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Mess and Mayham: Why We Cook with Preschoolers

Parents everywhere understand the amazing amount of mess any young child can and, let’s face it, WILL make when we turn our heads for mere seconds. In a room where there are large portions of powdery, sticky, crumbly, and sharp materials, why would we ever attempt to even let them in the kitchen in the first place?!

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Two words: BRAIN DEVELOPMENT. It may be difficult to set aside our deep, dark, grown up frustrations for a moment and ignore the flour on the floor while we consider this information fully. Alas, we will because those little ones are the most important treasures in our lives.

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Cooking brings together so many of the real-life experiences our precious preschoolers need to make new brain connections.  Before you think this is a one and done deal—it’s not. Repeated exposure to these real-life experiences will strengthen those connections to be lasting for use in later life.

Let’s get into the batter of the matter. What are creating in the kitchen besides neurons and a headache?

-Reasoning skills (how, what, and why?)

-An ability to follow directions

-Sensory input (textures, smells, tastes,    etc.)

-Relating cooking experience and family meals with love

-Major and minor muscle strength, dexterity, and motions

-Culture and traditions

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So, remember, as you are wiping jelly off your face and wondering if there could possibility be more mess, it is worth it!