One of the students in our summer school program has shown a considerable interest in cooking. Since most of the children are familiar with the characters from Skylanders, one of the students decided he would like to bake a cake related to the video game and decorate it accordingly.
First, the students went onto the computer and researched a cake recipe. Then the children separated themselves into groups: one of the groups made the cake mix while the other group worked with fondant and created “rocks” for the top layer of the cake.
During this activity, the children expanded their knowledge in multiple different subjects. Concerning mathematics, we measured each ingredient, discussed which is more: a ½ cup or a ¼ cup, and counted the layers of cake, counted the “rocks” on top and counted how many slices we would need to cut in order for everyone to have a piece. We also compared the ingredients to elements on the periodic table; how different ones “react” different to others, what the mixture makes when certain ingredients are added, and hypothesized on what the end product would taste/feel like if one of the ingredients was left out. The children were able to engage in a sensory experience as well by observing the runny eggs mix with the dry flour , study how the hard butter turn into a soft liquid, and feel the difference between the crumbly cake and smooth fondant. Lastly, as you can see in the pictures, we also worked on life-skills like using kitchen utensils, presentation of food, and cleaning up after yourself.
The most important thing the children learned in this activity was how to be creative in a team. Even though some of the children cut fondant while others mixed ingredients, we worked together to make this unique and delicious cake.