As occupational therapists, we know the importance of engaging in tasks and activities that a person finds meaningful. When we are able to facilitate practising therapy goals in contextual, meaningful and personal ways, we support clients’ motivation, confidence, and independence skills. For many clients, a meaningful and important daily skill is being able to navigate and use the kitchen for baking and cooking.
At first glance, participating in baking leaves clients and their families with a delicious outcome, but it also provides opportunities to implement a range of therapy goals in a practical way, including fine motor, social, and executive function skills. At OCC Therapy, we have been running online baking groups, where we have watched clients develop a number of skills, including:
- Organising and gathering ingredients and materials,
- Following a written recipe and monitoring their progress through the task,
- Developing flexible thinking and problem solving,
- Using fine motor skills in a practical way,
- Developing independence and responsibility in cleaning up tasks,
- Practising social interactions and developing friendships through a shared experience, and
- Engaging in positive and meaningful interactions with family members.
So, let’s bring out the mixing bowls and spatulas and get back to baking! You can ask Grandma for a family recipe, go shopping with Mum and Dad, and get messy in the kitchen with a sibling. Ready, steady, bake!