How Cooking Helps Preschoolers Learn

‘Happiness is a kitchen full of family.’

Yes, even if you have preschoolers in tow. Be it repeatedly pummeling dough and getting their hands messy or mashing potatoes and spreading the gooey stuff all over the kitchen counter, young kids love lending a hand in the kitchen (speaking from personal experience). Leave alone kid games; putting together a simple recipe in the kitchen can be as much fun, if not more. And why not, especially when it’s a win-win situation all along (apart from the mess involved)? Here’s how.

The basics of math: Be it counting the cookies on the baking tray fresh out of the oven or measuring the volume of water to be added to the spaghetti or even noting the time from the clock for a particular dish in the oven, helping out in the kitchen will aid in kids brushing up the fundamentals of math.


Cookies” by mccartyv is licensed under CC by 2.0

Helps build fine motor skills: Before entering the kitchen, the rule is to scrub your hands clean. Right from turning on the tap to applying soap to scrubbing, to thoroughly rinsing and drying, kids need to be encouraged to make this a habit. Poking holes in a pie crust before putting it in the oven to bake, correctly holding a blunt butter knife and spreading mayonnaise over a slice of bread; all these small activities do their bit in honing a preschooler’s fine motor skills.

Promotes social skills & teamwork: Kids learn how to be patient since cooking is a step-by-step process. They also need to be able to listen as well as talk to others in order for the dish to turn out to be a success. Try chalking out a role for each member of the family. For instance, the kids can knead the dough, while moms prepare the oven for baking and dads get to prepare the cheesy dip. This way, the entire family works as a communicating team.

Open to experimentation & developing new tastes: Needless to say, kids will be thrilled at the prospect of eating something they themselves have had a hand in preparing (even if it’s the vegetables they generally turn up their noses at). Does your little one detest green salads of all kinds? Try throwing together a simple green pasta salad, entrusting the responsibility of mixing together all the contents in the large bowl to your kid. A statement or two to let him/her know the mixing together part is ‘the most important step in the recipe’ will be all that’s required to encourage your child to (at least) try out the salad, which otherwise wouldn’t have been the case.

“Excuse the mess, our family is making memories”: Definitely! Reason enough to have a go at it in the kitchen together every now and then. The laughs you’ll share together as a family while mashing potatoes with a fork, stirring ingredients (half in and half out of the bowl) or simply spreading toppings while assembling a pizza will be more than worth it. And all of you will remember it for a lifetime.

Don’t know where to begin? Take your pick from this list of fun recipes for kids which you can make together in the kitchen. The bottomline? Have fun!


4 Fun Summer Snacks for Preschoolers

‘Eat, sleep, snack, repeat.’

Come summer and this seems to be the mantra kids follow, with ‘play’ replacing the ‘sleep’ part. Eating and snacking seem to make up a major portion of kids’ holidays, especially when they are at home throughout the day.

Here are 4 fun summer snack ideas for preschoolers which are both easy to come up with and yummy too.


Chocolate Smoothie” by stevepb is licensed under CC by 2.0

Choco cherry smoothie: Get hold of some frozen cherries, cranberry or raspberry juice, yogurt, milk and if possible some chocolate or hazelnut spread. Mix all to make a puree, serve with vanilla ice cream.

Watermelon ice lolly: Blended chunks of fresh watermelon poured into small paper cups and topped with a small pile of chocolate chips need to be popped into the freezer till they are frozen.

Frozen strawberry yogurt: Stir sugar with freshly sliced strawberries in a bowl, let it stand for half an hour, blend in a mixer, add yogurt plus fresh lemon juice and freeze for a perfect cool treat.

Tortilla pizza: Kids can help with this one – allow them to add some salsa and cheese on each tortilla and toast in the oven till they are deliciously crispy golden brown.