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What can young children learn when helping in the kitchen?  

The kitchen is a great place to share time and learn together. If your child is between three- and five-years-old, why not try some of these ideas to help bring reading, maths and science to life in your own home?

Let’s get busy

Your cupboards are a treasure trove! There is lots of fun to have in going through your cupboards to learn about what you eat, where food comes from and deciding how you want to arrange it!

Ask your child to help sort all of the different food types. For example, you might have: canned food, packaged goods, cereals, grains and pasta.

  • How are some of these the same?
  • How are they different?
  • Try some simple checks to find out which are the heaviest, or hold the most?

Deciding what to cook

  • Choose a favourite story, such as ‘The Tiger Who Came to Tea’ by Judith Kerr, or ‘The Gingerbread Man’. Read the book if you have it.
  • You might talk about what kind of tea you could cook for a big tiger or how to make ginger bread. Find a recipe in a favourite cook book or online, for example, ‘Gruffalo’s crumble’ based on Julia Donaldson’s fantastic story, which can be found at, or make your own recipe to bring a story to life in your own home! Turn each page with your child and explore the wonders, page-by-page!

Cooking is fun

Cooking with your child can be a fun, learning-packed experience. You might think about handling and feeling different ingredients.

  • What do these feel like?
  • Prepare for cooking and set up the work space to be sure that everything is safe and hygienic. Cook together.
  • Let your child have the joys of feeling cold dough, cracking eggs (what a mess!) and handle equipment safely, for example, to sieve flour.
  • You might like to count together, finding ‘more’ or ‘less’ as you go. Use basic kitchen equipment for measuring and weighing: to get a sense of how much different things can hold.

The kitchen is a great place to learn about the importance of food in all or our lives. Don’t forget to ‘clean down’, pack away and wash up to keep the kitchen neat and tidy!


Why not have some fun and try baking up a treat from some of the wonderful ideas on

It’s over to you to get the most out of your kitchen.