Since September we have been baking treats every week for our snacks. So far we have made cookies, muffins, cakes, shortbread, pancake bars, bannock cheese biscuits, granola bars and we even mastered bread this week!
The Budgies all took turns mixing the ingredients together (rotational schema) they also scooped out and poured ingredients into the bowl (transferring schema). Sometimes they scattered fruit, raisins or chocolate chips into the batter too (trajectory schema).
We noticed that the children were attracted to what they were doing during baking activities. We observed them using their fine motor skill when stirring with a spoon or picking up objects to put in the batter and language development to share their knowledge and experiences with to each other at the table.
Cooking activities offer endless opportunities for children to develop skills and to engage in interesting and often new experiences. As teachers we will continue to adapt recipe’s to suit the children’s skills and plan experiences to enhance children’s knowledge and abilities in specific areas, according to their strengths and interests.
Baking to Promote Development and Learning
Baking offers children a variety of learning experiences. It’s a practical way to teach kids basic life skills, as well as academic skills involving reading, science and math. Time spent together in the kitchen also encourages interaction and communication between parents and children. The entire family benefits from healthy meals, a sense of shared accomplishment and the enjoyment of each other’s company.
Hands-on cooking activities help children develop pride and confidence in their skills and abilities. Following a recipe can encourage self-direction and independence, while also teaching children to follow directions and use thinking skills to problem solve.
Chopping, squeezing, spreading, and mixing are all cooking skills that help develop a child’s small muscle control and eye-hand coordination.
Cooking inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering new opportunities to make predictions and observations. Additionally, cooking offers authentic opportunities for children to understand and apply their knowledge of measuring, one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting. As they follow a recipe, children organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions.
With its own vocabulary, cooking is a great opportunity for language development. Take advantage of opportunities for children to match pictures to words and articulate questions inspired by their new experiences.