It’s never too early to start cooking with your pre-schoolers in the kitchen at home. You’ll find that when you start cooking together on a regular basis, there are many cognitive benefits to this task. Keep reading as we discover the top benefits of cooking with little ones and the skills they will develop when you start teaching them basic kitchen skills this year.
1. Storytelling and Role Play
While you might think the skills your child will learn in the kitchen are more centered around math and science, you’ll find it’s a great place to develop their confidence and storytelling skills. You can enjoy playing in the kitchen and acting out different scenes in a fun role-play activity.
Ask your child to pretend they are cooking in a Michelin star restaurant or give them the role of a restaurant hostess for the night. These fun games will also introduce them to theater, which may become a passion for them later on in life.
By encouraging them to take on a new role, they’ll escape their life for a short while and enter an imaginary world. They’ll start to consider the possibilities for their future and act more mature even at this young age. You’ll find their communication also improves at this time, as they can communicate what they need you to do or interact with other family members in their new character. This is a great activity to do with kids who are struggling with public speaking or confidence, and you’ll find in no time at all, these skills transfer over into their everyday life.
2. Fine Motor Skills
When you offer your child one of our child-friendly kitchen tools sets, you’ll find that their physical and motor skills develop in no time at all. When you are working in the kitchen, there are so many different tools and knobs to deal with, so they’ll constantly be challenged with different motions they might not have used before. Even just opening and closing cupboard doors is a new challenge to young children, but you can then progress onto turning the oven knobs and using utensils.
As your child gets older and more confident, scale up the tasks they are participating in to keep challenging their motor skills. The earlier you introduce your child to the kitchen, the more confident they’ll feel as a teen in preparing their own meals when they head to college.
3. Language Skills and Learning New Words
Each time you cook, you offer your child a new opportunity to improve their language skills and start learning new words. You could even incorporate menu items from different countries, offering your child the chance to learn more about the world around them. The younger your child is when they are introduced to new words and concepts, the wider their vocabulary will be as time passes by.
When your child is tasked with something to do in the kitchen, they’ll have to learn to communicate what they need in order to complete this task. They’ll learn to react to questions and answer in a clear manner in order to achieve the desired results in the kitchen.
4. Critical Thinking
There’s no shortage of problems to solve in the kitchen. These could be as simple as closing a door properly or turning off a dripping tap. Your pre-schooler will be left to consider how they can resolve various issues that are presented to them.
Each time you offer them a new tool from our child-friendly kitchen set, they’ll have to figure out which end to hold and how to use the tool. In the future, this can then be applied to their everyday life. They’ll soon learn how to think for themselves and how problems can be solved with a little creativity. Don’t ever think your child is too young to start developing these skills, as the sooner they are introduced to them, the stronger they will be in their everyday life in the future.
For children who are just starting preschool, this is one of the first times in their life where they are left to their own devices. The kitchen is a great place to start building up this confidence, ready for them to head to school in the near future. We recommend encouraging your child to work alone in the kitchen and find the solutions to problems by themselves.
Even at a young age, you can offer them the chance to work alone on a very basic task. This could be separating items into different bowls or getting something out of the cupboard that you ask for.
As your child gets older, you can then start pushing them further to work alone in the kitchen. This can be encouraged by offering them their own set of kitchen tools which are designed for their smaller hands. When they are equipped with the right tools, they’ll have everything they need in order to make the most of their time in the kitchen.
You can then get them to roll dough or cut vegetables on their own, as you’ll know they are safe with the tools you’ve provided them with. We recommend taking your time with your child and the tasks you set them so that they feel confident and ready to tackle anything that comes their way in the future.
These five cognitive benefits of working in the kitchen will help to push your child further in life as they enter school. The earlier you start introducing them to the kitchen, the more familiar and confident they will be in these surroundings. We recommend equipping your children with our collection of child-sized tools and utensils, as these will help to make their time in the kitchen both safer and more enjoyable. You’ll find that they love having their own equipment to work with and that they start to improve their motor skills and communication skills in no time at all with your help.