We have been cooking on a weekly basis, and we are seeing the excitement carry through the rest of the week. We are providing cooking utensils, measuring equipment, and real food to experiment with.
We believe in teaching as a “whole”. Even though we may be cooking, there is always an opportunity for reading, writing, math, art and science.
The children write the names of ingredients, the name of the dish they are making, or even who will be eating what they make. This brings “life” to reading and writing. Reading, letters, and phonics are not memorized, but the process is dynamic for the children and they understand the purpose and the concept by writing words that pertain to the project.
Our parents give great support to the curriculum and bring in materials to inspire and encourage the children to explore. We are using party supplies, candles, napkins and cupcake wrappers for “play”.
We bake what the children pretend they are making, to bring the play to life. And they are capable of doing it all by themselves ;0) We provide inspiration for the children in the classroom, to encourage them to be curious and investigate with the materials. The classroom is considered to be a teacher in our philosophy. We provide real ingredients, literature, cook books, and measuring materials to provide learning opportunities while the children play.
We do get a little messy sometimes ;0) but what child do you know that doesn’t? This is a sign that the children are completely involved in the activity. We expect that messes will be made, but we teach that cleaning up is a part of cooking.
We count candles, and cut the dough……..We stir the food, and serve it to our friends.
There are several benefits to letting children cook and pretend to cook. They learn that it is important to follow directions and they learn about nutrition. The entire process helps with reading, comprehension and math skills. Who knows………maybe we will see some of these children on Top Chef in the future ;0)