Recipes for the classroom

cooking banner

© Norah Colvin 2016

As completion, and therefore launch, of readilearn, my website of early childhood teaching resources approaches, it has become obvious that some categories are less well-resourced than others.

I consider food preparation to be a great way of involving children in learning that is fun, purposeful, integrates curriculum areas, and develops skills that can be applied in everyday life. I have previously written about learning in the kitchen with suggestions for parents at home.

In the introduction to the readilearn cooking resources I write

Cooking, including food preparation that doesn’t include any heating, is a great way to teach life skills and integrate learning in a meaningful and enjoyable way across curriculum areas. When children are involved in food preparation they may be developing:

  • Social skills of cooperation, turn taking, sharing, patience
  • Literacy skills – reading and following the recipe, selecting ingredients, writing a menu and invitations, writing a recount, writing a shopping list
  • Mathematics – counting e.g. the number of eggs, measuring with spoons and cups, measuring time, sharing (e.g. the number of cookies, how many slices to make)
  • Science – mixing, adding or removing heat
  • Safety – with knives, peelers and hot implements and ingredients
  • Social Studies: Culture – when preparing ethnic food

readilearn materials are designed to engage children in activities that are both fun and purposeful, with opportunities for learning across the curriculum in a meaningful context.

I was disappointed to realise that I had only one cooking resource prepared: How to make a healthy smiley face sandwich

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

A remedy was required and I tried to think of other resources I could add.

I have previously made ladybird biscuits by icing an Arrowroot biscuit and adding Smarties for spots. I will probably add that recipe in the future, but I was trying to think of something healthier to begin with. I wondered if it might be possible to make a ladybird from an apple. This is what I did:

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

© Norah Colvin 2016

When I made one for my grandson on the weekend, I was pleased that he recognised it as a ladybird beetle, even without the spots!

Unfortunately, it’s more suitable for an adult to make for a child than for children to make for themselves. Apples are too difficult for young children to cut. It is therefore not suitable for readilearn. However, I had fun making it and will continue to think of other recipes I can add to readilearn’s cooking collection.

Thank you

Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

31 thoughts on “Recipes for the classroom

  1. Sarah Brentyn

    Cooking/baking really is a cross-curriculum unit. It’s fantastic. Also, like you said, “real world” math but I love how you’ve broken it down here into all the subjects. Absolutely love the ladybug apple! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. stuckinscared

    Wow! Norah. I love your lady bird… I will definitely have a go at making this with Littlie. I think because (as you say) she would find the cutting a struggle that I will cut enough pieces for two…then I will make one (step by step) allowing her to copy as I go with her own apple pieces. I’m thinking also that I might add two little dots of cream cheese to the head, and stick raisons to that to make eyes.

    I’m glad you shared this here, Norah. You’ve provided me with another holiday/Weekend activity to enjoy with Littlie 🙂 x

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you, Kimmie. I’m pleased you liked my ladybird. The addition of eyes in the way you have described is a great idea. Some piped on cream cheese spots would look good too. I hope Littlie enjoys making, and eating, her ladybird.
      Your bunny has inspired my grandchildren too. This week when I picked G1 up from school, he said that he wanted to make a bunny, but it wasn’t going to be a bunny, it was going to be a dinosaur, a stegosaurus. He knew how to make it.
      He gave me instructions of what he needed and then he started making it. He wasn’t far into it when he decided it would be a possum instead. Then he needed to make a tree to go with it. This is what he made. It’s pretty cool I think.

      Your inspiration continues. Thank you. xo

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          He was too. Funny thing was he asked me to video him making it. It was rather cute! Children are amazing when you let them use their imaginations. But you know, it was your bunny that got him thinking. 🙂

          Like

          Reply
  3. Prior-2001

    Your website sounds great!
    And the “ants on a log” snack came to mind right away-
    Celery – some kind of spread (used to be peanut butter – but with so many allergies best to leave it out) and then a few raisins are the ants – Children love the crunch and they can move through stations….
    I look forward to checking out your site when it is done….

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thank you for your suggestion, Yvette. I like the sound of ants on a log, but you’re right. I’ll have to think of a substitute for peanut butter.
      I’m not sure what you mean by “move through the stations” though.
      Thanks for your kind words about my website. I do hope people will find it useful. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Prior-2001

        Well it depends on the age – as I know you know – but it some students can assemble their own- they can move around a long table (or small tables as stations) and get celery – then the spread – then the raisins –
        /
        I have some other recipes in an old book – and maybe I can send some your way – shoot me an email this summer if you need a few more – I have a few classic books that have great things – I regret not keeping more of the books – because they are treasures from the 80s (passed down to me) – but at least kept a couple!

        Liked by 1 person

        Reply
        1. Norah Post author

          That’s true, and the long table with stations sounds like a great idea. Thanks for clarifying. Sorry I didn’t “get” it.
          I would love some more suggestions if you have time to find them and are happy to share. Thank you for your interest.
          It’s amazing what we may dispose of thinking we’ll never want again, and then miss more than anything. I’m pleased you kept a couple too! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          Reply
          1. Prior-2001

            Oh I would love to share and it feels good because resources only make teachers better – and so hey – let’s pay it forward – and there is s fine line with keeping and tossing – and quick story, but I just got rid of a dozen piano books – primers – and then a vacuum that was not used for years – and that week someone asked if I had a vacuum – ! And my niece was just here and was playing piano and the books would have helped / argh! But I did not really mind because if I do send stuff to the goodwill or give it elsewhere – I try not to look back – and I like clear spaces – ha!
            We’ll have a good day!

            Liked by 1 person

            Reply
            1. Norah Post author

              That is a lovely, generous idea. Thank you. I’m rather fond of the paying it forward philosophy. 🙂
              Your stories about the vacuum and music books prove the truth that you’ll only find a use once it’s gone. But gone is gone and it is best to not look back.
              I’ll be in touch. Thanks. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              Reply
  4. Rowena

    Hi Norah,
    This is a subject very close to my heart. When I was having chemo two years ago, I decided to teach the kids how to cook as it was something I could do and an essential life skill, especially if I didn’t make it. We made pizza from scratch a few times: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/day-3-yeast-pizza-from-scratch-and-quirky-apple-pie/
    This post goes through some of the problems they had. I was quite amazed at how much they had to learn like how to peel apples, grating carrots without grating their fingers and the difficulty following a recipe and following all the steps. I actually tend to rewrite a lot of recipes as I find the steps aren’t specific enough and quite confusing. Leave steps out.
    I found the cook very good for developing sequencing and being able to follow instructions. My two are pretty creeative so sticking to a recipe and being able to follow it, was a challenge.
    xx Rowena

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for sharing your cooking experiences with the children, Rowena. They look to be having a lot of fun. Cooking is great for the treat that comes at the end, as well as all the fun getting messy along the way.
      I hadn’t thought about a pizza recipe. That’s a great idea. Even if we don’t make our own dough, though that is a good science experiment in itself, there’s still a lot of learning to be done. And you’re right, the tasks that we now take for granted had to be learned some time. Being able to follow instructions of any kind is an important life skill, as is being able to find any holes in the process and fill in what’s missing with a combination of prior knowledge and prediction.
      Thanks for sharing your ideas. Yum! 🙂

      Like

      Reply
  5. Steven

    What about a modification using mandarin segments instead? Even the colour is plausible.

    Banana is a good option as well. It is nice and soft allowing it to be cut with a simple butter knife. You can cut it to make circles or ovals (possibility of flower petals there), or chop the end off and straighten it a little to make a snail body (just add “shell”). Slice it the other way and there is probably the basis for butterfly wing shapes.

    On the no-so-healthy side, I made Minecraft inspired squids with my son some time ago. Large/huge marshmellow heads with musk sticks pushed into them (for the tentacles), then heavily painted (okay – sopping) from top to bottom with warmed dark chocolate and left to solidify. It was hard to make and a messy operation, with the final results not looking anything like the squids in the game. It didn’t taste all that great either, but with so much junk in the treat they were all gobbled up.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply
    1. Norah Post author

      Thanks for you suggestions, Steven. You have contributed plenty to the pot. I like the snail idea.
      Your Minecraft-inspired squid sound cool. I used to love musk sticks when I was a child, but haven’t seen them for a long time. I probably moved on to chocolate when it became more readily available, presumably with the introduction of air conditioning to stores. So the chocolate “paint” would also suit me nicely. They sound like they should have tasted a treat. What a great Dad for being so creative. I’m pleased your efforts didn’t go to waste. I remember one of the suggestions I added to Kraken was to try calamari – nothing as creative as your squid! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s