Get Adobe Flash player
COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL introduction: learning tHrougH cooking Children love to cook! Cooking is an activity that most children, both boys and girls, enjoy. Countless important teachable moments take place while cooking. When we think of the im- portance of pretend play, where children imitate and explore what they know, we see that cooking extends their play and invites them to step be- yond just play, and to cook with real ingredients and supplies, not just props. Children will plan what to cook, gather the equipment, prepare the ingredients, talk about what they think may hap- pen, and evaluate the outcome. Providing these firsthand and well-planned experiences is an im- portant part of the early childhood curriculum. What Learning Takes Place? when children are given opportunities to write, dictate, and illustrate recipes that have been completed. Each recipe has a suggested story- book that can be incorporated into the cooking learning experience. Math skills are an important part of cooking! Children will learn simple arithmetic through measurements that include whole numbers and fractions, counting and sorting the number of ingredients needed, and learning about one-to- one correspondences. Classification is explored when categorizing ingredients such as wet or dry, fruit or vegetable, hard or soft. Children learn sequencing as they follow the steps for each recipe and count out loud to reinforce these abilities. All these skills are important concepts of mathematics. Language plays a large role in the cooking ex- perience. Starting with reading recipes, children learn that we read from left to right. They de- velop the skills to follow written and verbal in- structions. Children will ask questions about the processes, predict what may come next, and talk about the outcome. Pre-reading skills develop, such as associating words with ingredients. New vocabulary is plentiful. Children will discuss the variety of foods in their world, some familiar and some new. They will explore new experiences with equipment from blenders to whisks. Young cooks will discover and imple- ment cooking techniques, such as mashing and dicing. Beginning writing skills are developed COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL 1