By Cara Johnson-Bader

At New Horizon Academy, our teachers use classroom cooking activities to promote learning, and you can, too. We understand cooking with your child takes a little more time, a lot more patience, and involves extra clean-up, but it is totally worth it. Cooking boosts language development, fine motor skills, and math abilities, introduces complex scientific concepts, teaches life skills, and creates lasting memories that both you and your child will treasure.

Language Development

As you talk and describe what you are doing, your child develops new vocabulary words.

Fine Motor Skills

Mixing the ingredients, handling kitchen tools, and rolling the dough are all wonderful ways your child develops his fine motor skills.

Math Ability

Cooking involves a great deal of math. From measuring, estimating, and sequencing (“what is first…next…last?”), your child is exposed to a multitude of math concepts in fun and meaningful ways.

Scientific Concepts

Science is a huge part of the cooking process.

Your child will learn what happens when you mix ingredients together.

She may even learn about the changing state of matter. Yes, the changing state of matter. The simple act of melting butter provides a wonderful way for your child to learn about a solid turning into a liquid.

Life Skill Development

Cooking is a life skill and a terrific skill to help your child develop.

• With each cooking activity, your child will learn important concepts of how to safely use a knife, the importance of not touching a hot stove, how to clean up after he is done cooking.

We encourage you to try our Look & Cook Recipes. These are fun, simple, and educational cooking activities that you can do using ingredients you already have in your kitchen. The recipes have a child-friendly design, so that your child can easily follow along, and perhaps make the recipes on their own. Visit our website to access the recipes.

Cara Johnson-Bader is the Vice President of Marketing and Parent Experiences at New Horizon Academy and mother of two young boys. Learn more about New Horizon Academy at

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