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Popcorn popping

We have heaps of learning projects planned throughout the coming year and the start of 2016 has already seen lots mini projects emerging.  One of these has been around cooking and creating in the kitchen.

Popcorn has been popping, pizzas created, fruit sliced and diced into salads and icecream made from scratch.  Luca organised a shared lunch for us and wrote a beautiful invitation illustrating her wonderfully developing literacy skills.

Cooking at kindergarten provides amazing learning opportunities.  Reading recipes, measuring and counting ingredients, as well as taking turns and developing relationships with others – some of the most important lifelong skills children can learn.

It’s the process not the product that matters!

One of the most important things to bear in mind when cooking with children at home or at kindergarten is that it’s the process that matters not the end-product.

By allowing children to cook, we are providing the opportunity for a rich learning experience. However, one of the pitfalls of cooking with children is the temptation for us to ‘help’ them too much.  Adult guidance and support is a key part of the experience and we can add so much. Keeping children safe, providing information, supporting turn taking and asking open-ended questions that encourage children to think about what they are doing – ‘What’s the next step?’ ‘How does that work?’

However if adults take over the cooking process – out of a well-meaning desire to help or driven by our own need to ‘get it right’ – we can take away from the learning and reduce the child’s belief that they can do it!  The cookies, muffins or pizza that are produced may not look ‘perfect’ but your child will feel very proud of what they have achieved.

Most importantly, when children are encouraged to do things for themselves, the experience builds their confidence in their own abilities and skills and helps them to develop the self-belief to tackle other new things in the future.