Using Challenges to Teach Children to Cook

There are countless things that we want and need to teach our children, but there are only so many hours in the day. Teaching Biblical truths and academics to multiple children of different ages and learning styles can sometimes leave you overlooking life skills your children need. One of those life skills being how to cook.Today we would like to share with you how using challenges to teach children to cook can work with your busy life and make learning to cook fun for the whole family.

Did you know you could teach children to cook using challenges? Here's how!

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How to Teach Children to Cook Using Challenges: 

Start by making a list of cooking skills that you want your children to know.

What skills do you wish you would have known before being married? Are there skills they need to know to stay safe in the kitchen? What skills will help them in the future? Make a list of all the skills that come to mind and add to it when you think of new ones.
Most cooking skills will be learned naturally as you prepare meals. Even something as simple as preparing tacos includes using the stove and a knife. If you shred your own cheese or make salsa, you add the skills of using a grater and blender as well.

Next make a list of challenges.

Think about dishes you want your child to know how to prepare or skills they need to master.

Assign a challenge.

Choose a dish or objective from your list of challenges. Demonstrate the skills needed to complete the challenge successfully to your children. Then assign the challenge and let the excitement begin.
Here is an example:

  • Baking bread is chosen as the challenge. Specifically baking bread with yeast.
  • Demonstrate how to use yeast, mixing the dough properly, kneading the dough, letting the dough rise, and baking the bread. It’s really as simple as having everyone circle up while you prepare something for dinner and doing your own little “cooking show”. 😉
  • Assign the challenge to your children that will be completing it. You could have them all make rolls or have them make a yeast dough that they then use for a dish of their choice, such as, cinnamon rolls, pizza, etc.

Tell your children when the challenge will be completed.

Will they all complete the challenge at the same time? Will you assign each child a different night to complete their challenge?
Be sure to have all the groceries and supplies on hand. You can have your children work with what you already have or let them make a shopping list of items they will need for their recipe.

After your child has completed the challenge, they present it to the family for scoring.

Now here is where it really gets fun and it all happens over dinner. Your child can tell everyone a little about their dish and how they prepared it. Everyone tastes the food and scores it.
Here are some options for scoring:

  • Your family could just discuss what they think of the dish.
  • Each family member could rate it on a score from 1-5.
  • You could have rating cards that family members anonymously fill out. Including ratings for:
    • Presentation
    • Taste
    • Originality
    • Overall Score
    • Notes

After the challenge:

  1. Enjoy seeing the new skills your child has developed, the memories that were made, and maybe even a new favorite family recipe.
  2. Assign the next challenge. 😉


Misty from Many Seasons of MotherhoodMisty Mendoza has been a Christian, homeschooling mom for 14 years and counting. She is married to her high school sweetheart and they have 5 children, ranging in ages from 2-19. Being a homeschool mom has been one of the biggest blessings of her life. Misty has a heart to encourage other moms to find joy in their homeschool journey. Having a child off at college now, she has witnessed how fast the years fly by and inspires fellow moms to make memories with their children. She blogs at Many Seasons of Motherhood about motherhood, homeschooling, and foster/adoption.



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