Friday, January 18, 2013

Lunch & Learning

Believe it or not, there is a lot of learning going on during mealtime! No matter whether you are enjoying a meal at your own table, out for dinner or with a group of children in an early learning setting, children can learn valuable skills while they are snacking or eating dinner. 

Presenter Carla Rubalcava
This week DuPage Children's Museum (DCM), in collaboration with the YWCA Child Care Resource and Referral, hosted a workshop for early learning professionals on the benefits of family-style meal service. Carla Rubalcava, Principle Auditor with the Association for Child Development, shared a wealth of information on the skills that can be learned by sharing meals with young ones. Rubalcava spoke of motor skill development, language and social skills, self-esteem, independence, table manners and providing structure;  she even addressed the difficult subject of picky eaters!

In addition, participants opened a discussion on how math and science skills can be learned in the kitchen. While helping set the table, children can learn math concepts such as counting and one-to-one correspondence. Mixing and baking food items illustrates the science of cooking by showing how liquid batter can transform into a solid. 
With Science, Math, Art, Reading and Technology in mind, DCM officially opened the S.M.A.R.T. Café on January 10, 2013. The S.M.A.R.T. Café is located on the lower level of the Museum and offers a variety of healthy food options for children and adults alike. Stop by during your next visit!  Look for more on math and science in the kitchen next week! 

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