This year the students from the Downtown Campus at Rowntree Montessori Schools had the opportunity to participate in weekly cooking activities. Experts suggest that cooking, whether independently or with a friend, can help a child develop valuable skills. In addition, cooking can provide learning experiences and build great memories. For a Kindergarten Montessori (Junior Kindergarten) student, cooking can sharpen fine-motor skills through stirring, whisking and rolling. As a student’s vocabulary develops, he or she can refine his or her communication and early math skills by reading about ingredients and preparing measurements.
As our students age, teaching them basic safety in the kitchen while they learn to work with a team, builds leadership, collaboration, and self-confidence. These benefits can continue past childhood, as students learn to prepare multiple types of nutritious food dishes, and learning about how to make health conscious decisions. Learning about food preparation requires more than just cooking skills; it involves science, math, reading and teaches life skills.
Recently our students were excited when they found out that they would be cooking and baking things beyond their traditional “kid foods.” They learned how to prepare yogurt parfaits, waffles, pizzas and cupcakes from scratch. This was an exciting challenge and a new experience for most involved. Students instantly became interested in trying new foods. Their positive attitude and interest had the older students searching for cookbooks, and excited to talk about what they prepared at home.
Cooking class is a place where students, who may not always excel in traditional extracurricular activities like sports or art classes, may find success and a sense of belonging. Their creative personalities really shine during cooking class. This is a place for students to keep busy, release energy and stay engaged. They listen, follow the rules and participate because the end result of a prepared meal or dish! Click here for some child approved healthy recipes you can make with your child at home.