Food preparation 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.
For one thing, hands-on cooking activities encourage a sense of pride and confidence. 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 inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations. Additionally, creating meals 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.
Lastly, chopping, squeezing, spreading, and mixing materials help develop a child’s small muscle control and eye-hand coordination.
For this activity, we used our thinking minds and our strong muscles to create Christmas trees!
Using apples as our “trees”, cereal as our “ornaments,” and cheese as our “stars”, we enjoyed following a recipe (with the assistance of colorful illustrations), constructing a tree, and then devouring our yummy snacks!