Cooking in Spanish teaches language and culture with hands-on fun.

Cooking in Spanish with kids teaches language and culture. It is also an opportunity to  communicate important messages about nutrition and family. Use these tips and handy printables for cooking in Spanish with kids.

Cooking in Spanish is hands-on and an activity that parents and kids do together. Like language, cooking takes practice, so there is lots of built-in repetition. Cooking is intimately tied to culture, place and family, providing an opportunity to tell stories and share experiences.  Also, the fun of cooking and the satisfaction of making something to eat are great motivation to keep trying it again and again.

Of course, cooking in Spanish with kids is not the easiest or fastest way to make a cake or a meal. It would be much easier to do it yourself. Try to remember that spending time together and speaking Spanish are more important than the final edible product.

 Tips for Cooking in Spanish with Kids

  • Include kids in choosing what dish to make. Browse cook books or websites in Spanish, commenting on the photos. You will find lots of kid-friendly recipes in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month.
  • Subscribe to Chop, Chop in Spanish. It makes cooking in Spanish with kids easy! This amazing cooking magazine for kids comes four times year. It is full of easy healthy recipes, wonderful photos and fun games. I believe it is one of the best Spanish learning resources available. You can read more about Chop Chop in this post I wrote when I first subscribed to the magazine.
  • Include kids in grocery shopping. Write a grocery list in Spanish together.  Use the vocabulary as much as possible when you are shopping and putting the food away. This will make it easier for kids when you start to cook.
  • When you are ready to cook, gather all the ingredients and utensils. This will give you the opportunity to name them so your child can associate the language with each item.
  • Refer to this handy printable for Spanish words for cooking utensils. It is perfect to hang on the refrigerator when you are cooking in Spanish.
  • If you are using a recipe and your child can read, let her read the steps of the recipe.
  • As you cook, describe everything you do and everything your child does.
  •  Refer to this printable list of Spanish verbs used in cooking and examples of how to use them if it is helpful to you.
  • If you are cooking in Spanish with preschoolers, chant or sing to a simple tune as they do repetitive motions, like stirring, grating, or peeling.
  • Use numbers and fractions as kids measure and cut.
  • Share what you make as a gift for relatives or friends and have kids write a note in Spanish.
  • Have kids ask grandparents and other relatives for family recipes.
  • Make “fun food” that looks like an object or animal. You can find lots of ideas on Pinterest by searching “comida divertida” or “fun food.” Kids learn lots of vocabulary as they construct everything from airplanes to mummies.
  • Extend language learning by reading Jorge Argueta’s beautiful picture books of bilingual cooking poems and other stories about food.
  • Above all, have fun spending time with your child cooking in Spanish!

Photo Credit: woodleywonderworks via Compfight cc

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