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Did you know your kitchen is filled with ways to learn? Here are several ideas to help your older youngster practice math, reading, language, science, and more—simply by cooking together!

– Reading. Reading recipes can mean learning new words. Point out words like “stir,” “bake,” “combine,” and “dissolve.” Help your youngster look up words she doesn’t know in a dictionary.

– Following Directions. When you make a recipe, your child will learn about following directions and doing things in order. Example: “First, I’ll mix the sugar with one stick of butter. Then you can add the eggs.”

– Math. Counting and measuring are both parts of cooking. If the recipe says, “stir for one minute,” your youngster can practice counting to 60 while you stir. Talk about the importance of measuring carefully. “How would the bread taste if we used one tablespoon of salt instead of one teaspoon? Too salty – yuck!”

– Science. Show your child how ingredients change when they’re mixed, heated, and cooled during cooking. Example: Explore how Jell-O changes from a runny liquid to a wiggly solid after it chills in the refrigerator.

– Extra Benefit. Cooking together also gives your child the experience of working as part of a team!

Diane Hurst, Preschool Director

California State Licensed Early Childhood Instructor with over 30 years experience and Director of Kimber Hills Preschool in Fremont, CA.


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