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6 Ways Cooking With Kids Can Boost Literacy Skills

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My children love to help in the kitchen. And while it’s not something I have the time (or patience!) for every day, I recognize the learning value of cooking together. From toddlers to teenagers, cooking offers a practical, hands-on way for kids to:

  • Practice an important life skill.
  • Develop mathematical understanding (measuring ingredients, setting oven temperature, etc.).
  • Further their scientific knowledge (observing change).
  • Apply their reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.

Encouraging literacy skill development as you cook together is easy when you allow it to flow naturally from what you’re doing. So, rustle up your favorite kid-friendly recipes (our Kids Cooking activity book has 30 great suggestions!) and give these simple ideas a try.

1. Make a shopping list together

Before you begin, name the items you’ll need with your child. Independent writers can jot down a list for you and you can entice pre-readers with a paper and a pen, just like the ones you are using. Sit beside your little one as you write your shopping list, saying aloud what you are writing as you add each item to the list. Your child will be sure to imitate you and will learn an important purpose of writing in the process. Younger kids also enjoy ticking off the items from the list once you’re at the store.

2. Read the recipe together

Recipes provide a wonderful introduction to instructional texts. Older children can read the ingredient list, gather the necessary ingredients, and read the recipe instructions aloud, step-by-step, as you go. Keep it simple for little ones. For example, “A recipe tells us what we need to make our cupcakes, and how to make them. It says we need flour, here’s the flour…” 

3. Taste ingredients

Sometimes when cooking together, I’ll ask my daughters if they’re brave enough for a blind taste test. To play, simply ask your child to cover her eyes and open her mouth. Then, offer a small taste of one of the ingredients you’re cooking with and invite her to guess which it is. It’s a great way to get your kids talking about different categories of foods (spices, fruit, dairy product, etc.), as well as textures (smooth, lumpy, crunchy, etc.) and flavors (sweet, spicy, sour, salty, etc.) and it provides a physical connection between the senses and the descriptive words used. 

4. Grow vocabulary

There are so many interesting words to learn when cooking! Names of ingredients — cinnamon or saffron — as well as processes, such as whisking and dicing, measurements and temperatures. Hearing and seeing these words used within a real-life application, equips your child to better understand and remember the words and their meanings.

5. Encourage younger children to notice environmental print

Environmental print is all around us. It’s the name given to print that appears on signs, labels and logos. Encouraging preschoolers and beginning readers to notice environmental print helps them to learn that reading involves not just letters and sounds but pictures and context too. Asking your three-year-old to find the cornflakes from among the cereal boxes in your pantry, or your six-year-old to find the all-purpose flour that sits next to the self-raising flour on the shelf, is inviting them to take notice of environmental print.

6. Read a story

While the jelly sets or your cake bakes, why not sit together and enjoy a story related to food or the dish you are cooking? 

MORE: Bake Giant Pretzel ‘Bones’ Inspired by Clifford the Big Red Dog

Inviting your child to spend time cooking with you is a delicious way to encourage literacy learning through all of the sounds, sights, and tastes in the kitchen. Hopefully, the end-product of your cooking time will be delicious too!

Please visit our website to learn more about our Culinary Artist Academy

Article by Christie Burnett found on Scholastic Parents

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Little Things Mean a Lot to Kids

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February 12, 2016 – Prestige Preschool Academy – Little Things Mean a Lot to Kids


Little things really do mean a lot to kids and will have a huge impact on their lives.  These little things may seem silly or trivial to adults, but they will make your child smile!  Here is a list to get you started:

  1. Cook heart-shaped pancakes for breakfast.
  2. Wear that macaroni necklace to work. Well, at least until you’re at work.
  3. Tape your family slogan (Unstoppable! We can, we will! We’ve got this!) to your refrigerator door and invoke it whenever your child feels discouraged.
  4. Go for a walk with just one child.
  5. Slip a note (and an occasional small treat) into her lunch box.
  6. Say “yes” to something usually off-limits, like sitting on the counter.
  7. Go ahead: Let your 4-year-old stomp in every puddle along the way. Even without rain boots.
  8. Get out the glitter glue and make a birthday card for your child.
  9. Take in a pet that needs a home—and a child’s love.
  10. Cultivate your own traditions: Taco Tuesdays, Sunday-afternoon bike ride, apple picking every fall.
  11. Ask your child to teach you how to do something for a change. And once you get the hang of it, be sure to tell him what a good teacher he is.
  12. Let your child wear her dress-up clothes to the supermarket. All month if she wants to.
  13. Let your child overhear you saying something wonderful about her.
  14. Make a secret family handshake.
  15. Hang a whiteboard in her room to leave messages for each other.
  16. Start a pillow fight.
  17. Share your old diaries, photos, and letters from when you were her age.
  18. Thank your child when he does a chore on his own—even if it’s just hanging up a wet towel without prompting or refilling the empty water pitcher.


from an article by Margery D. Rosen – Parents Magazine 30 Little Things That Mean a Lot to Kids

image – DeltaDental.com

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