The evening hours are hectic for many families, and it is normal to find yourself rushing through your dinner prep on autopilot after a long day. Unfortunately, this often leads to a rushed meal, and bedtime comes before you know it, leaving you wishing you had been able to spend more time with your child. While there never seems to be enough hours in the day, it is possible to turn your evenings around by using these three fun ways to turn dinnertime into bonding time that reinforces what your child learns in their preschool program at a school like Small World Early Learning & Development Center.
Use Rebus Recipes
Early literacy activities are always a hit with preschoolers who love learning about letters, and blending pictures with words makes it easier for kids to decipher their meaning. Prepare ahead of time by finding simple recipes that only require a few steps, and print them up with short sentences and images for the ingredients. Then, help your child follow the recipe as they cook so that they gain a real-life experience that supports the importance of learning to read.
Cook With A Book
Quality preschools make books a huge part of every child's day. From read-alouds to in-classroom libraries, your child should be exposed to at least three stories a day. Ask your child's teacher for some suggestions of titles that are age-appropriate and involve food. Then, plan a few meals that you can cook together after reading the book. Whether you make green eggs and ham or spaghetti and meatballs, your child will love making the connection to the book.
Literacy isn't the only type of lesson you can teach during your evening dinner preparation. Cooking experiences are also a great time to support your child's understanding of math and science. Check out the classroom lesson plan, and find ways to add similar activities to your cooking sessions. For example, having your child count how many pieces of tomatoes you chopped encourages their understanding of numerals, or you can do some scientific color mixing experiments for an interesting upgrade to mashed potatoes.
Cooking together at home turns a mundane part of your day into an extraordinary opportunity to indulge your child's senses as they learn about letters, math, and science. By partnering with your child's teacher to extend their learning through cooking activities at home, you can make the time you spend together educational while also making beautiful memories.