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Kids in the Kitchen

Pediatric occupational therapists help children develop and improve many skills such as fine motor, executive, and visual perceptual skills. We strive to help them through functional and engaging activities that motivate the child while simultaneously building their skills. Baking is a great activity that the child can do at home with a parent, targeting a vast amount of visual perceptual, fine motor, and executive skills, while allowing the child to have fun and feel helpful. Below is a breakdown of some skills that can be targeted through various components of baking cookies.

1. Executive skills/sequencing- can be targeted when the child has to put the ingredients in the bowl in the correct order.

2. Upper body strengthening and posture- can be targeted while the child is mixing the ingredients together in the bowl, through kneading the dough, and through rolling out the dough.

3. Bilateral coordination skills- can be targeted while the ingredients are being poured into the bowl. For example, having the child hold the measuring cup in one hand and pour flour with the other. It can also be targeted when the child rolls out the dough with a rolling pin, teaching both sides of the body to work together symmetrically.

4. Finger coordination and strengthening- can be targeted while the child kneads the dough and manipulates it into the desired shapes.

5. Visual perception and spatial awareness- can be targeted when child has to learn to place the cookie cutters on the dough in a way that does not “waste space”

So find a really good cookie recipe and get your child in the kitchen!