Parents spend a lot of time trying to get their kids to clean up or to avoid making a mess in the first place. But according to parenting expert, Kathy Buckworth, getting messy with kids – particularly in the kitchen – is good for them. Not only does it provide valuable time together, it can also teach them about basic math and science, cleaning habits and nutrition.
Here are three benefits of messy cooking for kids:
1. Learning through play: Baking and cooking are fun ways to teach kids about science and math. From basic counting and weighing to showing how ingredients like baking soda and vinegar combine to create explosive messes, cooking is an interactive and engaging activity.
2. Cleaning habits: Encourage kids to explore touching and tasting food to be open to different things, but also show them the importance of food hygiene and clean hands. Cooking can be a great way to demonstrate teamwork for everything, from creating a clean prep surface to having fun while cleaning up. To make it easier, simply fill the sink with warm water and a few drops of Palmolive dish soap and allow dirty dishes to soak as you cook up culinary magic.
3. Doing the body good: Cooking dinner together is a great opportunity to explore fun and nutritious menu options. As you’re cooking, talk about the ingredients, their origins and health benefits. Even better, take the opportunity to add in new vegetables to old favourites and show kids the importance of balanced diets that include a healthy mix of fruits, veggies and grains.