“It says mix for 3 minutes” I replied to My Toddler as she mixed the mousse. “Is it done yet”, she asked again after about 15 seconds. “No, it says 3 minutes, so we need to do it for a little longer”. We then set a timer so she could see how much 3 minutes was.
Cooking is a great way for children to begin to gain a concept of time. In every recipe time is an element. If you want to take advantage of this opportunity to build on your child’s concept of time
invest in some timers. I like visual tools – like an egg timer – so the child can see how much time has past and how much is left.
Usually you can get a pack with a few different timers in it. This is even better because the child can experiment with them and see the difference for example, between 3 minutes and 5 minutes. If your recipe requires you to wait for 30 minutes, you can always use the clock on the wall and reinforce the numbers saying “when the big hand gets to 6” even go as far as asking “can you show me the big hand?” to make sure they are watching the right one, and then saying that 30 minutes will be up when the big hand gets to X.
You will be surprised how doing things like this can lay important foundations. You are even introducing them to the language associated with time too. I can’t stress enough just how many opportunities there are for learning in the kitchen.