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At Kingsgate:
We don’t just cook to eat. (Well sort of…)
We don’t just cook to have fun (Well sort of…)
We learn about so many things!!

Cooking is not only a fun, engaging activity for children, but one that has been used for years as an important teaching and development tool for all ages.

In particular:

  1. Social-Emotional Development
    Hands-on cooking activities help children develop pride and confidence in their skills and abilities. The act of following a recipe can encourage self-direction and independence, while also teaching children to follow directions and use thinking skills to problem solve.
  2. Physical Development
    Chopping, squeezing, spreading, and mixing are all cooking skills that help develop achild’s small muscle control and eye-hand coordination. It’s impossible to separate hands-on cooking activities from physical development for young children.
  3. Cognitive Development
    Cooking inspires children’s curiosity, thinking, and problem solving, offering newopportunities to make predictions and observations. Additionally, cooking offers authentic opportunities for students to understand and apply their knowledge of measuring, one-to-one correspondence, numbers, and counting. As they follow a recipe, children organize ingredients, follow a sequence, and carry out multiple directions.
  4. Language Development
    With its own vocabulary, cooking is a great opportunity for language development. Take advantage of opportunities for children to match pictures to words and articulate questions inspired by their new experiences.

How does cooking apply to learning traditional subjects?


  • Number concepts
  • One-to-one correspondence
  • Simple addition
  • Patterning (layered salads, kabobs)
  • Measurement
  • Data collection, organization, and representation (voting on who wants a particular recipe or ingredient)
  • Simple fractions (half, whole, quarter)


  • Drawing/painting fresh seasonal products
  • Pictorial recipes
  • Edible


  • Life science (growing food in the garden)
  • Physical science investigation (changing forms – liquids, solids, gases)
  • Making predictions and observations

Social Studies

  • Share family recipes
  • Discover the important role of farmers incommunities


  • Vocabulary and language development
  • Children’s literature
  • Recipe cards

How old can children start and what can they do?

Two-year-olds are learning to use the large muscles in their arms. Try activities such as:

  • scrubbing vegetables and fruits
  • carrying unbreakable items to the table
  • dipping foods
  • washing and tearing lettuce and salad greens
  • breaking bread into pieces

Three-year-olds are learning to use their hands. Try activities such as:

  • pouring liquids into batter (you measure first)
  • mixing batter or other dry and wet ingredients together
  • shaking a drink in a closed container
  • spreading butters or spreads
  • kneading dough
  • washing vegetables and fruit
  • serving foods
  • putting things in the trash after cooking or after a meal

Four and five-year-olds are learning to control small muscles in their fingers. Try activities such as:

  • juicing oranges, lemons, and limes
  • peeling some fruits and vegetables (bananas and even onions)
  • mashing soft fruits and vegetables
  • scrubbing vegetables (potatoes, mushrooms)
  • cutting soft foods with a plastic knife (mushrooms, hard-boiled eggs)
  • pressing cookie cutters
  • measuring dry ingredients
  • cracking open/breaking eggs
  • beating eggs with an egg beater
  • setting the table
  • wiping up after cooking
  • clearing the table after a meal

CEO and Education Expert, Greg Parry

Internationally renowned for his expertise in education leadership, Greg Parry’s vast experience includes leadership of projects for edu-cation institutions throughout Australia, the Middle East, the United States, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and China. Recognised for his numerous contributions in the education arena, Greg has received the Ministers Award for Excellence in School Leadership based on improvements in school performance and a range of successful principal training and leadership development programs, as well as the School of Excellence Award for Industry/School Partnerships and the School of Excellence Award for Technology Innovation. His company GSE (Global Services in Education) has been recognised as having the Best Global Brand in International Education 2015 and 2016.

Considered one of the premier experts in his profession, Greg has trained teachers and principals throughout the world in areas such as critical thinking, language development and leadership. His expertise in school start up projects, leadership and curriculum development, has made him a sought after authority in these disciplines. | | @KingsgateInternationalSchool