Sticky Notes - What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Literacy and Reading!
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What’s Cooking in the Kitchen? Literacy and Reading!

March 2, 2022 by Emily Moore

You’ve got the WRITE stuff, baby.

While we tend to think of kindergarten as the time kids learn to read, literacy development begins in the first three years of life. From the start, your child’s early experiences with language – playing, singing, reading, writing, and talking – lay the foundation for their future language development.

The kitchen is a FANTASTIC place to nurture early literacy skills while also helping children build confidence, independence, and practical life skills: 
  • Learning Letters – A willingness to play with your food opens up all kinds of possibilities. Making pancakes? Instead of round ones, use a ketchup bottle to pour letter-shaped pancakes. Try your hand at homemade pretzels. Kids are thrilled to form pretzels shaped like the first letter of their name! Pasta night? Write words with strands of cooked spaghetti.
  • Print Awareness – Following a recipe demonstrates for kids a reason for reading – we read to get information. As you read a recipe aloud slowly, pointing to each word as you read it, kids pick up the directionality of written English (left to right and top to bottom). 
  • Vocabulary Building – Cooking and baking provide many opportunities for children to hear and use new vocabulary (whisk! chop! sizzle!). As you cook and bake together, kids gradually become familiar with the words that are common in recipes, in your pantry, and where you buy food. They also learn procedural words frequently used in directions (e.g., first, next, last). To extend learning, narrate what they’re doing (e.g., “you’re pouring the milk into the bowl!”)
  • Fine Motor Skills – There’s so much happening here! Scooping and stirring targets hand-eye coordination. Cracking eggs develops hand strength and dexterity. These common cooking tasks help very young children develop the fine motor skills they’ll need to be able to write legibly with a pen/pencil.

Best of all, kids get to work on these skills while spending time with a favorite adult – you! 

If you know someone who’d like to try a Sticky Fingers Class for FREE, send them our way!  

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