After a late night reading stacks and stacks of books during our “sleepover,” my grandson and I were up early and in the kitchen to start our day, making and doing. Brayden, who is four years old, climbed on his special kitchen stool, while I got out the ingredients. Making breakfast quiche was going to be a great opportunity to measure, pour, mix and roll, all things that would thoroughly engage a curious preschooler. This multisensory activity is one that I often engaged my own children in as they grew, knowing the benefits go far beyond just having fun.
I watched as Brayden cracked the eggs into a bowl and piled up the shells. I measured and he poured the milk and spices. He did lots of stirring. I chopped the cheeses into tiny pieces as my young helper scooped up pile after pile to put in the bowl. More stirring. Finally, his little hand shook the salt and pepper shaker until Grandma said “Stop!”
Next, Brayden helped roll out the pie crust (a refrigerated crust, rolled thinner), enjoying the weight of the wooden rolling pin. He knew this was real, not Playdough. When the quiche was ready for the oven we set the timer and learned about WAITING.
Cooking is a hands-on, multisensory activity that contributes to the family, but also a way to reinforce language, science, math and reasoning skills. The earlier and more often we invite our children into the kitchen, the more ways we enhance and expand their learning. While there are no gourmet chefs in our family, we’ve spent many, many years measuring, cooking and baking together. As adults, we all still enjoy our time in the kitchen, and I am thankful our kids have grown up with some level of kitchen competency!