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If you are looking for some inspiration on all things cooking, look no further! I have an unmeasurable passion for combining speech and language skills with cooking activities. The positive impact from using cooking activities in your speech sessions, home, and/or kitchen are likely to blow your mind.
Let’s take a moment to review some (but not all) of the Benefits of Using Cooking Activities With Kids:
- Language Skills & Development
- Strengthening Fine Motor Skills
- Engages & Motivates Kids
- Sensory Experience (Hands-on learning)
- Cognitive Development such as higher-level thinking
While these are just 5 of the 10 listed in the blog post linked above, they are incredibly important for all children to focus on no matter what developmental age they are currently at! I imagine you are wondering how this relates to the topic of time.
Your time is precious. With 1,440 minutes in the day, every single one should be spent with people and doing activities that bring you joy. The thought of planning, prepping, and executing a cooking activity may seem daunting to both professionals (SLPs, teachers, etc.) and parents. I have compiled 3 noteworthy tips to save you time (and stress) for your next cooking activity.
Cooking with kids can be a fun and educational activity, but it can also take a bit longer than cooking alone. Here are three time-saving tips to make cooking with kids easier and more efficient:
PREPARE INGREDIENTS AHEAD OF TIME
Take some time before cooking with kids to chop vegetables, measure out ingredients, and get everything organized. This will save time and prevent kids from getting bored while waiting for you to prepare each ingredient. A reminder that children’s attention span sometimes isn't as great as an adults, therefore; being entertained and engaged during a structured activity like this is key for success.
USE SIMPLE RECIPES
Choose recipes that are easy to follow and don't require a lot of prep time. Simple recipes like sandwiches, pizzas, or snack mixes are perfect for cooking with kids and will save you time in the long run. No-cook recipes are perfect for kids, such as: S'mores on a Stick, "Dirt" Cups, No-Bake Granola Bites (all 3 of those recipes are in the Visual Recipe Cards) . No-cook recipes do not require appliances like the stovetop or oven; therefore, these activities are safer and involve less steps than traditional cooked or baked recipes!
TEAMWORK MAKES A DREAM WORK. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your kids and encourage them to work together. For example, one child can chop vegetables while another mixes the ingredients. This will help save time and teach kids valuable teamwork skills. Having children socialize while working together is an important skill that will be targeted subconsciously.
Remember, cooking with kids is all about having fun and learning, so don't worry too much about the time it takes. Enjoy the process and the memories you'll create with your little ones! Use the three tips covered above to take the stress of the planning out & make your cooking activity the highlight of the day.
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