Have you tried cooking with young children in your classrooms? No matter where you teach or how young (yes, even toddlers!), cooking is a GREAT way to teach children all kinds of skills you want them to learn while having fun. Think about it……literacy, language and vocabulary (looking at recipes and talking through the projects), math (simple counting and measurements), science (chemical reactions, observation, predicting, using tools), social emotional (sharing, taking turns, building self-esteem, using manners), and fine motor skill development (cutting, mixing, pouring, etc.) can ALL be taught through simple cooking lessons! The best part is kids LOVE to cook and research shows that kids are more likely to eat foods they helped prepare, so there can be health benefits too!
You don’t have to have a kitchen in your classroom or a huge classroom budget to cook with kids (although that would be amazing). Start small and enlist the help of your parents. Most parents are happy to help, especially when they see all the fun their child is having! Parents can help donate ingredients and simple cooking tools. Dollar stores are another great resource to get some basic cooking supplies and even garage sales for you bargain hunters!
Cooking in the classroom doesn’t have to be complicated. Many people think of cooking as using a stove and oven. That isn’t practical in your classroom setting. But, there are many things you can make with kids in the classroom that don’t require ANY appliances (think sandwiches, wraps, guacamole, yogurt parfaits, salads, etc.) or that only require some simple small appliances like a blender or microwave (cheese quesadillas, yogurt smoothies, etc.).
Join us back here at our blog site next week with a simple recipe and instructions on how to extend the learning in your classroom through cooking! We would love to hear what favorite recipes you have tried with your students…leave them in the comments below!