Involve your kids in cooking for a wonderful multi-sensory experience!

We recently spent a morning exploring different types of fruit.  With that fruit, we created a delicious rainbow fruit salad.  What we learned is that cooking in the classroom is about so much more than just measuring, slicing, and pouring.  It can be a multi-sensory experience…

Introduce a Story

To begin our morning, we read a delightful story called “End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad.”  It is a simple book that explores both colors and numbers, as well as many different types of fruit.  Be sure to stick around because tomorrow we will be giving away a copy of this book!

After reading our book, we passed around a few of the fruits that were mentioned in the book…

Engage the Senses

We passed around a pineapple, grapes, bananas, strawberries, and a papaya:  all fruits that were about to be used in our fruit salad.  While we passed the fruit around, we talked about using all of our senses to examine the fruit.  What color is the papaya?  How does that prickly pineapple feel on your fingers?  What do those strawberries smell like?  Of course, we would see what it tastes like later.  It was, not only an invitation to explore the fruit, but an opportunity to build language skills…

Passing our fruit around the circle was also an opportunity to work on sharing and turn taking.  After sharing around our circle, it was time to turn all that beautiful fruit into fruit salad…

Promote Self-help Skills

We moved to our larger tables and each child had the opportunity to wash and cut the fruit we just explored.  Some of our fruit required big knives, which only Mrs. Stewart and Mr. Hayden were allowed to use.  The children were given plastic knives to cut the fruit into smaller, bite-sized pieces….

If you’ve ever attempted cooking with a large group of children, you will understand that it can be quite a daunting task but it isn’t one you should shy away from.  Our children always love the opportunity to create their own snack.  They are more eager to try a new food, when they have helped create it themselves…

Encourage Collaboration

Working side by side with other children to achieve a common goal requires cooperation and sometimes patience, while waiting for a turn…

Explore New Foods

Cooking in the classroom also allows children to explore foods in a completely new way.  None of our children had ever eaten a papaya, let alone had the opportunity to cut it open and scoop out its slimy seeds…

When all of our fruit was cut, we had a very colorful and delicious rainbow fruit salad.  The children had pride in knowing that they helped to prepare this yummy snack…