40. Cooking As A Learning Experience
Cooking is a math, science, and art. I love cooking with my children! They are able to learn so much.
Measuring out ingredients, putting together parts (ingredients) to make a whole (dish), playing with flavors and creating new dishes, watching the way the ingredients change based on whether they are heated or cooled or mixed with something else. And on a pizza night we really get to delve into fractions!
It also helps build children’s self esteem and confidence. There’s this quote I like, “Never help a child with a task at which he feels he can succeed”. I had to remind myself of this as we worked on making pizza.
As Ava spread the sauce, some areas clearly had a lot less sauce and others had a lot more. I wanted to correct her but I didn’t. There are no rules for how much sauce has to be on a pizza and it was her pizza. In the end, she was proud to not only have completed the task but to have done it on her own.
School age children (6-11 years old) are in the stage of Industry vs Inferiority. Children in this stage who are encouraged by parents, teachers, and caregivers will learn to feel competent and believe in their ability to handle tasks and master skills.
Without space to do things themselves and encouragement from parents, teachers, and caregiver children often come to doubt themselves and believe they can’t be successful. To find out what stage of development your child is in and how to nurture them in it, I highly recommend a quick search of Erik Erickson’s Psychosocial Stages of Development.
Regardless of age or stage, I always recommend using cooking as a learning experience for children. Even the most simple lemonade recipe is a science experiment!