We can’t stress enough the benefits of children working inside the kitchen. The Kitchen work helps the child as well as the whole family. Food is quintessential to forming strong bonds with all members of the family, hence the learning takes centre stage. Lets look at learning that happens in the Kitchen
Kitchen is the Mecca of sensory learning. Because food gives textures, colors, tastes, smells – the sensory inputs are fantastic. Just open the masala cabinet and we have 20 different colours for children to identify. Also mashing potatoes or chopping some cucumber can give children tactile experiences with different textures.
The names of fruits, vegetables, utensils, tools and kitchen equipment can be an entire language course for children. The advantage is that rather than just looking at the pictures children can work with the kitchen utensils and tools and improving their vocabulary with the actual experience.
Since food preparation involves measuring, arranging and working in a sequence, it gives children good experience to these mathematical concepts. When we sort vegetables, fruits, etc children learn to classify, a useful tool to early mathematics.
With so much activity happening, the kitchen is nothing short of awesome for motor skill development. Just filling a glass of water requires poise and control for children. Kitchen provides so many activities be it cutting, chopping, washing, wiping, cleaning or stirring all require motor skills that help children in a big way.
Activities Toddlers can do in the kitchen
- Sorting Vegetables/Fruits
- Washing Vegetables/fruits
- Mixing Ingredients
- Peeling Oranges, boiled potatoes
- Peeling and Chopping cucumber
- Spreading cheese, butter, jam
Activities Preschoolers can do in the kitchen
- Squeezing lemon/orange to get juice
- Pounding chana or spices
- Peeling & slicing vegetables with knife
- Churning buttermilk
- Grating Cheese
- Making a salad
- Measuring ingredients & nixing for baking
- Apple slicing
Tips to get the children inside the kitchen
- Invite your child when you have time
- Do not expect perfection
- Keep a wipe handy for the inevitable spills
- Prepare before inviting your child
- Provide child sized tools at their height
Some tools / materials you can in India (click to get the amazon link)