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4 reasons to bring children into the kitchen

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The kitchen is a simple and casual place, but it can also be a hub for developing and enhancing your kid’s skills, be it motor, sensory, or even curiosity. These school holidays, why not rope in your kids while you’re prepping meals?

Here are some of the many benefits:

Motor skills

This includes gross as well as fine motor skills, whether it’s stirring with wooden spoons, pouring, squeezing, kneading dough, opening different sized and shaped bottles (grasp development), and scooping out the ingredients.

Working in the kitchen supports the development and strengthening of our finger muscles too. It is important to develop these muscles since it helps us write, and do everyday chores like shoe lace tying, buttoning, and zipping.

READ ALSO: A play-based approach to home language learning

Source: Canva

Enhancing bilateral coordination

This is the skill that allows you to use both sides of your body at the same time for example, stabilising the paper with one hand while writing with the other or cutting with scissors. Activities like using a rolling pin with both hands, shilling peas, cutting simple salad for sandwiches, and sifting flour can enhance bilateral coordination in a fun way.

Sensory experiences

Cooking offers so many opportunities to explore sensory inputs. Like smelling different aromas, in fact, it can be made into a game to smell different cooking ingredients like coffee, tea, cardamom, and cinnamon by using only smell and not vision. It also provides other sensory inputs like feeling different textures with our skin on our hands as well as our mouths like the sticky texture of the dough or of a caramelised chocolate in the mouth, the rough texture of the salt, pepper, and the list is endless.

It also receives heavy work input (proprioception) by performing various activities like kneading the dough, stirring, and mixing foods with a thick consistency.

children cooking
Source: Canva

Planning and organisation

Assembling the ingredients and planning the steps before starting to cook helps in enhancing planning and organisational skills. These skills are very useful when the child needs to organise his school bag, and desk at school. It takes a lot of planning to balance school work and play to avoid disappointments.

But most importantly, it creates a family cooking day together which can help in making stronger relationships and creating connections.

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READ MORE: Teaching kids ages 3-5 to manage their own conflicts

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