Cooking is fun and young children love to get creative with their parents in the kitchen. The kitchen is also a laboratory for helping children develop and learn. When children participate in cooking activities, they learn how food is prepared and how it contributes to their health and well-being. They also form eating patterns that can last a lifetime. The Creative Curriculum® provides our classrooms with support resources to enhance our Cooking Center within our classrooms.
Social-emotional-Children find pride in their ability to produce a snack that they and others can enjoy. They develop independence from adults as they follow a recipe on their own or work cooperatively with peers on a common task.
Physical-Chopping celery, squeezing a lemon and spreading apple butter are actions that strengthen children’s small muscle control and eye-hand coordination. In fact, children cannot cook without working on their physical development.
Language and Literacy-Cooking has its own terminology and helps increase children’s vocabulary with words like ingredients, recipe, gadget, grate, knead, simmer, grease and dice. Moreover, as children match pictures to written words in recipes, they learn to read and follow recipes on their own.
Cognitive-Cooking activities inspire children’s curiosity and thinking. They learn measurement concepts as they measure ingredients and fill a tall pitcher with four quarts of water. They develop problem-solving skills through experimentation and observe cause and effect when they watch bread dough rise after yeast is added to it. Cooking provides hands-on experiences with abstract concepts that are often difficult to master. While cooking, children organize ingredients, follow the sequence of a recipe and carry out multiple directions.
Food: Milk, plain yogurt, bananas, strawberries or blueberries
Equipment: blender, drinking glass
1. Peel 1 banana.
2. Wash strawberries or blueberries.
3. (If using strawberries), hull strawberries.
4. Place fruit in blender.
5. Add ½ cup of milk.
6. Add ½ cup of yogurt.
7. With grown-up’s assistance, blend ingredients.
8. Pour into glass and enjoy!