As a general rule, I’m not one to take formal learning too seriously on the home front. I figure my preschooler son has his entire school life to have facts and figures drummed into him, so I want his time at home to be filled with fun and play, rather than reciting the alphabet.
Having said that, like many kids his age, Harry does have a thirst for learning and a genuine curiosity about numbers, colours, letters and the world around him. So, to keep his busy mind engaged, I’ve found the kitchen a wonderful place for fun learning.
Here are some games you might like to try to help satisfy your own child’s sponge-like brain.
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3
You may have been told as a child not to play with your dinner, but playing is one way to encourage your child to have a healthy, fun relationship with food and to ultimately love meal times even more. Try involving food in counting games or creative engagement – counting out pieces of capsicum, for example, can help your child with his numbers, while turning that capsicum into a smiley face on a pizza can nurture his love affair with healthy food.
Colours of the rainbow
Having a varied diet with plenty of different-coloured foods is wonderful for your child’s health. Help him learn the names of all the colours by making a fruit salad rainbow plate with strawberries, mango, blueberries, kiwi fruit and orange. For dinner, try tomatoes, yellow capsicum, peas and purple carrots.
Fruit bowl guessing
Books are wonderful, but you can also teach your child new food words by showing him the real thing. Try a game of holding up different pieces of fruit and vegetables from your kitchen and asking your toddler the name of each, giving him help when he needs it.
We all know children love alphabet noodle soup, so why not try alphabet biscuits? You can buy alphabet cutters from most kitchen supply shops. Bring them into your kitchen to help your child spell his name and some easy words with his favourite biscuit dough.
As your child gets older, you can teach him some key foundations of maths and science by making cakes and muffins together. Measuring, fractions, volumes and chemistry are all parts of basic baking.