Sunday, December 23, 2012

Make Learning Part of Your Child’s Holiday Cooking Experience

Today, I have a guest blogger, Kellie from StudyDog.  She wrote an excellent article for me using cooking as a learning tool for your children.  Be sure to click on the hyperlink and give Kellie and StudyDog some love! 


Make Learning Part of Your Child’s Holiday Cooking

It’s no secret that many kids love to help out in the kitchen and with the holiday cooking season at its peak, now is an ideal time to get some extra help from your children. While they are helping out, cooking also presents opportunities to sneak in lessons in reading, math and science.

Photo Credit: Eric Delcroix

“Cooking creates a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time with your children and may also help them keep up with some of their academic skills during the holiday break with a variety of school subjects being used,” said Deme Clainos, a spokesman for StudyDog, an interactive reading program geared toward elementary students. “The recipes you make together may even become part of your regular holiday traditions in the years to come.”

Before you start cooking, take time to read through the list of ingredients and instructions together. For those just learning to read, spend time letting kids sound out new words and have them repeat the word a few times. Challenge more advanced readers by having them spell different words from the recipe.

The recipe might include some new words and technical terms your children may have not heard before. As you proceed, answer their questions and help them gain even stronger reading comprehension as they see the new vocabulary words in action. Some new terms might include glaze, fold, zest and whisk.

Photo Credit: qwrrty Foter
Keep kids engaged in the process by assigning tasks that you know they can handle like measuring, stirring, mixing and seasoning. Have helpers stand on chairs or stools so they can see what you are doing. Ask and answer lots of questions about the process and ingredients.

Cooking also offers opportunities to build math, science and problem-solving skills. From counting the different ingredients, to more advanced math skills like division, multiplication and fractions, mathematics can be integrated into your child’s cooking experience at a level kids are comfortable with. Science comes into play when answering questions about how different ingredients like yeast or baking soda affect the final product.

Cooking also teaches kids how to work as a team, and communicate and share with each other.

Photo Credit: Matthew Oliphant
There are a number of books available that teach children about cooking and include several kid-friendly recipes. Some are even dedicated to teaching math and science lessons as you cook. A few recommendations include “The Kid’s Cookbook: A Great Book for Kids Who Love to Cook!” by Abigail Johnson Dodge, “Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds,” by Ann McCallum, “Betty Crocker’s Kids Cook!” and “Science Experiments You Can Eat,” by Vicki Cobb.

What recipes do you plan to make with your children this holiday season? 

During December StudyDog is offering a special $10 discount for a one-year subscription. For more information, visit Use the promo code SDL1L65.

Thanks for hoppin' by Hopkins' Hoppin' Happenings.  Keep on smiling!


  1. Love it! Since we don't have access to an oven in my class, I teach liquid measurement by making fruit punch recipes. Cooking is so motivating for kids :)

    1. Thanks Amber! I don't think most of us have an oven, but you could send home the ideas for their parents to do with them at home. :-)


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