Did you know that your kitchen is a prime spot for learning? Think about it: In every drawer and cabinet, there is something new to explore. From using food storage containers as toys to learning to cook, learning experiences abound in the kitchen. If you use BabySparks, you’ll notice that several of our activities center around the kitchen or use kitchen items. Read on to find out why we love this room in the house and all of its gadgets!
How Kitchen Tools Support Development
Kitchen tools can have an especially important place in a toddler’s world. Gadgets like whisks, rollers, and scoops can promote several areas of development, from fine motor to sensory integration. Here’s how your kitchen tools can have lasting effects on your toddler’s development:
They support fine motor skills. Fine motor skill development flourishes in the kitchen! Cooking and other kitchen tasks, such as preparing ingredients and washing dishes, takes a lot of hand and finger skills. In the kitchen, your toddler will grasp utensils, tip over measuring cups, screw lids on jars, stir, and scoop to build hand, finger, and wrist muscles.
They promote helping. There are virtually endless ways your toddler can help you in the kitchen, and introducing her to kitchen tools can spark her excitement to jump in. Holding and playing with new tools she hasn’t used yet is sure to spark her interest. Encouraging a helpful attitude now can help your toddler become a happy, successful adult.
They build unique vocabulary. When your little one joins you in the kitchen she can pick up a wide range of new words that she might not in other types of play. From naming objects (bowl, measuring cup, tongs, ladle) to naming concepts (chop, roll, stir, bake), your toddler will expand her understanding of each item, what you do with it, and the processes you use them for. Talking through a recipe with your toddler can also boost her vocabulary!
They target math and science skills. Measuring cups and spoons are, indeed, some of the best tools you can give your toddler when you want to work on math skills. Counting and measuring are top kitchen activities! You can also help her boost scientific skills through guessing games using kitchen tools, like “How many of these spoons do you think we can fit in this container?”
They target sensory development. Proprioception is an internal sense that helps us coordinate movements and understand our own strength. A regulated proprioceptive sense makes it possible for your toddler to adjust how much force she needs to use for different actions. The kitchen is a great place to practice this! For example, when she uses a spoon to stir water and flour together, she’ll figure out that she needs to use more force as the water absorbs into the flour.
Did you know that BabySparks offers several fun activities you can do in the kitchen with your little one?