Our childcare centres in Perth live by the motto “learning through play.” One of the most common questions we get from parents is “How can we help our child learn while playing at home?” The best way is to have your child do something with you that helps them learn. Children idolise and imitate their parents when they are young and are happy to do whatever they are doing at the time.
At Cuddles Childcare Centres, we have a program called Shake ‘n’ Bake. Your children get to help cook food and eat it afterwards. They have so much fun and learn so much that we recommend it as one of the best ways to help your child learn while playing at home. Here’s why it works so well.
If you are spending time doing anything with your child, it is quality time. This is time when a child gets to bond with their parents, or if they are at Cuddles, they get to spend time with their educator and feel like they are part of something that is part of the bigger, adult world.
Similar to art projects, when your child gets to cook something and eat it themselves, they feel an incredible sense of pride, increasing their self esteem.
They Will Eat Different Foods
If a child helps cook a meal, they will be more likely to eat the food in it, even if it is one that they previously “hated.” They don’t always decide to eat it or even try it. But they might.
Develops Math Skills
Cooking teaches counting (2 cups water). It teaches fractions (¼ cup water). It teaches geometry (4 x 6 baking pan). It also teaches temperatures (what is the boiling point of water?).
Develops Reading Skills
Encouraging your child to read the recipe is a great way to help them learn. To execute a recipe, one must follow step by step instructions until the end.
Some of the basic reactions of cooking teach chemistry. Elementary chemistry, yes, but then again great for a young child.
Origins of Food/Nutrition
Your child learns what fruits are, what meats are, what potatoes are, etc. They learn where food comes from through natural curiosity. They also learn how a food is made. For example, spaghetti has sauce, pasta and usually some kind of meat and cheese. Making bread with a child is very educational and eye-opening.
Children learn what countries foods are from. You can teach them the difference between Asian and Italian cuisine. There are all sorts of cultural lessons to be learned in the kitchen. And your children don’t even know they are being “educated.”
They also learn a lifelong skill: cooking. This is valuable for when they are on their own. It can save them a lot of money and make them quite popular during their college years. All because of a mindset and skill set they started learning as toddlers.
If you are so inclined, you can start your child onto the path of having a healthy diet by having them help you cook healthy foods. For example, they can help you make salads, fruit salad with yoghurt, healthy breads and muffins, roasted vegetables and mashed sweet potatoes.
Most of all, you want to have as much fun as possible in the kitchen with your child. Remember that the object is for the child to learn because they want to. If they are having fun, they will want to learn anything you have to teach them. Cooking with your child can help develop an inseparable bond that will increase as you get older.
Call Cuddles Childcare Centres
To provide your child with one of the best preschool learning experiences they could ever have, call one of our Cuddles Childcare Centres in the Perth area. We provide plenty of opportunities for your child to learn while playing, whether in groups or alone. Give your child a head start in school without the drudgery associated with the standard educational process.