Inquiry-based learning at Wichtel Akademie using the example of healthy nutrition and cooking

Children’s encounters in learning happen each and everyday. Through their explorations of different expressive languages, children experience learning in many ways. And just like that, our bumblebee group at Wichtel Akademie Parkstadt Schwabing went on a journey to inquire their favorite meal, the fascination of the Wichtel kitchen and the language of food. This is one of our latest outstanding experience based on IBL (inquiry-based learning). IBL plays a huge role in the educational concept of our kindergarten and means that we use the children‘s natural curiosity to promote their experimentation and engagement by asking questions and finding creative solutions rather than using any strict instruction setting.

How it started: „Why is there dessert only once a week?“

„How does the chef cook our meals?“, „how does the chef work every day?“, „why is there dessert only once a week?“, „what is inside of our Wichtel kitchen and what is its function?“ The Bumblebees were constantly asking these and other questions about our kitchen during lunchtime. One of our preschoolers then had the brilliant idea to write a letter to our chef, Paul, to invite him to our morning circle and ask him all the questions we have.  And Paul? Paul said „yes“!

Day 1: A very special guest: The chef of Wichtel Akademie joining the morning circle to answer all the questions

You can imagine how excited the Bumblebees were, when our very special guest, chef Paul, joined our morning circle that following Monday. The children eagerly shared the interesting things they would like to learn more about and actively participated during the face-to-face conversation with Paul. All of our questions were answered. The Bumblebees had a wonderful morning circle discussion together and were even finally invited by Paul to visit his kitchen the next day. How exciting!

Day 2: A very special invitation in return: Let‘s visit the kitchen!

The following day, we were given an exclusive guided tour of all kitchen areas by chef Paul.. He showed us some of his giant cookware as well as demonstrated how types of machinery function to cook every delicious meal. Moreover, he showed the variety of spices in the kitchen and explained his cook and chill method in a simple way . All of this was so fascinating for the Bumblebees. In the end, the children drew a present for Paul to thank him for this magical experience.

Best practice of IBL using the importance of healthy food at Wichtel Akademie

The spatial, emotional and cognitive relationships between the children, the chef, and the kitchen offered us many opportunities for giving shape to ideas. Big thank you to Paul and our Wichtel kitchen for the tremendous contribution each and every day, for providing us with delicious and moreover very healthy meals. It is nourishment, comfort, love, and necessary to health and well-being. We are looking very forward to inquiring further with our children to see how this ongoing project will continue inspiring us on the inquiry-based learning journey.