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  • Writer's pictureTanya K

Cooking With Children is More Than Just a Fun Activity


We explore some of the many benefits here;


Children get to listen, talk and use language. We introduce new words and expand vocab. Words are demonstrated like knead, mix these concepts are used in many areas.

We discuss what we are making, how, with whom we will share the result, how it feels and so on. We sit and discuss instructions making observations. A wonderful time for meaning full discussions.


1. Maths

There is a lot of measuring involved in cooking – it is a great opportunity to learn maths concepts


2. Sensory

Touching, mixing, rolling pastry often young children are wary of new textures and touching items. Listen to the whir of the mixer, pound dough and watch it rise, smell it baking in the oven, and finally taste the warm results.


3. Sharing and cooperation

These are difficult concepts for younger people. However when you cook as a group you need to work together wait your turn, divide up chores and so on. Often we need to read the recipe together and take turns.


4. Pride and confidence

We all know that there is a joy and pride in cooking but also think about how fantastic is to learn how to do this activity and be confident to help at home. You can see the tamariki (children) gain a sense of accomplishment


5. Builds their coordination and fine motor skills

Pouring, scooping, measuring, mixing, these are all great ways for your children to work on their fine motor skills. These simple activities that are a fundamental part of cooking encourage your toddler to move with coordination and precision.


Science in action – a recipe is a science experiment. What happens when we mix these ingredients and heat?????


6. Good food practise in action:

Hygiene during cooking we focus on cleaning our surfaces, cleaning hands , not touching our faces and so on. We also take time to explain why this is important.


7. Trying new foods

You have cut and prepared the food now you will be more comfortable to try and eat it. Cooking at the centre is great for picky eater.


Teaching about risk and safety in the kitchen. We can’t eliminate risk, sharp knives, hot ovens, hot water, etc are all part of cooking, and your children will benefit so much from learning which of these risks they are ready to handle, and how to handle them safely





At Growing Minds we regularly encourage our children to become independent and to learn through play.


Participation and collaboration in these moments are an important part of children's learning experiences - enhancing their sense of identity and belonging. Te Whāriki, the national early childhood curriculum of Aotearoa, recognises the importance of these things and guides us in our planning.

Cooking at the centre includes each strand of Te Whāriki,

Manu atua (wellbeing), mana whenua (belonging), mana tangata (contribution), mana rea (communication), man auturoa (exploration)


Growing Minds is a loving early learning environment with a team that will support your children. Check out what we have been up to lately over at our Facebook page.


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