by Brenda NixonDid you know that cooking with kids helps develop their fine motor and language skills, and their understanding of math and physics? Yep! When children cook they
- use their hand, wrist and finger muscles;
- hear words not used in ordinary conversation;
- learn fractions and counting; and
- watch what happens when foods bake or chill.
I have more fond memories than I can count baking with my grandma. She allowed my creative love for messin' in the kitchen to bloom. Mom also encouraged my cooking skills (but, you know how moms always want you to clean up, but grandmas don't care). Grandma would often just sit at the table and watch me, answering my questions and chattering. She always made me feel like whatever I did was right. Kids need an admirer at times.
During these fun-filled holidays, keep your kids in the kitchen! You may be amazed how much they learn during "play." Plus, you'll grow memories to look back on. There are more tips and ideas for being a great parent (or grandparent) in my newest book, The Birth to Five Book: Confident Childrearing Right From the Start (Revell), available in all bookstores.
For more recipes that you might want to try with your kids, see A Scrapbook of Christmas Firsts. This may be your first year to bake something together.