Last week I offered children the opportunity to engage in process cooking.
Process cooking is when children follow a recipe using a process of step-by-step instructions to create their own individual portion of food. On the menu this week ...scones!
Process cooking benefits children in so many ways: physically, socially, emotionally, and intellectually (Wairarapa REAP, 2014).
Children develop their awareness and skills in literacy and maths as they write their name on their baking paper, as they 'read' each step of the recipe, and as they measure and count the ingredients.
Children develop socially as they work alongside others, watching what other children are doing, as they wait for a turn to make a scone, and as the more experienced scone-makers offer help to their friends.
Children develop emotionally as they increase their confidence through their increased independence and achievements in making a scone by themselves.
Children develop physically by using small muscle control to stir, pinch, and pour, as well as using their senses to observe, taste, feel, and smell.
“It smells nice” said Ella-Breeze.
“It feels smushy on my fingers” said Georgia.
Most of us are all well aware that sometimes things don’t turn out the way we planned when we’re working in the kitchen, and the same can be said for the children. While making a scone was a learning opportunity for all of the children, for some of the children there were additional learning opportunities.
Some children learned that when you didn’t follow the recipe the scones were “too spicy” (salty), that other scones didn’t colour up during the baking process, and other scones spread out instead of rising up. This enabled and encouraged opportunities to reflect with children on the scone-making process.
I wondered with Georgia about why her scone looked like a large cookie? After some thought Georgia replied “I know… I put too much stuff in, ...I put too much white stuff (milk) in.”
Hancock (2006) states"The more actively involved children are in the cooking process, the more they learn from it. The independence of process cooking maximises the learning opportunities for each child"