Cooking with your children is a good idea because:
· it’s fun
· it’s quality time spent with your little one
· kneading dough develops finger strength necessary for writing
· separating egg yolks from egg whites helps improve fine motor skills
· preparing food is a great way to explore the world around you with all your senses. (Talk about taste with your children: caster sugar and salt look similar, but do they taste the same? Smell the with vanilla essence and then the vinegar, then taste them both.)
Of course, as with everything else, when cooking with your child, you should take their Learning Style into account.
Tactile children will want to touch the dough, run their fingers through the pancake batter and poke them into the softening butter. Let them. It’s their way.
Analytic children will enjoy following the recipe. Even if they are too young to read, they will easily follow step-by-step instructions on tape or in picture form. They will also enjoy measuring everything. Weighing and measuring cake ingredients is a fun way to learn the basics of maths: is a teaspoon more than a tablespoon? It looks larger, now let’s check. A teaspoon is 5 ml, while a tablespoon is 12.5 ml. What is more, 5 or 12.5? Which looks more, 100g of sugar or 100g of flour? Which one weighs more?
Holistic children, on the other hand, might not want the recipe at all. They will prefer to experiment: “if I mash strawberries, add flour and two eggs then cook it all, what will happen, Mommy?”
Determine your child's Learning Style and make magic happen in your kitchen next time you cook with your children.