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Kid-friendly Cooking Projects

Cooking is a favorite activity for many children and supports so many areas of their development. They’re observing cause and effect, practicing math skills (sequencing, counting, measuring), exercising patience and self control, learning to following directions, and so much more.

In the classroom, I almost exclusively cook with children using picture recipe cards (which I’ll share with you below). It gives the children a deeper understanding of the steps as well as control over the process. They get to run the show with me as a helper instead of the other way around. I typically cut up the recipes so that each child physically holds the picture for their one or two assigned steps. They work together to seriate the steps and figure out who is next as we move through the recipe. I love the number-related discussions that ensue. When a child’s step is finished, he sticks it to a display board so we can track our progress. You can try this at home by splitting the cards among siblings or inviting one child to put the cards in order and move them to a “finished” pile after each step is complete. Of course, you can also just print the 2-page, visual recipe and encourage your child to mark each square as “finished” as you go.

Aww…back when little Cordalane (Will’s sister) was a Woodland kid!
More aww…little Noa (Max’s sister) and little Gael (Amylia’s son)

Our all-time favorite, kid-tested recipe is Popovers from the Pretend Soup cookbook. The kids particularly love spreading melted butter in the muffin tin (reserve time for this – it’s a project in itself). One of the reasons I love this book is because it has great ideas for accommodating children in the kitchen that can be applied to other recipes you might find yourself cooking. I mean, for greasing a pan, who would have thought to melt the butter and give the child a brush? Brilliant.

So, read the intro, pick & print a recipe, and have some fun! (PS-Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t engage in such flagrant copyright infringement by sharing copies of a book and encouraging you to print…but these are not normal times. Print and enjoy…and consider supporting the authors by purchasing a copy for your home after all of this is over.) XO