Hello Readers! (and anyone else who happened to stumble upon simply.cindy by mistake)
Winter is here and in my mind, winter means time to get kids in the kitchen! Cooking is a great way to introduce children to practical life skills plus a little science as well. My love for literacy means that I always like cooking to be inspired by a good picture book so here are seven picture books that can be specifically used to inspire cooking activities with young children!
- Pete’s a Pizza by William Steig Not only can you make pizzas with children after reading this book but parents and teachers can have a lot of fun pretending to make children into pizzas just as Pete’s Dad does in the story. If you’d like to keep it really simple, use english muffins for the pizza crust and then let the children add the tomato sauce, cheese and other toppings. Other crust options: make your own pizza dough or buy pre-made pizza dough from the bakery. You can also use pita bread or tortillas; they work for pizza crust too.
- The Little Red Hen a Little Gold Book Classic This is such a great classic story and making bread is an equally great activity to try whether you use a bread maker machine or just do it the old fashioned way using the oven. Make sure your children know how to make something many of us eat daily. If you make bread then you can use it to for the next story as well.
- The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord This is such a fun story and an entertaining way to cope with a swarm of bees! What could be more fun than making a long baguette and spreading it with jam to create a giant sandwich just as the people in the village do in the story.
- Stone Soup by Jon J. Muth Invite each child in your class to bring an ingredient for the soup. Or if you are a parent, then read the story and then have a look in your garden or fridge for some soup ingredients. Do this together with your child. Then have fun chopping and peeling vegetables and adding them to the soup. Use a real stone as they do in the story.
- Plain Noodles by Betty Waterton Rosie and a bunch of babies change the life of Sofia whose children have grown up and left home long ago. Here’s a really ambitious cooking activity: Make your own pasta dough and then run it through a pasta maker to make fresh noodles. Children will love cranking the handle to flatten the pasta dough and make it into noodles.
- Blueberries for Sal by Robert McCloskey This is a fun story with Sal and her mother picking blueberries at the same time as a mother bear and her cub are eating blueberries. Read this and make some blueberry muffins or better yet, blueberry pie.
- Katie Shaeffer Pancake Maker by Cynthia Mackey It’s not available yet but soon, I hope. This story about is about a girl who is too young to use the stove and uses a little magic plus her own creativity to make pancakes in her own special way. Making pancakes with children is simple and getting the opportunity to flip the pancakes, well that is just tons of fun.
So if the winter weather is keeping you indoors, then why not read a few picture books and do a little cooking. And when the cooking is done, remember… kids love bubbles so washing up the dishes is something they will enjoy. And don’t forget that the empty pots, pans and spoons are great fun for pretend cooking when you’re all done with the real stuff.