Cooking and baking games can be greatly beneficial to your child – not only do they help get your little ones involved in what they eat, but they also help develop skills like following instructions, reading, and using numbers. Creating their own recipe book will give your little ones a sense of achievement, and it will help them recreate these dishes in the future.
Although this activity can take some preparation, it is worthwhile. There are many great free resources online where you can find easy cooking recipes for kids that you can adapt for your situation or event. Look for recipes with simple steps that are listed or bullet-pointed, as this can make the instructions clearer for you child.
Once you’ve selected your recipe – for example, fairy cakes – print out the recipe in a large font (easy for kids to read!) as well as images of each of the ingredients that your child will recognise (like, the brand of milk or flour that you use). Cut out each of the steps for your recipe, the list of ingredients, and your images of your ingredients.
At the top of your recipe, write the name of the recipe – perhaps have your child write this? Then, get your child to match up the images of the ingredients with the words and measurements. Stick these matched pairs on your piece of paper so that your new list of ingredients is visual as well as written. After this you can move onto the instructions on how to make your recipe. Here, it can be good to discuss each step with your child so that you can make sure your little one understands the process. For example, when it says to “pre-heat the oven”, that means that you turn the oven on so that it is hot for your fairy cakes to go in.
If you don’t have access to a printer, then work with your child to re-write the steps of the recipe so that they can understand them. Sometimes re-writing it can prove more beneficial, as it will mean that the instructions are easier for your child to understand – you’ll be surprised by how complex the language in recipes can be! For older children, this can be an exercise in itself and can be done alone.
Another nice touch, if you have the time and a camera, is to photograph each step of the recipe. This strategy can be seen in many online cookery blogs, and these photographs can make it easier to follow instructions. You could take a photo of your child doing each step and a final photo of your little one with the end result.
A child’s own recipe book can really make your son or daughter proud of his or her cooking achievements, and it also will be nice to keep as you grow older!