Recipe books and cooking experiences are fantastic for demonstrating to young children important pre-reading (and early mathematics) concepts, like actively engaging them with an understanding that literacy is meaningful and useful to everyday life and introducing new vocabulary – action words like stirring, mixing and baking, and measurment terms.
Here are a few tips for introducing recipe books as one form of literacy to your child;
The most obvious way to introduce a recipe book to your child is to use one during a cooking experience involving them. Choose a simple recipe which allows for your child to be involved in measuring ingredients and simple processes like cutting, stirring and pouring. As you refer to the recipe, read the instructions for each step aloud before assisting your child to undertake the process(es) involved.
Immy is also aware that I use recipes which I find online and we often take the laptop into the kitchen or dining room when we are cooking and use it in the same way we would a recipe book.
Strew a few recipe books or food magazines in your child’s home corner play kitchen, book basket or bookshelf.
Create an invitation to play by setting out a recipe book, child sized apron, mixing bowl, measuring cups, spoon and whisk for play. See how SquiggleMum takes this one type of play one step further in her post, Playing With Recipes.
Add a blank recipe book to your child’s drawing/writing area or make your own together using pictures cut from magazines. Make up the list of ingredients and instructions together with your child, writing down their responses for them.
- Ten Easy Things to Cook with Kids
- Kids in the Kitchen
- From Fusspot to Foodie: Broadening Your Toddler’s Nutritional Horizons
- Fun Tips for Encouraging Children to Eat Vegetables