Looking for a fun family activity for a weekend or a snow day? Spending time together in the kitchen has many benefits. It creates a fun and engaging activity for your child to explore language, math and science in a practical way with an edible outcome! It encourages your child to try new foods, and creates quality time with your child.
Select a preschool book that has a food-related theme.
- If You Give…. series (Laura Numeroff)
- Dragons Love Tacos (Adam Rubin)
- Pizza at Sally’s (Monica Wellington)
- Gregory the Terrible Eater (Mitchell Sharmat)
Read the story with your child, and then make the food you find in the story!
Then you can…
Look at the story structure.
- What happened at the beginning, the middle and the end of the story?
- Who were the main characters?
- What is something funny that happened in the story?
- What was a problem that happened in the story?
- How did they fix the problem?
- Draw or paint a picture of your favorite part of the story.
Make a picture shopping list and go shopping together for the ingredients. Children love to push their own cart and select the needed ingredients at the store.
Make a picture recipe card by cutting out pictures of the ingredients used to make the food. Print pictures from the internet and have your child cut them out and stick them to a piece of paper or cardstock – that becomes their recipe card. Depending on their age they can also write the words next to the ingredients.
You can reinforce some early math concepts too…
Measure ingredients. This creates an opportunity to use and explore mathematical language.
- “we need 2 cups of flour”
- “We need to add a little more”
- “We need to set the timer for 15 minutes”
- “Let’s cut that in half”
- “We need a big spoon and a small spoon”
Following multi-step directions (such as in a recipe) teaches our children about directions and the importance of process and order.
Talk about simple science concepts. Take the time to talk about the process of change that occurs to the appearance of the ingredients as they are mixed together and then baked or cooked. This is science in action!
Have fun. Take advantage of introducing new vocabulary related to the process of cooking or baking. Don’t worry about the mess. Enjoy the focused time with your child and take every opportunity to create fun memories!
Children who often begin by stating that they “don’t like that food” find that they are willing to try what they have made – and often they do like the food in the end once they have been part of the process of creating it!