Every week, we have a cooking project based on what the children were pretending to make in their play kitchen. They use play-dough, dry rice or pasta, and empty food boxes with their creativity then they make and serve each other food. They are learning where food comes from and they are seeing how food is made when playing in their kitchen. Our weekly cooking project gives them the hands-on experience they enjoy and this helps them become more familiar with food and kitchen utensils.
One week, the children were playing with play dough and they were rolling it into a ball, then flattening it.
Emma: I make the ball.
Isabella: Do we eat the ball?
Teacher: What if it was bread in the shape of a ball?
Isabella: We’re making a wonderful bread!
We decided to make bread rolls for out cooking project that week! Children signed up to bring an ingredient and we prepared the tables for cooking!
The teacher asked, “Where’s the flour/sugar/vegetable oil/yeast/salt?” and the children took turns using their reading skills to find the ingredient!
Next, we measured all the ingredients, and counted the cups/tsp as we poured them into the food processor. We looked at all the measuring utensils and cooking utensils, then we compared utensils by size. The processor did all the mixing for us. ;-P
We waited for the dough to rise…….
We counted how many children we had in our class that day. Twenty three! We divided the dough into 23 rolls, and baked them…. Mmm, mmm! They smell fresh, and look yummy! We set the tables with our rolls and butter.
The children spread the butter on their own. The bread rolls were warm, so the butter melted on the rolls, and the children enjoyed them! Maybe we should make bread rolls more often. ;-P
Allowing the children to cook every week, helps them develop many skills. When we proceed to use different materials through out the week, they come up with different ideas and ingredients to include in their cooking project. By the end of the week, we use these ideas and many skills such as:
- Fine Motor Skills when measuring, mixing and pouring ingredients
- Math Skills (adding/subtracting and one-to-one correspondence) when measuring and counting cups, tablespoons, and teaspoons.
- And Reading Skills when reading the ingredients and directions of the cooking recipe.