As the holiday season approaches, I have visions of shopping, cooking, and eating in my head! The holidays are a perfect time to create and follow family traditions. One tradition that allows for a little family time and the opportunity to sneak in some learning is cooking together.
My children love to help in the kitchen; especially at the holidays when I tend to bake more. I love the fact that they are learning while having fun. My six year old can read and understand simple fractions. My three year old can read pictures to determine ingredients.
A fun way to connect learning and cooking is through children’s literature. Use books to inspire new recipes, perfect old ones, or to just spend some family time together.
About a month ago, my daughter consistently asked for me (or my husband) to read aloud Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann. The story is about a little girl who eats so many pink cupcakes that she turns pink. After reading it several days in a row, my daughter asked if we could make pink cupcakes, just like Pinkalicious. So we did!
Here are a few books with corresponding recipe ideas:
- Blueberries for Sal (Picture Puffins) by Robert McCloskey – A little girl and her mom set off to search for blueberries for the winter. Make your favorite blueberry muffin recipe.
- Johnny Appleseed [JOHNNY APPLESEED] by Steven Kellogg – An introduction to the life of Johnny Appleseed. Make applesauce in the crock pot.
- The Snowy Day by Jack Ezra Keats – A small boy named Peter experiences the joy of a snowy day. Make ice cream snow balls.
The following are wonderful books by Laura Numeroff. Each begins with the animal receiving the treat, but cause and effect takes over and for each item received, the animal needs something to go with it. Great read alouds!
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (If You Give…) Make your favorite cookie recipe.
If You Give a Moose a Muffin (If You Give…) Make your favorite muffin recipe.
If You Give a Pig a Pancake (If You Give…) Make your favorite pancake recipe.
If You Give a Cat a Cupcake (If You Give… Books) Make your favorite cupcake recipe.
A great cookbook for kids, by kids is Spatulatta Cookbook by Isabella Gerasole and Olivia Gerasole. These sisters even have their own website where they share recipes through free step-by-step videos.
If you are an Educator:
Consider using recipes to make literature based cookbooks. Create a unit based on books that have food prominent throughout. Read aloud the books and brainstorm recipes that can be created for each book (see the books above to get you started). As a culminating activity, create a cookbook of the recipes. If possible, make a few of the recipes, if not all, and host a Literary Lunch. Invite parents and provide a bound cookbook for all to take home.
A great resource to start with may be Recipes for Reading: Hands-On, Literature-Based Cooking Activities by Gwynne Spencer.
©2009 by Dawn Little for Literacy Toolbox. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
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