You probably have fond memories of helping mum or dad in the kitchen, but did you know cooking with your kids boosts their development?
10 Benefits of Cooking with Kids
There is much more to baking with your kids than making memories. Take a look at the benefits of cooking and baking with your kids – and the learning and development opportunities are not dependent on what you make, it can be simple cupcakes or a full family meal!
1. Increases Language Development
Kids learn to speak by mimicking sounds they hear but, as your kids grow, the range of vocabulary expands. Reading with children is in top spot, with following recipes when you cook together a close second. Ask them to describe what they are doing and to predict what could happen next.
2. Develops Fine Motor Skills
Mixing ingredients, rolling out dough, using cooker cutters and, for older children chopping ingredients, all involve motor skills, the ability to coordinate hand and eye movement. It also involves using cooking and baking equipment such as weighing scales, jugs, measuring cups, a rolling pin and more. Fine motor skills are needed for colouring, drawing, cutting and writing so by getting your kids to pick up the finer skills of mixing, pouring and so on you are helping to develop important skills used on a daily basis.
3. Promotes Maths and Numeracy
Cooking and baking involves maths. By using different measurements such as cups, teaspoon, grams and ounces, you are helping to grasp important every day numeracy. Basic maths skills, including fractions, adding and subtraction, are all needed when creating tasty treats together.
4. Promotes Literacy
Recipes are packed with information, presenting challenges at every step of their development. Recognising written forms of numbers is a great start and then picking out key words such as butter, flour, onion and so on.
5. Scientific Concepts
Cooking and baking is a form of science in motion. By understanding or predicting how ingredients will react with each other, anything they bake or cook should technically be a success. There are some great kitchen experiments you can do, with scientific explanation of why that happens. For example, why does beating eggs before adding them to a mixture make your cake stand taller?
6. Develops Focus and Attention
As kids grow, they should be able to stay focused for longer. This means getting them to focus on details in a recipe. Miss out an important step and your cake may look like a pancake! By learning that paying close attention means success, kids develop focus.
7. Develops Life Skills
Allegedly, one in three university students don’t know how to boil an egg. Learning to cook and bake together promotes all kinds of life skills from boiling eggs, to using a microwave, to creating delicious, healthy meals.
8. Healthy Eating
There is a lot of pressure on parents to ensure their kids eat healthy and teaching them to cook and bake does just that. They also get to know where their food comes from, its nutritional value and what are less-than-healthy options.
9. Helps Confidence Grow
The feeling of achieving something, of other people enjoying the treats and meals they have created and being good at something are all springboards to self-confidence soaring, something many kids struggle with.
10. Family Time
In a busy world, finding time to do great activities with your kids is a struggle, especially at the end of a long day. But baking a simple cake together or creating the family meal is an important time where stories can be shared because, after all, talking and listening is important too.
With all these benefits in mind, it may well be worth dusting off those cook books and finding some great family recipes to pass on to your kids!
Find lots of ideas here to get you started in the kitchen with your Kids: