When grown up, most people remember the fun they had at school doing a bit of baking with their classmates. What is not often reminisced about is how much was learned during these lessons, but that does not mean that it did not occur. Children tend to remember the exciting aspects of school, but upon reflection, the most impressive thing is really the education and learning gained; things that will make a huge difference to the rest of someone’s life.
That is why baking and cooking is actually really important for kids to get involved in; not only do they think that it is a lot of fun (which it is) but there are also key lessons to be learned from doing it. If you have not taken the time to consider this before, keep reading this blog post so you can understand the concepts further…
Most schools will team kids up to work in teams either the size of a pair or more. This is for the distribution of ingredients, as well as being better able to supervise what is going on. Of course, for the kids this is a chance to learn to work together, to share and to listen. Most people can remember a time when making cookies in a group and wanting to be the person to weigh and mix in the chocolate chips, but all of these experiences come together to give people valuable life lessons.
Don’t forget that there is plenty of math skills that can be picked up from cooking – and these are practical ones that will certainly be used at a later date. Kids will be able to differentiate between grams, millimetres and cups – all of the units that are used in recipes. They will also get a hands on appreciation for what these numbers mean when they weigh and measure them out themselves. Once food is cooked, the lesson can be turned into a test of percentages and fractions, asking each team to give one quarter or 25 percent of their treats to another group so they can taste the difference.
Recipes and communication in a group are also really good for improving English skills. There will likely be words that kids haven’t come across before in their reading books, so it gives them an opportunity to discover a different part of the language. They will be adding more words to their vocabulary which will allow them to use them going forward both at school and at home.
When practicing recipes from other countries, kids will get the chance to understand different cultures and the food that plays a part in it. A wider understanding of the world can arguably make a child a better-rounded person, and it could even lead them to gaining an interest in history, world issues, and a wider cultural appreciation. For example, kids could try cooking latkes for Hanukkah – there is a recipe available online at www.pencilstreet.org.