Cooking School: Learning in the Kitchen

While you're stirring up soup or making a batch of cookies, let the little ones into the kitchen for some tasty, hands-on learning.

Kitchen as Classroom

children cooking with mom

Lucy Schaeffer

Having a pint-size sous chef "helping" you in the kitchen while you're racing to get dinner on the table isn't, at first blush, the greatest idea of all time. But your kid will love it, and with a little planning so will you. Will things get messy? Probably. But you'll be building a foundation for knowledge that will last long after the splatters are wiped away. "Young kids get so much out of being in the kitchen," explains Mollie Katzen, coauthor of the preschool cookbook Pretend Soup. "They develop dexterity through activities like kneading dough and cracking eggs. And they also get an educational boost in areas such as science, math, and language." So break out the aprons and let's get cooking!

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