Whilst the summer holidays get into full swing, plenty of parents are already starting to think about the autumn term ahead. Before my son started Reception, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and found myself worrying about his understanding (or lack) of the alphabet, ability to grip a pen properly and basic mathematics skills.
With my eldest daughter starting this September, I feel in a very different place. Every child starts school at a different level of learning and that's exactly what it's there for. Rather than worrying about the specifics - my son reads, writes and spells beautifully now - I'm planning to spend the summer helping my daughter to grow and learn beyond an academic syllabus.
There are so many ways to do this, but I think the kitchen is the perfect place to start. Today let's look at some important life skills that will stand every child in great stead for the academic year ahead.
Self-confidence & sufficiency
Giving children some autonomy in the kitchen can help to develop a real sense of self confidence. Even something as simple as chopping or grating vegetables to put in a salad will help them feel in control and these skills will stand them in brilliant stead when tackling tasks at school in the months to come.
Wiping their own bottoms, blowing their nose and getting themselves dressed are all skills which will make the school day run more smoothly for everyone. Being a keen cook can also help teach children about taking responsibility, from being careful with kitchen implements to cleaning up after themselves.
Paying attention to a task, whether it's following a recipe or listening to a teacher, is such an important skill for every child to learn. It's so easy to find ourselves distracted by background noise, other children or our phones, but if we can spend some time one on one with each child it can really help them develop their ability to listen. We think unpacking one of our monthly boxes and going through the activities together is a wonderful way to do this :-)
Encouraging your child to ask questions and discuss the possible answers is a brilliant way to prepare them for school. What would make this recipe taste more delicious? What do you predict will happen when we add this ingredient? How do you think it will taste?
Reading & Writing
Although I firmly believe we don't need to spend time working on academic skills over the summer holidays, getting into the kitchen can be a brilliant way to develop basic reading, writing and maths skills without even realising that you are 'learning'. Count the ingredients going into a bowl, write down your favourite recipe or try to recognise a number when weighing things out.
If you'd love to spend some more time together with your little one in the kitchen this summer, but aren't sure where to start, our August SWEETCORN boxes are available to order now. Get 10% off using code NEW10 at checkout.