The Benefits of Time in the Kitchen
Here at Allowah, we love to get our kids into the kitchen. Why? Because cooking is a fun, practical skill which increases physical, social and creative development. Children with disabilities really benefit from learning new skills in the kitchen.
In the world outside of hospital, cooking is an essential everyday task. It is an important tool for survival, socialising and fun. It allows independence and empowers people to be able to take care of themselves. By teaching children with disabilities basic cooking skills, they have the power to live more independently. Boiling water, chopping vegetables, cooking pasta, mashing potatoes – all these tasks teach kids how to care for themselves. Cooking also presents an opportunity to learn about nutrition and healthy eating.
Early scientific and mathematical concepts such as size, shape and weight are enforced through experiential cooking.
The variety of smells, tastes and textures of cooking greatly benefit children with disabilities – providing them with a multi-sensory experience. The best thing about cooking is that it doesn’t matter how messy it gets! Get those little hands and faces dirty and watch them thrive through the experience. Learning more about flavours, temperatures and colours is easy when free time is given to experiment with food.
Improves Motor Skills
The act of cooking requires certain physical skills. Hand and finger strength is increased through cutting, stirring, whisking, rolling and mashing. These tasks also help develop coordination as well as gross and fine motor skills. Cooking is a great form of accessible and fun physical therapy.
Relaxing and Creative
The art of cooking is therapeutic because there is room for such creativity. Decision making is required in a safe and non-competitive space which benefits a child’s emotional health greatly. The repetitive physical motions involved are relaxing and comforting.
Cooking is a great activity for children with disabilities and is something that our kids at Allowah love. It teaches them a practical skill which they can use for the rest of their lives. It puts them in control of what they eat and how they eat it – which increases independence. Most of all, it is a creative and fun way to learn more about the way the world works.