Little Cooks

We are very excited to have a number of projects running over the summer term, one of which is “Mini Cooks” this will be lead by Dawn’s good friend Ashley alongside a member of KCC staff.

Whilst we don’t have cooking facilities on site the OGS has kindly allowed us to use their kitchen facilities to allow this group to go ahead and to introduce the children to cooking and it’s many benefits.

The children will take part in Mini Cooks over at the OGS on a Wednesday starting the week following May half term, it will be the same group of children each week for consistency.

Ashley is from a Chef background and is a scout leader within the local community, he also runs a very popular Facebook page called “kitchen cupboard cookbook”, Ashley is DBS checked and is looking forward to starting this project and sharing his passion for cooking with the children.

It is never too early to get children helping out in the kitchen, we know a number of our parents get children involved in food preparation. Although it requires time, a lot of patience, understanding the end result may not be perfect and some extra clean-up, the benefits of cooking far outweigh a bit of extra cleaning.

Cooking can help young children learn and gain so many vital skills in a fun and exciting way:

Basic maths skills

Measuring and combining ingredients, altering recipes, and increasing or reducing recipe amounts to make smaller or larger quantities  are all excellent real life applications of mathematics.

Builds literacy and language skills

Reading a recipe aloud together allows children to learn new words and add them to their everyday vocabulary. Following a recipe encourages listening skills and comprehension. Children will learn the meaning of words like whip, beat, combine, sift, measure, knead that they otherwise may not hear or use.

Encourages children to try new foods

Introducing children to food preparation and cooking can help get them to open up to new tastes. They are more likely to willingly try new foods if they were the ones who helped to prepare it. Were not promising anything, but it’s certainly worth a shot.

The experience of creating meals or trying out new recipes can help lay the foundation for lifelong healthy eating habits.

Promotes cooperation and sharing

When cooking with a group of children it provides a wonderful opportunity to practice sharing, turn taking and cooperation. Taking turns mixing, pouring and sharing tools are all good examples of implementing this skill while cooking.

A sensory experience

Children learn by exploring with their senses and the kitchen is an ideal place to do that. They can listen to different sounds – eggs cracking, milk splashing, the whir of the mixer. They can pound dough, watch cupcakes rise, experience all the delicious smells as their bakes cook in the oven, and finally taste what they have made

Science in action

When you think about it cooking really is a science! What happens when you heat up butter? What happens when you add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients? What happens when cupcakes begin to cook? Cooking allows children to explore many fascinating interactions between different substances.

Builds children’s coordination and fine motor skills

Pouring, scooping, measuring, mixing these are all great ways for your children to work on their fine motor skills which in turn get them ready for writing.

Discuss risks in the kitchen and how to navigate them

We cant eliminate all risks for our children but we can provide them with the knowledge and skills to safely navigate risks they may come across in life from an early age. Children will benefit so much from learning about the risks in a kitchen, which of these risks they are ready to handle, and how to handle them safely.

Kitchen hygiene

Cooking is a great way to show children real life examples of why we need to practice good hygiene and talk about what might happen if we don’t.

A time to teach children to clean up messes in the kitchen after cooking

Cooking with children can be extremely messy. We can take this opportunity to show the children the importance of cleaning up after cooking. Showing them the steps to take to clean up – disposing of any scraps in our composter and disposing of rubbish in the appropriate bins, talking about putting all unused ingredients away where they belong, they can help with washing dishes and wiping tables.


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