Personal, Social & Emotional Development
My World Kitchen shows us host children exhibiting a high level of self confidence in something that they know about and can do. This confidence is in many ways inspirational because it shows children in the audience a means of mimicking them by taking an interest in a favourite dish, learning how to make it and the positive benefits of having their own friends come round to celebrate their achievement.
The host children speak to us in a way that develops a strong sense of self-awareness about the needs of others. Our host children are behaving like teachers, are sensitive to our needs and what we need to know or understand, and put us ahead of themselves by inviting us to share something special in their homes.
We encounter the host children's homes, kitchens and dining spaces in a way that helps develop a sensitivity towards the needs and feelings of others, and helps to model positive relationships with adults and other children from a range of diverse backgrounds. We are able to see what we all have in common just as much as what we do differently. This message is vitally important, healthy and necessary as a building block for a happier society.
Communication & Language Development
Many younger children are well known for struggling to concentrate on what others are saying to them so My World Kitchen makes a wonderful contribution towards addressing this and developing their communication skills. Firstly, much of the narration is generated by a child's own voice, and as such younger children naturally tend to home in on this. Secondly, the range of situations in the process of making the meal, as well as the clear format and sequence of activities helps children to follow the information on offer in little 'bites'. The pictures, graphics and visuals all go a long way towards supporting this.
My World Kitchen provides younger children with important content supporting their comprehension of ideas and concepts through spoken language, description and explanation. Essentially, this is fostered by the use of recipes to understand the relationship between ingredients and 'making' linked to the cultural context these originated in. Therefore, younger children can begin to understand that we don't all eat the same things all round the world - there is variation and diversity based on what grows in different places, their climate and traditions.
Aspects of essential early literacy are generated as a result of watching MWK such as the ability to read text (or at least recognise text as recipes or words associated with foods), interpret diagrams or pictures, hear words and associate these with what they can see, and demonstrate an understanding when talking to others about what they have watched.
Understanding the World
My World Kitchen encourages younger children to think about what other children know about other countries, the lives of their family and where they originally come from. This benefits them because it shows not all children like the same things (food) or have different 'favourite' meals to each other. At the same time it helps them learn about the similarities and differences between themselves and others, and among families, communities and diverse traditions.
When finding out about the types of foods that grow in different countries, MWK helps children realise similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. It also encourages talking about the features of their own environment (such as how food grows here or shopping for food in their locality) and how environments in other countries might vary from one another.
Thank you to Brian Neish for his support.