Food Play and Cooking – Playgroup
Cooking is a great playgroup activity for all ages! Share recipes from different cultures and family traditions. This is a great way to encourage children to try new flavours and textures, at the same time as learning about different cultures.
Did you know?
Cooking at playgroup is a great way for children to learn to follow instructions, work together, share, experiment and negotiate. These are all important skills to practise in preparing for school.
Working in a group provides conversation time. Making comments and responding to children helps build their language.
Following instructions helps children practise their comprehension skills.
Children at different stages of development are able to answer different types of questions. Toddlers may be able to answer simple questions that only need them to name things. As they get older they can answer questions that need them to compare things. By the time they are ready for school they can answer some questions that need more reasoning. Asking occasional questions, from simple to more complex, helps engage children at different stages of development i.e. “What is that?” “How are they different?” “What should we use?” “Why can’t we use …?”
Preparing food and eating together is an ideal way to develop social skills such as sharing and turn-taking. Sharing food from their own culture helps build the children’s sense of identity and belonging. This is important for their emotional development.
Babies will love watching and listening to older children. They will love chances to taste or feel ingredients.
Measuring ingredients and dividing up food to share helps children develop maths concepts. Talking about how things change when mixed together or cooked helps build early science understanding.
Cooking at playgroup doesn’t have to be difficult. You could try some simple food activities like making a sandwich or icing a biscuit.
Cooking is a great time to remind children about safety – being careful when things are hot or sharp.
Supervision is needed.
It is important to be aware of any food allergies when choosing cooking activities. See the Playgroup Manual (available on the PlaygroupWA website) for more information on allergies at playgroup.
Activities listed under “playgroup” are suitable for groups of children of various ages. They provide opportunities for early learning and social play.