More read it and cook it!

As I have mentioned before, cooking is not one of my special gifts but I do like to cook and especially love to cook with my class. I still have plenty of cooking activities to share with you so here is a new set, along with children’s books, that we tried during this past school year…

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear

To go along with the book,“The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear” by Don and Audrey Wood, we made strawberry-banana smoothies…

To make the smoothies, I gave each child a few strawberries and half of a banana to cut up with a plastic knife…

But once the children started cutting up the fruit, I realized that I can’t possibly put their fruit in the blender because they had all handled their own bananas and strawberries and there really was no way to rinse off all the germs…

So I told the children they could just eat up what they had cut up and I would slice up some fruit for our smoothies…

I haven’t ever made smoothies before so I just guessed at how much fruit, ice, and milk I should use in the blender. I added all the ingredients and the children got all excited and shouted loudly when we pushed the button to blend everything all up…

I wasn’t sure which button to push on the blender either. I am not quite sure what the difference between puree, chop, and the other settings are so I just picked one and hoped for the best.  Once the blending was complete, we poured each child a small cup of smoothie to taste…

Most of the children didn’t drink their smoothie. I kind of figured it was because they had already eaten so many bananas and strawberries but after I tasted the smoothie myself, I realized it was because the smoothie tasted like water with seeds in it. It actually looked great but had almost no flavor at all….

A Rainbow of My Own

To go with the book “A Rainbow of My Own” By Don Freeman, we made rainbow toast.  I already blogged about our rainbow toast which you can read about here. But we actually made rainbow toast twice….

The first time we made rainbow toast, I set out small paint brushes and the kids hated it. I was so surprised that they didn’t like painting their bread so I decided that it was because it took too long to really get any color on their bread with small paint brushes….

So the next time we tried it, I set out large paint brushes and they loved it!


If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

To go with the book “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Numeroff, we made oatmeal cookies. Do you know how hard it is to make oatmeal cookies?

I used the recipe on the back of the oatmeal container and the children did a great job adding all the different ingredients but when it came to mixing them all together, that was a little tough…

I had one child work and work on trying to get the butter mixed in smoothly with the eggs but in the end, I had to mix that part up…

And when we went to add the dry ingredients, the mixture was so dry and crumbly that I am quite certain we left something out of this recipe but I was too disorganized by that time to know for sure what it was…

So I gave up and just let the kids think they were making oatmeal cookies. The oatmeal cookie mixture never made it into the oven…

Planting a Rainbow

To go along with the book “Planting a Rainbow” by Lois Ehlert, we made rainbow pudding. I had seen several photos of other people making rainbow pudding online and they looked beautiful so I definitely wanted to try this with my class…

I had the children split up into two separate groups and each group did a wonderful job mixing up the pudding…

Once the children had the pudding all mixed up, then we divided it into five bowls and added color to each bowl…

Then each child was given their own plastic cup to go down the line and spoon in each color of pudding to make their own cup of rainbow pudding…

The process went really well but our pudding cups did not look quite as beautiful as the ones I saw online…

Which tells me that either I did something wrong in this process or that the rainbow pudding cups I saw online were definitely not intended to be made by preschoolers…

I know – it kind of looks like a rainbow threw up in the cup but hey – our rainbow pudding cups may have not looked like lovely layers of rainbow pudding but they tasted yummy anyway!

About our cooking

  • Keep in mind that we don’t cook like this every day!
  • We cook up something special about once and sometimes twice a month.
  • We always wash hands before, during, and after cooking and do our very, very best to only touch our own food.
  • When we are not cooking, we eat simple snacks like crackers, cheese, apples, and other food items that really are not that interesting to blog about.

Leave a comment
If you have a favorite cooking activity, please leave a comment below – I would love to read all about it!

Links to grow on…

For more cooking ideas you can see the ones I have saved here on my  Pinterest Snack Board or here on Pinterest Cooking with Kids board too!

Read it and cook it (version one) from Teach Preschool

Check out the Snacks and Stories blog too!

Books on Amazon

And here are links to cookbooks on Amazon that I don’t own…

This post is linked to…..

By |2012-03-21T18:00:02+00:00March 21st, 2012|

About the Author:

Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. has been working and teaching in the field of early childhood education for over 30 years. Deborah currently owns and teaches in her own part-time, private preschool called The Children’s Studio. Deborah’s deep passion for teaching and working with young children is documented and then graciously shared with millions of readers around the world through her blog and other social networking communities. Deborah believes that young children learn best through play and exploration and embraces this belief in all that she does in her own classroom so that she can effectively and passionately share rewarding, real- life, tried-and-true practices with other teachers, parents, and leaders across the field of early childhood education.


  1. Barbaral March 21, 2012 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Hahaha! Got such a kick out of your discription of the smoothie making and eating adventure!! I am a cooker and baker and of course was anxious to try my recipes in the classroom. That said, I have learned a few things:
    1. Keep it simple….very simple. If we are making muffins , for instance,
    I have dry ingredients measured, liquid ingredients measured. Kids do things such as pouring, mixing, putting paper liners in the muffin tins, etc.

    2. Consider the make ahead plan–like on television. Have the kids do all the mixing, preparing, etc. Then serve them the same recipe that you have cooked or baked at home.

    3. Let them crack eggs. This is one of the most entertaining adventures in cooking. Bring enough eggs for every child to crack at least one. Show them how and then observe…Cute!! (I hate to waste food, so we usually do this as part of the green eggs and ham theme.)

    4. Involve your parents or other volunteers. For many party days, we decorate cookies. A parent volunteers to bake plain sugar cookies…Another sends in chocolate and vanilla icing. I add a variety of sprinkles. The parent invites 2-3 children at a time to decorate their cookie. Each child does his own, and uses a clean spreading knife. They get a dab of icing on a plate to avoid “double dipping” in the icing tub. Cookies are put on plates labeled with each childs name. At snack/party time, each child locates his/her own special cookie treat!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm - Reply

      All terrific tips Barbara and I appreciate you taking the time to share them – perfect for this blog post! My class LOVES to crack the eggs!!

  2. katie March 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    When i used to teach 2 s & 3s the kids always seemed to enjoy making food faces… pizza ones out of english muffins and fruit or veggie ones on rice cakes with crram cheese or peanut butter as the ” glue”… healthy, fun, and yummy… you can make these to go with all sorts of books’ characters My 2 & 4 year old children love cooking and baking anything at least once a week with me since were always home and looking for fun!!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 21, 2012 at 10:45 pm - Reply

      Pizza faces!! How fun!

  3. Mary March 22, 2012 at 12:57 am - Reply

    After reading the book “Stone Soup” to my class, I then give each child a baggie of the ingredients that are in the book. Then I read the book again, and when I come to an ingredient the child that is holding that food baggie adds their food to the crock pot of soup. I make sure every child gets a chance to add their food to the pot and a chance to stir the soup. After several hours our soup is ready to have for lunch. I hope I explained this OK. Yes, we do add a stone, it just wouldn’t taste the same with out it. Yummy!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 1:02 am - Reply

      Oh, I absolutely love this idea! We haven’t read this book in our class yet and this would be so fun! I would definitely want to season it up with that stone too:) Haha!

  4. Stacey March 22, 2012 at 1:08 am - Reply

    I think you are too hard on yourself. I would venture to guess that the kids in your class will leave the program loving to cook. They will have terrific stories about the cooking they have done.

    That said, I do bake at home and enjoy it. I cook every now and then at school (probably once a month on average). I do very simple stuff. ‘Just add water’ muffins or pancakes from the mix–talk about solids, powders, liquids, batter. Pudding shaken in a jar, same types of vocab. Blender applesauce, we talk about kitchen safety. Scrambled eggs, talk about safety and note the changes of the eggs. Homemade butter from heavy whipping cream–this is a good gross motor practice as we shake the jar a lot. Even just allowing them to cut cheese cubes with a butter knife, or peel carrots make for meaningful cooking opportunities that are not too stressful.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 1:13 am - Reply

      Stacey – you make it sound so easy 🙂 I never thought of shaking pudding in a jar – I love all these ideas! Thank you so much…

  5. Nancy March 22, 2012 at 8:30 am - Reply

    The smoothies will be creamier if you add vanilla yogurt. That is your missing ingredient.

    Also, you may not think the rainbow cups looked pretty but I’ll bet your children thought they were absolutely perfect.

    One of my favorite activities is making bread. The children love kneading the dough because it is so different from Playdoh. However, I have a couple of frozen loaves that I thaw out and bake because the dough that the children have mauled is a little gray and doesn’t always have the greatest texture after it is baked.

    When I do Stone Soup I have each child bring his favorite ingredient (I always make some suggestions to the parents, but the children actually make their own choices.) That way every child knows there will be something in the soup that they like. I have never had a child refuse to try the soup and many of them discover that they like new things they had never tried before. Of course, sometimes I end up with three or four kinds of pasta and very few vegetables, but I always bring some vegetables, just in case I need them. I provide the seasonings and a little bit of stew meat for flavor. Many of the children ask for seconds when we have this and several have gone home and asked their mothers to make stone soup.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 2:09 pm - Reply

      Yum – homemade bread and stone soup! I should not be reading this during lunch time!! I love, love, love both of these ideas and will definitely add it to my to do list. I love how you have parents bring ingredients from home!

  6. Shelby March 22, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

    I’m smiling as I read this because I often stumble around cooking with the class, flour everywhere, and a sink full of dishes because we made rainbow something….and we made this mess together KNOWING that most will not sample (never mind eat!)…..and cooking is another art form, where it’s the process that’s important, and not the product.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 2:10 pm - Reply

      I agree – the process is what matters and my students LOVE cooking. I have them fooled into thinking I actually know something about cooking:)

  7. andiejaye March 22, 2012 at 10:54 am - Reply

    i love the rainbow pudding! what we usually put in smoothies is vanilla yogurt and a smaller amount of ice. it’s always trial and error, though. especially with my cooking skills 😛 cooking with children is so fun though. some great activities! sometimes the ones that turn out as we planned are the best, right? (especially that oatmeal cookie one!)

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm - Reply

      I am going to try the yogurt – that sounds so much better! But I am not going to try Oatmeal cookies again! LOL!

  8. YourTherapySource March 22, 2012 at 11:46 am - Reply

    Funny post. Appreciate your honesty for adjusting on the fly – not all activities go as planned. Most of the time though children think these are the best activities.

    I agree with the bread baking – we do breadsticks so everyone has their own. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or cinnamon and sugar. Tasty too!

    We have also done hot pretzels – same as bread dough concept but different recipe. You can make letters, shapes or numbers.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm - Reply

      I have tried different simple bread making activities – well I wouldn’t exactly call them bread but I will have to share about those in a new post someday!

  9. heather at wordplayhouse® March 23, 2012 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    So, many great ideas! I love how you shared that a few of your food making didn’t turn out quite as expected. Because, the process of making together—the chopping, the washing, the “experimenting” are all the most important part of baking and cooking anyway! Wonderful food making to go along with the books you chose!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 23, 2012 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      Thank you for stopping by Heather! Yes – it is the process that counts – thank goodness:)

  10. Cerys @ Rainy Day Mum March 23, 2012 at 6:39 pm - Reply

    You have made my day – a true picture of how cooking with pre-schoolers goes (in fact a true picture of how cooking with any kid goes). I love the smoothie look but as the last time I made it it was water with seeds in as well I’ve given up and now make milkshakes with ice cream in instead lovely and delicious.

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 23, 2012 at 9:26 pm - Reply

      Yum! Milkshakes! I better add that to my list:)

  11. Amber March 23, 2012 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    Your posts make me smile. And they inspire also! I don’t have much luck with kids drinking any smoothies/slushies we make together (most recent was watermelon slushies) either…but it’s the process that’s important. And those rainbow pudding cups…I can just imagine that they were beautifully layered by color to make a lovely rainbow pudding cup…but most likely not done by the child…at least for the picture! Loved yours though! We were brainstorming what we wanted to do after Spring Break and cooking was one of them. Going to start going through our book shelves and look for books we can use as the basis of our cooking explorations!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 23, 2012 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      I am always much more inspired when I find a book I love! It just gets me thinking of all the possibilities! Thanks for your sweet comment about the pudding cups:) The kids loved them!

  12. Amy @ A Little Nosh March 24, 2012 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I love that you shared your successes AND your failures. Thanks for doing that!

  13. Cristi March 29, 2012 at 11:08 pm - Reply

    Such fabulous activities! We just read Planting A Rainbow at the library today! And “Bear & Berry” is a frequent bedtime story request 🙂
    Thanks for linking to the Rainbow Connection!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. March 30, 2012 at 12:35 am - Reply

      I loved your site Cristi – it was a pleasure to link up!

  14. Dee September 12, 2012 at 10:50 pm - Reply

    Ha-Ha-Ha!! I love your honesty. It IS the process over the end product — but sometimes that doesn’t make a “picture perfect picture”! You rock!!

    • Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. September 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm - Reply

      A perfect picture wouldn’t be any fun would it Dee:) LOL!

  15. […] Cook It! Read It! from Teach Preschool […]

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