In our house, the summer months are all about living without a definite schedule…we seldom set the alarm clock. However, while we enjoy the relaxed vibe of the summer, I still know it’s important for my girls to keep on learning throughout the summer.
One of our favourite places to learn is in our kitchen. We spend so much time in our kitchen it only makes sense to take advantage of the time we spend in there. So, here are our top 10 ways for kids to learn in the kitchen this summer.
10 Ways For Kids to Learn This Summer
Safety ~ Safety is an important lesson that all kids learn early on in their kitchen experience. The kitchen is a place that families spend a lot of time together, however it can be a dangerous place for children. The stove can be hot and knives might be sharp. Teaching your child to play safely and respect the rules you set out in the kitchen, is the first steps to enjoying your time in the kitchen together. * Visit your local fire department website for kitchen safety tips *
Fine Motor Skills ~ Get the kids involved in the chopping, grating and peeling of the food you are going to eat. Not only does involving children in food preparation lead to children eating more healthy foods, it also helps build their fine motor skills. * There are plenty of great knives available that are specially designed for kids *
Reading ~ There are plenty of opportunities for kids to read in the kitchen. Whether it’s reading the recipes or reading the product labels, kids can find ways to challenge their reading skills. A fun activity to get the kids practicing their reading skills is to think up a food you want to eat, for example “strawberry shortcake”, have your child grab a cookbook and read through the index to find the recipe.
Social Skills ~ Turn off the computer and television and spend some one-on-one time with your child in the kitchen. Working with a recipe and cooking a dish is all about team work and cooperation. Each person has to listen to the other in order to reach the end goal…a delicious meal. These skill are so important in the development of a healthy child.
Writing ~ When it’s time to head to the grocery store, let the kids write the shopping list. Start off the summer with the kids writing the easier words and as fall approaches challenge the kids with the more difficult words…like watermelon! I also love sharing my recipes with my friends, let your child copy down recipes on recipe cards to gift to others…a great way to practice writing.
Fractions ~ When I asked my girls how they learn in the kitchen and the first thing they both said was “fractions”. I love this response because I always had such a hard time with fractions when I was a kid. Simply having your child choose the correct measuring cup is a great introduction to fractions. Asking your child to portion out the dinner is another way to learn about fractions. How can you make 4 equal bowls of salad from one large bowl? Fractions!
Explore Different Cultures ~ Food is a great way to explore different cultures. Sometimes we can eat a meal and never put any thought into where the food originally came from. Who first decided to put tomato sauce on pasta? Take some time to discover and discuss other cultures as you try out new and interesting meals. * Follow along with our monthly series Around the World in 12 Dishes and discover a new country each month *
Measurement ~ What unit of measurement is used when dealing with a liquid? How about when you want to measure flour? Which is larger, a tablespoon or a teaspoon? Hand over the measuring spoons and cups and let your kids explore measurement in the kitchen.
Science ~ Did you know that baking is all about science? It really is. The easiest way to see science at work is to make your own pizza dough. Your kids will marvel as the dough rises from a small ball to a bowl filling ball of dough. A simple kitchen experiment is mixing baking soda and white vinegar…watch the bubbles grow. * Head over to Science Sparks for plenty of experiments you can try in your kitchen *
Patience ~ Pop the cookies in the oven, set the timer and wait patiently. Waiting for 8-10 minutes seems like a lifetime to a child, especially when they are waiting for their favourite cookies to bake. Patience is a virtue and in the kitchen you need a lot of patience.
Bonus: It’s Fun To Wash The Dishes ~ Yep, when kids wash the dishes it’s actually fun! The water might end up all over the counter and the dishes might not be as clean as you like, but your child is learning an important life skill. Start them early!
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