give, take, and adaptation is an important life skill for us all to practice, as communication doesn’t end in childhood!
CONFIDENCE – Cooking simple, no-fail recipes with toddlers sets our little ones up for success. By creating something from scratch that they are then able to eat and enjoy builds the confidence to try new things, cooking or otherwise
UNDERSTANDING TIME – Time is a challenging concept for the children to grasp, but each time they experience you setting a timer and waiting for it to alert them when your food is done cooking helps to form an understanding of something very abstract