Your kitchen – a natural classroom!
My amazing editor, Dana, sent this link to me: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-07-18/childrens-literacy-study-links-hearing-words-to-reading-ability/8697138
There are two amazing articles in there, but for today, we are going to talk about this article – From the classroom to the kitchen
I am all for building relationships with your children from everyday interactions, in particular involving them in the kitchen. Your KITCHEN is a powerful tool to not only to connect with your children, but to share your favourite dishes with them. This way you are sharing your culture and traditions, while also encouraging them to learn new things, such as learning a new dish, learning how to use various types of kitchen utensils, and even learning new ingredients for the dishes.
Let’s elaborate a little…
Sharing your culture and traditions
When you share your favourite childhood dishes with your children, you are sharing a part of who you are with them. You are sharing your story, your childhood, and a part that your children may never understand.
I was talking about “rojak” (Malaysian mixed fruit salad – another blog) to my children. I shared with them how we saved up our pocket money and indulged in this amazing “feast” from a roadside stall outside our school.
We would rush out of the school gate and queue next to a roadside stall, ordering rojak, or just a piece of “bang kuang”, or yam bean in English, and layered with rojak sauce. After that we would walk home together, talking and savouring the rojak.
This little highlight of our childhood days really opens up my children’s world to my history. This is something that both my husband and I can relate to and share with my children – thus this bridges the cultural gaps between yourself and your children.
Bridge Generational Gaps
When you invite your children to your kitchen, you are making time and space to open up the path for connections.
When you are busy, you hardly have much time, let along the mind space to connect and bond with your children, apart from family holidays together at the end of the year.
However, if you use the opportunity from your daily cooking schedule, invite them to help you, like washing vegetables, chopping up vegetables or meat (for older kids) or even contributing a dish or two for the dinner table, wouldn’t that be amazing?
They are having fun with you, together, and through these FUN time, they feel relaxed and connected with you… this is when the magic happens! You are actually creating the path way for communication to flow.
There are so many things children can learn from cooking and being involved in the kitchen. If you have been following Masterchef Australia, you would be exposed to so many new things every episode, i.e.
- Ingredients – white / red meat, protein, diary, poultry, seafood, vegetables, fruits etc
- Different types of dishes – hot and spicy dishes, soup, roast meat, curry dishes etc
- Cooking techniques – roast, pan fry, deep fry, steam, oven baked etc
- Kitchen appliances and how to use them
- New vocabularies and names of different dishes, learning to read recipes
- Learn about maths – learning measurements from recipes and actually measuring them
There are so many things children can learn from cooking and spending time in the kitchen with you – seriously.
Refer to this blog post I wrote few years ago – What children can learn from cooking.
Let’s start today – make time to connect with your children through your kitchen and have FUN with them!