If you’ve taken our PEP class, you know that one of the ways we recommend teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills is through cooking with your children! Keep reading for some tips about cooking with kids of all ages this holiday season!

For the littlest ones (ages 5 and under): Wash fruits and vegetables. To add an element of math to this very helpful task, try creating patterns with your little one. Potato, carrot, cucumber, potato carrot, cucumber. What comes next in this pattern?

For the slightly bigger littles (ages 6-8): Peel vegetables such as potatoes and cucumbers using a vegetable peeler. Practice counting skills…How many scrapes does it take to peel this entire potato? What about the cucumber? Which number is higher? Does that mean that vegetable is the biggest?

For those littles who are convinced they are big (ages 9-11): Start experimenting with making small meals or sides like macaroni and cheese, or even that amazing sweet potato casserole with marshmallows on top. This is a great time to start learning how to use the stove and oven with supervision. Add elements of higher order thinking skills by following recipes, measuring, or even having conversations about what memories this meal brings up for them.

For those who were little just yesterday it seems, but really are big now (ages 12 and up): Find out their favorite holiday dish from growing up and ask them to make it for the family. They may need some help or supervision, but try to be comfortable enough to let them try it on their own. And when mistakes happen, talk about how much we learn from mistakes, and how they even make our brains grow!