I’d like us to consider how “Culinary and Literary Arts Connect.” Early in my career as a speech and language therapist, I recognized that children who are immersed in a variety of language and literacy experiences developed strong reading, language and social skills. These children develop a love for stories and storytelling, and they become competent language users and storytellers. This storytelling can increase the child’s imagination and creativity. Research supports that they also become confident speakers, readers and writers. These stories can be personalized and incorporated into real-life experiences such as cooking, gardening, arts and crafts, and physical activities.
Reading, literature and music are natural extensions into cooking activities. The use of books, songs and poems that focus on foods are easily introduced, and children enjoy the integration of interactive learning opportunities. The children learn skills while cooking without realizing that they are learning. Learning to read recipes helps children follow written directions or follow the sequence of pictures and words. They learn to read for understanding, as well as reading left – right directionality.
There are a few unexpected benefits of learning and cooking that you may find interesting, such as children learning how food contributes to their health and well-being. They are able to experiment with food and may try foods that they have avoided in the past. Cooking is a survival skill for boys and girls. Food preparation and cooking is a fun learning experience. Children learn about science, mathematics and their vocabulary skills increase. They learn about good nutrition and cultural preferences.
As tasks are completed, they feel a sense of accomplishment, especially at clean-up time.