This post was written by Trudy Troy, our Kindergarten Assistant. Mrs. Troy cooks with our Red Apple Kindergarteners every Thursday, so we asked her to write a blog and share some of her secrets!
Cooking with Kindergarteners! Yes I know how you might feel. That sentence can cause a feeling of terror in the heart of the strongest person. But never fear, you can work through it and find cooking together is a lot of fun. In fact, I look forward to cooking every Thursday in our Kindergarten class.
When cooking, children learn many different things. They learn the importance of keeping their work area clean including how necessary clean hands are when handling ingredients. We also spend time finding out how to use our utensils such as: measuring spoons, cups etc., and also to never touch any equipment before being told it is “okay”. The children also learn that safety and the practice of safe habits are always important. Each child discovers that we can all have a great time just by following a few important rules.
Next comes reading and following the recipe. The children learn that some recipes are best prepared individually, while other recipes are best prepared by a team; with each child playing an important but different part in the process. They learn to rely on each other. Teamwork is a skill they will use throughout their lives.
They also learn that each recipe is like a story with a beginning, middle and an end. The beginning is getting all the necessary ingredients together that are required by the recipe. The middle part requires measuring and mixing the ingredients. In some recipes this is followed by the required baking time. Finally, the end part is the pure enjoyment of seeing the their efforts and work become something delicious.
With each step, whether cutting with a plastic knife, leveling a measuring cup, using a measuring spoon, breaking an egg or even using a mixer, a child will gain confidence and ability to help you prepare a meal. Their smile says it all. What a feeling of accomplishment.
So, the next time a little voice says “Can I help”? Take a deep breath and know together you are up to the challenge. It will be an enjoyable time and it builds many special memories.