Blog Post

7 reasons why it’s great to cook with your children

Cooking with children…

Just the words can often conjure up a variety of different images and emotions.  Fun and excitement for children, chaos and mess for parents…

When my children were little and suggested we do some cooking, I would often scrabble around for excuses to avoid the mess and chaos cooking with children can involve.  However, cooking with children is a great opportunity for them to learn a number of really useful skills and have fun at the same time.

That said, it often involves a few deep breaths and some careful planning before you start.

Next time the children ask to do some cooking, rather than desperately looking for an excuse (I’m guilty of this!), here are 7 reasons why you should take a deep breath, say YES, get stuck in and have fun…

It’s Real Life Science… 

Cooking is a science experiment – your children will learn that the right combination of ingredients, in the right volumes will create a cooking success.  Getting the volumes wrong, forgetting ingredients, cooking at the wrong temperature or for the wrong amount of time could all potentially lead to cooking disasters.  Cooking is all about Cause and Effect – something which can be difficult for young children to understand.  Cooking helps explain this in an easy fun way.

Cooking is hands on early science for children and a great way to start them learning about science in a fun way.

Helps with Reading and Comprehension 

As children learn to read, encouraging them to read the step-by-step instructions in a recipe is a fun way for them to practice their reading.  As you are doing this together, you can help with any words they can’t read or don’t understand in a relaxed and friendly way.  They won’t feel like they are practising their reading, they’ll feel like they’re helping you with an important job and having fun at the same time.

Improves their maths

Cooking is a great way to help build children’s basic maths skills in a fun, accessible way.  Reading out the quantities needed, measuring and weighing – all really important skills for children to understand and practice.  Introducing this whilst they’re cooking doesn’t feel like a chore – and cooking certainly won’t feel like homework!

Helps develop Hand-Eye Coordination & Fine Motor Skills 

Measuring out different ingredients, stirring, mixing, pouring, stamping biscuit shapes – all will help your child with their hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and expose them to different textures and feelings.   Just make sure you’re close to hand at all times, so can step in if a little hand suddenly grabs for a knife or hot pan!

Encourages children to try new foods

Cooking healthy, home made food with your children allows a chance to talk about the importance of a healthy, balanced diet.  Children are more likely to try new foods they’ve been involved in preparing – so getting them cutting up some of the vegetables (under close supervision) can help encourage them to try foods they’ve refused to try in the past.

Teaches a life skill

Nowadays, with so much focus on fast food and convenience foods and the nutritional concerns involved, teaching your child how to cook from scratch is such a valuable skill, which they will definitely thank you for as they get older.   So many people nowadays claim not to know how to cook healthy food.  Cooking with children and talking about the nutritional benefits of different ingredients, will help them learn from an early age about the importance of eating healthy, nutritious food.

Teaches Cooperation & Sharing

Giving children different chores and responsibilities can help them learn that whilst they are doing different things, they are working together to create something.  There may be squabbles over who gets to do the mixing, weighing or pouring – but gradually they will realise that if they share and work together, they will have much more fun and will be learning how to work as part of a team.

It’s Fun!

It may be messy and a major clean up operation may be needed afterwards, but cooking with children is fun!   Their excitement and enthusiasm is catching and it’s a great way to spend a rainy afternoon – doing a fun activity together.  They will love being involved, chatting with you as you work, the responsibility you are giving them to do various jobs, mixing ingredients and getting messy and being part of creating something delicious (hopefully!)

Ideally they’ll also help with the cleaning up afterwards – I’m still working on this with my children!

 

 

To help keep the mess under control, our aprons are perfect for budding little chefs – they’re fully wipe clean so spills and splashes can be wiped off quickly and easily afterwards

Our splash mats double up as mini tablecloths which can help protect tables from all the mess involved when baking.  Alternatively our oilcloth by the metre is great for a stylish wipe clean tablecloth – protecting your table when cooking / baking as well as at messy mealtimes.

Next week, we’ll be sharing our top tips for starting cooking with children.

Bye for now

Helen x

 

 

Leave a Reply

Related Posts

Messy Mealtimes – Eating Outdoors in the Summer

Summer is a great time to let little ones get a little bit messier

fathers day craft
5 Fun Father’s Day Craft Ideas

Father’s Day is coming up soon – on June 16th this year.  Here are

10 Tips For Happy Weaning

There is sooo much information available now for weaning little ones – it can

easter tree
Easter Craft Ideas for Little Ones

Hot on the heels of Mother’s Day, comes Easter – another great opportunity for

Mother's Day heart print
Mother’s Day Craft Ideas

Mother’s Day is fast approaching (next weekend Dads!)… One thing that always goes down

messy me messy eating
Getting started with weaning – the different approaches explained

Like every aspect of raising a child, there are different ways to approach weaning.

pancakes
Ideas for Pancake Day fun

I love Pancake Day – I have very happy memories of it as a

cooking with toddlers baking box
Cooking with Toddlers – 10 Fun and EASY Ideas

Cooking with toddlers can be fun.  It can also be stressful, chaotic and very

Valentine’s Day Crafts

Looking for some Valentine’s Day craft and baking inspiration for toddlers? Here’s our round up

choosing high chair
High Chairs – our tips for choosing the right one for you

There are hundreds of different high chairs available for weaning nowadays – with so

navy mat
Craft & Baking Ideas for Toddlers – January

January can be a difficult month with toddlers – the cold, short days make

ikea cushion and mat
Weaning little ones over Christmas

Whether you’re at home or away visiting friends and family, here are a few

Autumn Messy Play Ideas

It’s a beautiful, crisp, sunny autumnal day here at Messy Me HQ, which has

small business happy dance
My highs and lows of running a business

There are many mums out there successfully running their own businesses around their families.

picnic mat
9 ideas for summer fun with toddlers

We’ve had some gorgeous sunny days here at  Messy Me HQ, which has inspired

fathers day
Father’s Day Craft Inspiration with Messy Me

Father’s Day is coming up soon – on Sunday June 17th… Surprise Dad this Father’s

outdoor play mat
10 uses for our Messy Mats

A recent testimonial about our Messy Mats said “You don’t need to use the mat

navy mat baking
Our 9 Tips and Tricks for Happy Cooking with Kids

Cooking with Kids – Part II Last week, we talked about all the benefits of

tunic bib and oilcloth by the metre
Home Made Easter Cards Ideas

With Easter fast approaching, we thought we’d share some ideas for home made Easter

Mother's Day craft
Mother’s Day Craft Ideas with Messy Me

Mother’s Day is fast approaching – often sending Dads and Husbands into a panic

Valentine’s Day Biscuits

Here’s a lovely recipe for delicious biscuits – with a Valentine’s Day theme –

tunic bib
Making pizzas with little ones

Pizza Fun with Messy MeIt’s National Pizza Day on Friday – which sounds like

ikea cushion insert
Why we love our new Mini Cushions for the Ikea Antilop

Our new Mini Cushion Inserts – designed for the Ikea Antilop are the most

ikea antilop cushion pastel roses
Common Weaning Myths

There is so much conflicting advice about weaning nowadays – so many different sources

navy oilcloth by the metre christmas
5 ways Messy Me can help this Christmas

Whilst Christmas with little ones can be a magical time – watching their little

Our Top Ten Items for Easy Weaning

Starting the weaning journey can be a daunting process – with so many different

Messy Trays & Sensory Boxes – Why We Love Them & Lots of Ideas

Here at Messy Me, we know how important it is to let little ones

Messy Play Ideas for Rainy Days

We don’t need convincing that mess is lots of fun and so important for

sweetcorn
Seasonal Superfoods for Summer

Eating foods with are seasonally available is a great way to get the nutrients

Messy Summer Outdoor Fun

We love mess!  In fact, we firmly believe that more mess equals more fun

grey oilcloth
Five reasons why our Oilcloth makes a great tablecloth

One of the things I love about summer is the chances to eat outside

Rainy Day Ideas for Little Ones

Inspired by the rainy weather we’ve had here over half term, we’ve come up

Five things we love about our new High Chair Inserts

We’re really excited about our new High Chair Inserts which have arrived and are

Removing Stains from Oilcloth

What’s the best way to get rid of stains on oilcloth is a question

prima baby awards logo
High Chair Cushions & Clutch Bags shortlisted by Prima Baby Awards

prima baby awards logo We are thrilled that both our High Chair Cushions and Clutch

Sugar and Sugary Snacks for Little Ones

With sugar and sugary drinks featuring in the news so much this week, here

baby led weaning
Baby Led Weaning – Staying Relaxed in the Early Months

I have recently listened to a really great podcast interview with Tracey Murkett, co-author

mealtime mess
Managing the Mess at Mealtimes

Allowing children to be messy at mealtimes can send a shiver through even the

autumn leaves
Boosting your child’s immunity this Autumn

At this time of year – as the nights start drawing in, the days