Kids in the kitchen


Cooking is a fun activity for the whole family that can be used to work on so many different skills with children. Of course, there are the obvious things like measuring and maths, but you can also have fun with:

Speech sounds

Cook something that involves ingredients or kitchen tools that incorporate the speech sounds your child is working on.

  • TH – thermometer, something, one fourth, thank you, use the word ‘then’ for each step “then, stir the…”

  • CH – cheese, chop, chill

  • S – simmer, season, spice, scoop, stir, spoon, mix, slice, mix (the x makes a ‘ks’ sound in this word).

  • R – recipe, grating, pouring, roast, syrup

  • V - vanilla, oven, stove

Following a sequence

Recipes are all about following a sequence of instructions, in order. Explore concepts like first, next, then, after, last.


Requesting

Make sure some of the things your child needs are out of sight or out of reach. Encourage them to ask for what they need and if they don’t, model it. “Do you need the sifter?” You can say, “Can I have the sifter, dad?”


Vocabulary

Explore concepts like over, under, above when telling your child where to find things For example,

  • “Under the tea towel”

  • The difference between ‘chopping’ and ‘slicing’

  • What ‘a few’ raisins looks like as opposed to ‘a lot’ of raisins

  • Line up the ingredients by size before beginning to cook

  • You can talk about small, smaller, smallest, big, bigger, biggest.

There are so many opportunities to learn new words and concepts in the kitchen!


Planning

Help your child work out what they will need and why. If this is difficult for them, share your thinking out loud to help them organise their thoughts and understand why we have thoughts and how they help us.


Social skills

Cooking is a great opportunity for your child to ask for a turn to stir, to say thank you for your help, to invite someone to come and taste what they’ve made. You can even role play how to handle the situation if they don’t like the taste of a food.


Visual recipes

Many of our clients benefit from visual prompts such as visual schedules and sentence strips, and we’re delighted to have found a collection of free visual recipes and other resources to help teach cooking skills to individuals with disabilities. The Accessible Chef recipes are broken down into manageable steps and supported by pictures - something all budding chefs can benefit from. The site also has an image bank and recipe creator tutorial so you can create recipes for special family recipes.


We’d love to see photos of what you and your child cook!