Since 2011, our existing centres have also been awarded ECDA Innovation Grants for various projects involving sports, drama, arts and most recently home science. We have included additional information about the “Food Scientist” Innovation Grant Project that our children participated in this year.
One of the greatest benefits of letting children cook is the sense of achievement and self-sufficiency that they experience. From daily observations in the different classes, children are seen have an interest in cookery when they are role-playing. Instead of using the standard toys in class, the teachers feel that we can expand their imagination and interest with authentic experiences by using real food and equipment. Not only that, they can to learn how to handle food in an appropriate manner and at the same time explore the sciences behind cookery. By providing them these experiences and knowledge, we feel that it will give them the autonomy to be creative and look at food in a different perspective. Above all, this project will bring families together and create wonderful memories in the children’s lives in preschool.
Potential benefits in exploring food:
- Integration of different developmental areas
- Language & Literacy skills through the writing, reading of recipes
- math skills such as fractions, measurements, time
- allows children to question and explore science concepts
- encouraging healthy food choices which helps to set the foundation at a young age
- enhancing confidence and creativity
- build self-esteem and more willing to try new foods
By injecting fun experiments with food, children from the toddler to the kindergarten classes (approx. 60 children) will be able to explore and find out interesting facts in relation to food science (e.g chemistry experiments, how different ingredients react with each other and how different ways of cooking affects the food prepared). They would also be able to work together with their peers, teachers and families to come up with their own food recipes and eventually compile them to create a book to be sold for charity (community involvement).
It is a standard procedure when children follow instructions and recipes that are given to them during a home science cookery lesson. In this instance, we are getting children to look at the different processes before coming up with their own recipes. We will be documenting each process and then present the best recipe of each food. The children become food scientist as they look at the different food processes and how the different outcome affects the overall taste and texture of the food.