Food Play and Cooking – Toddler

Cooking with a ToddlerMaking and playing with food can be enjoyed from a young age. These experiences inspire creativity and willingness to try new flavours and textures.

Did you know?

Your toddler is developing their fine motor skills while touching different foods and using different kitchen utensils.

Add language

Cooking together is the perfect time to have a conversation.

You can talk about what you are doing e.g. mixing, measuring, kneading, rolling, cutting, spreading, sifting, and pouring. You can also talk about the different ingredients and what things look, feel and taste like. You can talk about what they are like before and after being mixed together. This all helps to build your toddler’s understanding and use of different words. This helps give the words that go with these early science concepts. Remember to pause and give your toddler a chance to take a turn in the conversation.

Other development

Making food together builds special bonds between parents and young children. Sharing this special time helps to develop social and emotional skills.

Cooking together can provide a great introduction to fresh food and healthy eating habits. Children are more likely to try new foods when they help prepare them.

Waiting for food to cook, and then getting to eat the yummy finished product helps children develop patience and feel a sense of achievment.

Measuring out ingredients and dividing up portions build early maths skills.


Supervision is essential.

Cooking is a perfect time to teach toddlers about staying safe – being careful with hot things and sharp utensils.

Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.