This afternoon we turned our hand to making flapjacks. I’ve recently acquired a new flapjack recipe and was keen to try it out. I love cooking with my mindees, it’s not only therapeutic and interactive but arms them with a wide range of skills too. They were a roaring success and (after retaining a couple myself!) were sent home for parents to enjoy too. Baking, other than producing yummy things to eat, provides the children with a great opportunity to learn –
Cooking provides great opportunities to help children learn mathematical vocabulary such as ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ than when weighing ingredients.
Children gain experience in counting and recognising numbers. Children also learn about shapes such as cutting flapjacks into rectangles and discussing how many corners or sides they have.
Children can learn lots of new words whilst cooking. They can learn what a recipe looks like and learn that you need to follow instructions in order to achieve the required result.
Children can learn the names of ingredients and words like sieve, whisk, stir, mix, roll and melt. They can look for words on packets like eggs and sugar and try to find these words in the recipe.
Science plays a big part in cooking. It involves the concept of changing materials: liquid cake mix becomes a solid through baking, juice can become ice lollies when frozen and chocolate melts when heated.
Children love to get involved in weighing ingredients and mixing. Tasks such as holding a spoon, mixing, beating, shaking, pouring, rolling or cutting help develop their fine motor skills. They can also smell and feel the ingredients which help to improve their senses.
Emotional and Social Development
Children learn to share and how to take turns. When the cooking is over, you can sit down and enjoy eating together.