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Literacy in the Kitchen

November 1, 2016

Simple ideas for increasing literacy experiences in the kitchen

Our family eats most meals at home, so we cook often. Very often, which means a lot of our time is spent in the kitchen. Yet, when I think of helping my son become a reader, my first thought includes books, a comfortable couch and a blanket. Not necessarily pots and pans.

But the fact remains that impacting a child’s pre-literacy skills isn't limited to reading on a couch. Some of the most meaningful moments in helping a child become a reader happen in small pockets throughout the day, often in and around a daily routine.

So here are a few great, very simple ways to include your child in the kitchen routine while feeding their growing mind.

Remember, keep it simple and make it fun.

  • Look or scroll through your list of recipes, giving your child the chance to pick the main/side dish
  • Read the ingredients list together
  • Gather all the ingredients by package recognition and/or reading labels
  • Measure the spices together (pointing out the different abbreviations used in measurements)
  • As you’re preparing the feast, have conversations that include common language used in and around the kitchen (e.g., preheat, whisk, roast, tenderize, mince, marinate, caramelize, etc.)
  • Set a timer to keep track of the cooking time (pointing out which column indicates hours, minutes and seconds)

For more ideas related to learning in the kitchen, check out our previous blog posts Cookbooks for Children and The Kitchen as a Learning Zone:Toddlers