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Tips for Cooking with Children in the Classroom
by Cathy Abraham
- Remember - Children will usually be able to only focus on one step at a time.
- Each ingredient should be wonderful to explore and children should be allowed to do so. Cooking projects should be a hands-on, sensory experience.
- The recipe must be flexible to allow for some inaccurate counting and measuring.
- To promote literacy, recipe should have both pictures and print to enable children to follow along.
- A routine must be established to be followed throughout the year for cooking projects with handwashing being the first step.
- Recipes should involve actions. Each child should be able to actively participate, if they choose to.
- Be prepared for participation- ensure that there are sufficient ingredients and utensils.
- Because children typically are unable to follow the transformation properties, the process of baking should be explained in simple terms.
Parallels between home and school should be encouraged and discussed.
- The more opportunities for hands-on involvement by children, the more meaningful and of value the project.
- Open-ended questions to promote thinking should be made throughout process.
- Cooking experiences should not be restricted to gender. Address any comments that children may make about cooking being for girls.
- Have all ingredients on hand and organized prior to starting project as well as extra in the event there is a mishap of some kind.
- Allow ample time, so that children do not need to be rushed.
From Your Child:
When I am cooking, I am measuring, comparing, counting,
classifying, and experiencing how properties of things change.
I am role-playing, learning more about my world and experiencing different cultures!
About the Author:
Cathy Abraham has worked in the early childhood field for 25 years. She is currently a consultant, curriculum writer and
trainer. Cathy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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