Saturday, November 1, 2008

Benefits of Cooking with Your Child

By Carol Davis
Kindergarten Teacher, Michigan

In our Kindergarten classroom, we spend one day a month cooking with the children. We spend a few days before discussing what we are going to cook and the reason that we will be cooking in the classroom. Our recipes are always connected to a theme we are learning about in school.

We begin by talking with the students about the materials we need. We also talk about how we will put the ingredients together to make our dish. The children help pour, stir, and mix the items. As we proceed, we encourage conversation about what we are doing. Not every child feels comfortable speaking out during group time, but most children will talk about food. Children seem to make better social connections during this process. They feel a sense of connection with others and they share stories about when they cook at home with parents or grandparents.

Children learn by doing and we encourage children to be involved. We introduce and explain kitchen utensils and how food is prepared. The children get very excited about cooking in the classroom. They enjoy the smells, they talk with each other about how the food has been prepared and they can hardly wait for our dish to be ready – our finished product! What a sense of accomplishment they have when our dish has been prepared.

Parents and family members, I encourage you to cook with your children. Not only will you be showing them how dishes are made, you will also stimulate conversation that will last a lifetime.

Here is a great site for kid friendly recipes.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Recycled Watering Jug

Create a watering jug with a recycled plastic milk or juice container.

1/2 Gallon Plastic Jug, Hammer, Nail, decorative paint or stickers

Parents use a hammer and nail to punch 10-15 holes in the plastic container. Create the holes on the upper corner opposite the handle. Kids design and decorate the jug with waterproof stickers and paint. Fill the jug with recycled water from shower or sink and water plants and gardens.

Source: Jamie Oltman, Program Director Groundwater Foundation

Recycled Plastic Bottle

Create a Bank From a Recycled Plastic Bottle

Recycled, tall plastic container, utility knife, recycled paper, scissors, tape, decorative stickers

To help kids see how little changes add up, make a Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle bank. Each time your child puts any of the three R’s into practice, add a penny. When it is full, use the change to make change, buy seeds to grow plants, donate to wildlife cause, etc.

Parents cut a coin slot in the lid.
Kids use recycled paper or stickers to decorate.

Source: and Natural Kids® adaptations.