A great part of our practical life program is that of food preparation and cooking. This fun activity reinforces classroom topics such as reading (a recipe); thinking and then planning ahead (following the recipe); measuring, adding and subtracting quantities; discussing the the science of chemical reactions or the effect of time and temperature. In addition, through the preparation and cooking of food the child practices the use of many different kitchen implements as well as new techniques such as weighing, mixing, kneading, pouring and icing! Again, we see the need for fine motor skills, coordination and patience. Finally cooking provides the confidence of accomplishment in the kitchen as we all eat the iced birthday cake.
Good hygiene and safety are mandatory in the kitchen, thus the reasons behind hand washing, not touching your face or mouth, tasting food correctly, washing raw foods are all opportunities to discuss and learn about health and the hazards present in our world.
As already emphasized, outside of Zimbabwe, the need to be proficient in meal preparation and cleanliness in the kitchen quickly becomes apparent unless you are living off packets of instant noodles.