Sticky Notes - What's cooking in the kitchen? Science!
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What's cooking in the kitchen? Science!

April 5, 2022 by Emily Moore

 

Where science MEATS food.

We make terrible science puns, but only PERIODICALLY. 

  • What is a physicist’s favorite food? Fission chips.
  • What’s the MATTER, Chef? Solid, Liquid, Gas. 

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Cooking and baking present countless ways for preschool and early elementary-age kids to develop foundational science habits and skills. Today we’re sharing three super science skills to practice with your little ones:

Super Science Skill #1: Observation

Collecting information about the world around us is an important scientific skill and one of the first that children acquire. When you invite a young child to work alongside you in the kitchen, it’s an invitation to engage all their senses. To maximize these opportunities, be like scientists – and chefs! – Use all your senses while you work:

  • Smell and taste ingredients as you go
  • Listen for the sizzle of vegetables in a pan or bread crackling, as it cools down
  • Touch your fresh-baked cake to check for springiness 
Super Science Skill #2: Classification (Grouping & Sorting)

Ever notice how much preschoolers love to sort things? Hence the appeal of toys like pattern blocks and sorting cubes which allow them to practice separating and grouping items based on what they have observed. The kitchen offers lots of ways to practice these skills together, for example, you could:

  • Sort a pile of fruits/vegetables by color
  • Assemble the ingredients for a recipe in order from smallest to biggest
  • Separate the ingredients into two groups: liquids and solids
Super Science Skill #3: Prediction

Kids’ ability to correctly predict outcomes develops with experience, but they can start with simple scenarios based on just two options. To help them develop this scientific habit, you’ll explore: 

  • what they think will happen
  • what is happening
  • what actually happened

We recommend this oatmeal cookie muffins recipe as a testing ground. Why? Because when you’re making an entire batch of muffins, you can afford to sacrifice a few of them in the name of science. As you work, wonder what would happen if you:

  • added more liquid to one of the muffins?
  • froze a muffin instead of baking it?
  • tucked some chocolate chips inside a muffin before baking?
It’s fun, right? 

Discover more recipes to sweeten your kid on science in Sticky Fingers Cooking’s *NEW*Baking Bootcamp Cookbook!

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