Believe it or not, cooking can provide a wealth of educational experiences for your child and you are in the ideal position to be the teacher. As well as teaching important educational skills it will give you the opportunity to get closer to your child. Whatever their age, everybody loves to eat a home cooked treat.

Keep it simple and stress free so that both you and your child share an enjoyable experience. If you are planning to make something you had intended for dinner then it’s not going to cost you any more than the price of the ingredients you had planned for that budgeted meal. Cooking together will give you the chance to teach your child about nutrition and healthy eating, a subject which appears on the school curriculum even in grade school.

Make it fun. Make it fun. Make it fun. Research recipes together by looking through recipe books or checking out ideas online (there’s an opportunity here to teach computer skills too!) and decide what wonderful creation you will make together. This is part of the Design and Technology and also the Food Technology studies learned at school. Get your child ahead of the rest of the class by being familiar with the terms and utensils you need to use.

Let your child help weigh out and measure ingredients and talk about how much you will need and how many portions it will make. All this counting and discussing fractions and using scales or cups will also help with their Math. Talk about the Science too. Talk about Science? Well, cooking is an ideal medium for demonstrating a change in the state of matter. What? Uh huh, bread once its been toasted can’t turn back to bread (a permanent change) but water can become ice (liquid to solid) and ice can melt back to water (liquid to solid) showing a temporary change in the state of matter. What can chocolate do? Wow! Why do we cook things and store things at different temperatures?

Have fun washing up too, enjoy the bubbles, and encourage their imagination about what they see in the shapes of the froth or lather. Make soap beards and have a ball. Giggle together and make up songs about what you have made. Create the ‘clean-up rap’ and take turns to freestyle with the words.

Take photographs (digital or film) to record the proceedings and to have evidence of the goodies before they are all eaten. They could create an album of recipes from the snaps with a little note to accompany them as a diary record for posterity. This would be very easily done in a document on your computer that could update with your digital images. It might even be able to be used as part of a school project later on.

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