Cooking with pre-schoolers. It may sound like a disaster waiting to happen, but experts say it can help tremendously with one important thing: listening.
"I think the learning process in their brains, that something so fun and easy, is actually a learning lesson," said Chef Erik Pettersen at Evo Italian. "The children go step-by-step, and as long as you make eye contact, and you let them know they are with you, they respond so well."
Pettersen showed WPTV an example of how to cook with kids. He made ravioli with two young boys, pointing to the fact that it is something the whole family can take part in.
Experts point to success in following step-by-step directions as a way to practice multi-step instructions to make a dish.
"Break it down. Don't give too many directions at once. Model. So have yours, you do it, and then let them do it," said Shannon Visentin, an occupation therapist and owner of Thera-Peds.
David Tufts, a local father, agrees.
"You give them three or four directions and they flourish," said Tufts. "It's like a challenge."
He said it's also a way to build listening skills quickly.
"Listening for safety especially," said Tufts.
Experts and moms seem to agree it can help young kids with listening skills, language and basic math.
"When I go over it with him step-by-step, it's very simple. Rule of threes kind of works well and having everything lined up and ready to go, so all he has to do is kind of execute," said Ariel Bachman, a local mom.
Remember to keep it simple. Elaborate is not always better.
"Having all the ingredients pre-measured and ready, so he can just dump it in," said Bachman.
Bottom line: bringing kids in the kitchen can be a confidence booster.