5 Important Skills that Cooking in Special Education Promotes


Have you tried cooking in your special education classroom yet? If not, you are missing out on so many essential LIFE SKILLS that your students need to learn! Cooking was always one of my favorite things to work on when I was in the classroom. Now I have made it my mission to create simple resources that other special educators can use for cooking in their classroom. Read to find out 5 important skills that cooking in special education promotes.

5 important skills that cooking in special education promotes

5 important skills that cooking promotes (Check out #5!)

You might be thinking to yourself, I don’t have TIME in my schedule to cook at school. I completely understand-special educators wear many hats and are busy! However, I PROMISE if you can set aside 20-30 minutes per week, it will be WORTH it! It will be worth it to watch your students try new things, have fun and progress with independence each week. Check out the 5 important skills that cooking with students in special education promotes:

1. Independence

Cooking is an essential LIFE SKILL that students need to learn. This way they can eventually make a snack by themself or use the microwave at home. The perfect recipe to start with is a simple Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich (you can grab it for FREE). The END GOAL of cooking (down the road to adulthood) would be that students can independently use a stove or oven.

Do you need other ideas for what life skills to work on in your classroom to promote independence? Next, check out the Year Long Life Skills Bundle for more ideas. Also, find out how to fit life skills into your schedule in just 10 minutes per day.

2. Sequencing

In addition, when kids are cooking in the classroom, they are completing steps in a specific order. If they mess up the order, the recipe may not turn out correct. This means that they are working on the skill of SEQUENCING without even realizing it! Having your students practice sequencing skills with hands-on tasks will carryover to other subject areas, such as ELA.

3. Fine Motor

Working on fine motor skills is a daily goal in any special education classroom. Cooking will help improve student’s fine motor skills. They get practice opening containers, pouring, measuring, opening/ closing the microwave and using the pincher grasp. Having your occupational therapist push-in during cooking group may be extremely beneficial to you and your students. For more practice with implementing fine motor skills, check out how to implement Simple Fine Motor Centers.

4. Social Skills-turn taking

Social skills are something that special educators are constantly incorporating into daily curriculum now. Cooking group is a great time to fit in social skills opportunities. You can work on manners, waiting and turn-taking with students. In a small cooking group, it’s easy to see how students are generalizing these skills learned.

5. Comprehension

Finally, the BEST skill is saved for last! Comprehension is snuck in to ALL visual recipes from Simply Special Ed! There is a simple work page included with EVERY visual recipe that students can complete. It asks questions about what they made, what tools were used and if they enjoyed it. This is a great way to quickly have students complete an independent activity after cooking. This helps to see if students understood the task at hand and helps you plan for next time.

Comprehension work page included in all visual recipes from Simply Special Ed

Visual Recipes for the ENTIRE YEAR!

Do you want to fit cooking in for the ENTIRE SCHOOL YEAR but are not sure where to begin? Try grabbing Simply Special Visual Recipes for the Entire Year and be set! There are 40 recipes total! Plus, the best part-none of the recipes need an oven or stove!

To get started with cooking in the special education classroom-grab this FREE Peanut Butter and Jelly Recipe!

Will you be working on these important skills in your special education classroom by cooking? Let me know below in the comments how it went in your classroom!

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