Monday, April 25, 2011

Guest Post: The Mommy Teacher

Hi Meal Planning Mommies!  My name is Jessica also known as The Mommy Teacher.  The Mommy Teacher is a blog that teaches parents about their child's development, one activity at a time. It is a free, online resource for moms and dads of young children to work with their kids each day in a FUN and meaningful way. 
I love to cook and keep a meal plan too, but my area of expertise is teaching parents of young kids how to extend their little one’s learning.  Cooking with children is one way to do that; it can be extremely beneficial in so many areas:  teaching measurement concepts, allowing for science exploration, reading & writing recipes, developing life skills, and more.

Maybe you already cook with your children, but I have a couple suggestions to pack this experience full of learning opportunities.
Before starting, read a book like “The Little Red Hen” “Pete’s a Pizza” or another book that prepares your little one for the process and purpose of cooking or baking in a fun and meaningful way.
First, write out the recipe WITH your little one on a large piece of paper, and then read each ingredient as you pull it out.  Ask them questions and give them clues “What ingredient do you think starts with the sound /m/?” (milk!) This will give you a chance to model reading and writing for your little one.

Next, measure each ingredient WITH your little one so that they have the chance to experience measuring for accuracy and to observe large and small amounts and they will naturally observe science in action as dough rises and ingredients mix together, etc.
Finally, let your little one take on as much ownership as you are willing to share: stirring, spreading, sprinkling, watching the timer, or whatever your recipe calls for.

Jessica Cook, The Mommy Teacher

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