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
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:
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 for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts.