Love Bug and Sweet Pea love helping in the kitchen. They help with any baking we do, plus they love to put in the ingredients for pancakes, waffles, smoothies, and (most of all) guacamole. Sweet Pea also likes helping make garlic bread – sprinkling in the garlic and arranging the bread on the tray.
But sometimes it’s also fun to give them a bunch of ingredients just for play. There are so many great things about pretend cooking – teaching real-life skills, creative play, a sensory experience with different scents and textures, a motor activity with scooping and pouring, and even possibly a chance to learn math through measurements or science through the way ingredients react with each other. (Though all of these could be true of real cooking as well.)
Usually when we do pretend cooking games, I set up a muffin tray with different ingredients in each space.
I give them various bowls and spoons and make sure to set out some towels to collect any mess, and then they get to work “cooking” and mixing things together.
The end results can be pretty yucky and certainly nothing we’d ever actually eat, but it’s a lot of fun to see what happens and to see what type of food they imagine they’re making.