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For toddlers and preschoolers, every experience is an opportunity to learn. Cooking, with measurements, bright colors, chemical reactions and reading, is the perfect way to continue learning long after the school day is done.

Before you begin, set up your kitchen for cooking with toddlers. This means lots of space, sturdy stepstools, towels for catching spills and no stray knives or blades. Even the youngest kitchen helpers should understand the dangers of knives, blades, stoves and ovens. Because these items are dangerous, making sure preschoolers know and can follow the rules is very important while cooking.

Cooking Activities for Preschoolers

Three- and 4-year-olds can learn a lot from spending time in the kitchen with family members. Cooking helps reinforce lessons like teamwork, pre-writing skills and basic math.

Cooking with Preschoolers

There are lots of ways to have preschoolers help in the kitchen throughout your dinner preparations.

  • Rinse fruits and vegetables in the sink with the help of a stepstool.
  • Have older kids measure ingredients and younger kids pour them.
  • Let preschoolers crack eggs into a separate bowl.
  • Toddlers can mash bananas, avocados and potatoes.
  • After all ingredients are in a bowl, have preschoolers mix them all.

Communication Skills

Following directions and teamwork are essential when cooking. Give everyone a task appropriate for their age, encouraging older kids to read and interpret written directions for little siblings.

Talk about how ingredients taste, feel and look together. This is a great way to incorporate new vocabulary into your toddler’s daily activities. The fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination required for pouring, mixing and mashing will come in handy as your toddler begins to write.

Science and Math Skills

Bread rises, sugar caramelizes and cream peaks. Cooking changes ingredients in ways that will amaze your little ones. These lessons will also help your toddler with more complex science lessons in the coming years.

Cooking requires lots of math skills as well. Your preschooler won’t grasp fractions, but they can help count cups of flour. Compare sizes, double recipes and see what happens when you increase or decrease an ingredient (where it makes sense to).

5 Healthy Recipes for Kids to Make

  1. Kebabs: Practice hand-eye coordination, colors and counting with ready-to-eat fruit kebabs or veggie kababs you can throw on the grill. These 13 creative ideas will get you cooking!
  2. Guacamole: Toddlers and preschoolers can take on the tasks of mashing and mixing all the ingredients together. Older siblings can join in by measuring seasonings.
  3. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds: Rinse off seeds, sprinkle with seasonings and stick them in the oven. It’s really that easy, so you preschooler can help with almost every step.
  4. Spaghetti Sauce: Make your own spaghetti sauce and have kids help stir the tomatoes and spices together.
  5. Banana Bread: Almost any kind of bread can be made with the help of your toddler. This banana bread recipe has great tips for cooking with preschoolers!
Childrens Kastle

Author Childrens Kastle

Where Love Meets Learning. Our primary goal is to provide the highest quality educational programming in a safe, loving, homelike atmosphere. We believe each child has unique God-given capabilities. Our Christian based program provides ample opportunity for exploring hands-on material in age appropriate environments that meet your child’s individual needs. We recognize that no two children are the same, and our curriculum is designed to inspire your child to learn and grow academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

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