Working with food is not only a fun, engaging activity for children, but one that has been used for years as an important teaching and development tool for all ages.
Hands-on cooking activities help children develop pride and confidence in their skills and abilities. The act of following a recipe can encourage self-direction and independence, while also teaching children to follow directions and use thinking skills to problem solve.
Working with food also integrates physical development. Chopping, squeezing, spreading, and mixing are all cooking skills that help develop a child’s small muscle control and eye-hand coordination. It’s impossible to separate hands-on cooking activities from physical development for young children.
Thirdly, cooking inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations.
Additionally, cooking offers authentic opportunities for students to understand and apply their knowledge of measuring, one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting.
As they follow a recipe, children organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions. This activity involved your little ones making boats out of mangoes, cheese, and pretzel sticks.
The mango served as the base of the boat, the pretzel was the mast, and the cheese served as a sail! Everyone enjoyed creating and then eating their sailboat snacks!