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Repetition and Child Development Through Cooking
April 01, 2012

There are some interesting facts about repetition and child development through cooking

Electrical energy is created via the neural pathways when learning starts.  The more repititious the task the more learning is taking place opening the neurons producing more electrical energy.  The less “automatic” something is the more electrical energy is required. In simple terms the more involved the task, the more repitition, the more learning.  Learning, or the growth of neural connections in the brain, is strengthened through repetition.  Think of something you do automatically – like count by 10’s.  It takes very little electrical energy for your brain to count by 10’s because you’ve done it many times.  The more well traveled a pathway, the less energy is required.  That’s why you can do two things at once for example, watch TV and knit.  When you’re first learning to knit, it takes all of your effort.  Looking, counting, stitches, watching your needles this takes more electrical energy. As it becomes automatic, you use less brain energy, so you can layer another activity on top of that without fear of accidentally turning those mittens into a hat instead or that souffle into a soup.

Ever wonder why children expect a favorite activity to be repeated again and again and again?  Repetition is a necessary building block of development. Children’s brains KNOW that they need repetition. What about the fact that we always have a hello and goodbye ritual, a bounce, a steady beat, rocking time, and story time?  Patterns and repetition make children happy and feel safe.  This is also true when it comes to cooking.  That is why you remember fondly those times and days spent with mom or grandmother in the kitchen cooking or baking as a child.  It is through repetition that possibility becomes ability.   Knowing what to expect and having things happen in that way not only helps children know what to expect it makes them feel at ease, it’s also how they mark time.  When the environment and routine is predictable, then a child feels safe and learning can naturally happen.

 Repetition is a necessary building block of development and cooking activities give children this exact lesson for brain development and enjoyment.

Communicating Neurons
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