Cooking With Child

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Children of all ages and gender, benefit from spending time in the kitchen. Cooking teaches children the spirit of cooperation, a little bit of math, and a bit of chemistry. But best of all is that it teaches them to appreciate the effort and artistry that goes into the preparation of food. Besides, they're far more likely to eat something if they've helped make it. Cooking also provides children with a sense of personal achievement by giving them a peek into the adult world they so often imitate in their play.

Children have a natural fascination with cooking and baking. It has to do with their general need to touch, explore and fiddle with whatever gadget is put in front of them. This is not a bad thing, and can be rather educational when adult supervision is present. With easy to understand recipes, kids are introduced to basic math skills, reading and comprehension. The ability to follow directions is one of the most important skills a child needs for a successful school experience.

Children can learn a lot from cooking. In fact, from an early age, they can see how separate ingredients are mixed together and then transformed into something else. For Kindergartners and First Graders, measuring solids and liquids turns into a teachable moment. They can also see how ingredients are divided into various parts. The idea of heat and degrees of hotness also invites interesting discussion. Older children can delve deeper into this concept.

Cooking with children can be great fun, but do keep in mind the following suggestions:

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,