Cooking/ baking activities are great for enabling “executive functions which are skills every person uses in order to process and act on incoming information.
The eight key Executive functions are Impulse control ( helps the child think before acting), Emotional Control (helps keeping feelings in check), Flexible Thinking (allows the child to adjust to the unexpected), Working Memory (helps keep key information in mind), Self-Monitoring (helps the child to evaluate how he is doing), Planning and Prioritizing (helps focusing on a goal and the plan to meet it), Task Initiation ( take action and get started, and Organization (keep track of things physically and mentally).” http://www.learning success blog.com October 2017
CL: planning to bake cakes, learning and consolidating specific terms as bake, raw, cooked, sieve, whisk, sprinkle, solid, liquid, powder, granulated, desiccated, cold, hot, tray, pour, add, gradually,utensils, listening the recipe being read to them, following up instructions as a confirmation of understanding them, explaining the process and its steps, talking about healthy eating habits and what foods should be avoided or consumed in very small quantities
PSED: improving confidence in own knowledge and skills, delayed gratification, taking turns, developing positive relationship, being helpful and supportive of others, using manners, asking and accepting help
PD: moving and handling the shopping items/ ingredients, experiencing sensory sensations: sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste,proprioception ( how much pressure should use when breaking and egg, whisking, how to hold and use a manual whisker compared to the electric version), interoception (knowing what’s going on inside your body in order to be able to say when hungry, hot, cold, full, thirsty- keeping yourself safe, meeting your immediate needs), health and self-care around personal hygiene/ washing hands before and after cooking, before eating and after cleaning, cross contamination awareness, scissor skills, hand-eye coordination, handling electrical equipment, using the cooker/ oven, turning knobs, cleaning the work place after use, etc.
L: compiling a shopping list, checking against it in the shop, reading the recipe and its indications
M: numbers and their cardinal and ordinal values, how many table spoons/ eggs/minutes/ Celsius degrees, what comes first, second, third, next, same, shape of the tray and the shape of the paper to go in it , space/ the tray goes up in the over at first, then on a lower level, measure all the ingredients
UW: people and communities ( cheese cake with raisins (Romanian “pasca”)/ Orthodox specific tradition on Easter, the world/ going to the supermarket to purchase ingredients, technology/ using the scale in the shop to weigh fruits for our healthy snack, using electrical equipment with support to whisk the egg white, teaching safe use of the cooker/ oven, learning that the internet can provide useful information as recipes, traditions, stories, etc.
EA: dressing up for the after work cleaning process, playing imaginatively
Next steps: equipe the toy kitchen with ingredients safe to use by children in order to play freely, organise environment for messy activities which would provide opportunities to explore mixing of different state matters, cooking other culture specific dishes, learning about spices,etc.