CRAFTS, FOOD and FUN FOR CHILDREN

by

Beverly Merchant

  This lesson was created as a part of the SMART website and is hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology


I had fun reviewing hundreds of websites related to food, crafts and fun for children.  Regardless of the grade level all children eat and food preparation is an activity that includes: Mathematics/Measurement; Language Arts (reading, spelling); Science (there is a change in the original ingredients); Geography (where did the food originate and is this food more available in certain geographic areas; Social Studies (is this food associated with a particular group of people);and Art (color and texture are important in food presentation.

 

     When children cook everyone can be involved in the process.  Recipes are created and compiled into cookbooks that are colorfully illustrated.  It is an adventure to begin with a variety of ingredients and see the metamorphous from inedible, somewhat edible and edible.  What happened for this final product to emerge?  Did it occur gradually or quickly?   Was heating or cooling done?  Children can have many responsibilities from shopping, reading labels, weighing foods, selecting the freshest looking or smelling items, carrying groceries, washing foods, finding cooking utensils, reading directions, looking at the clock to see how much time is needed for the food to cook or gel, cleaning up before, during and after preparation, setting the table and the sheer gastronomic pleasure of enjoying a meal.  What a contribution.

 

     Safe and healthy habits are established.  Children learn to wash their hands, utensils and cooking surfaces during food preparation.  Also they learn to never use knives, electric gadgets, stoves, microwaves and hot water without adult permission. 

 

     Recipes that are passed down from generation to generation and then re-created in the kitchen or classroom create a closer bond between some families.  What fun for grandparents to share cooking secrets with a grandchild or someone special.  Many people can be enriched.

 

     Some staple items a teacher could have at school for fun food activities are:

Peanut butter

Crackers

Graham crackers

Raisins

Nuts

Pretzels

Jell-O

Seasonal fresh fruits

Vegetables

Low fat cheeses

Breads

Marshmallows

Jelly

Aluminum foil

Cookie cutters

Cooking spray

 

     Easy foods to prepare at school are:

 

Smoothies

Peanut butter and crackers

Stuffed celery

Fruit flavored ice cream

Cheese and crackers

Fresh fruit cups

Veggies

Jelly and crackers

Jell-O

 

     Easy foods that require some cooking or refrigeration are:

 

Pizza

Jell-O

Spaghetti or pasta

Cookies

Brownies

Breads

Freeze pops

 

     I asked the children in my Pre-Kindergarten class what some of their favorite foods were and why they really liked them.  Their responses were:

 

Apples

Bananas

Grapes

Cheese

Cereal

Macaroni and cheese

Chicken

Pizza

Hamburgers

They’re really good

They make me strong

I like how it looks

I like how it feels going down

 

     I included recipes for edible and inedible playdough for children to eat and produce creative foods.

 

                          

 

                                        EDIBLE PLAYDOUGH

 

2 cups smooth peanut butter

2 cups rolled dough

2 cups dried milk

2/3 cups honey

Mix all the above ingredients together

 

Optional

Rice krispies

Coconut sprinkles

Chocolate chips

Red hots

 

 

                                            KOOL-AID PLAYDOUGH

 

21/2 cups flour

½ cup salt

2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid

2 cups boiling water

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Mix dry ingredients

Add liquid ingredients

Place in storage bags and will last several months

 

 

                                                   HOMEMADE PLAYDOUGH

 

    

1 cup flour

1 cup water

½ cup salt

2 tablespoons cream of tartar

1 tablespoon oil

Cook, put on a plate and cover with a damp cloth

 

 

                                                   EASY FUN DOUGH

 

½ cup flour

¾ cup salt

¾ cup water

Mix ingredients and add food color

 

 

 

                                  REFERENCE WEB PAGES

 Pack a power lunch.

Tasty lunchbox recipes

Sodium content of foods for toddlers and young children.

Food pyramid for children

http://teamnutrition.usda.gov/resources/mpk_close.pdf

Cooking with young children

Recipes that require no heat.

Simple meals children can make

http://members.aol.com/sgrmagnlia/index.html

Everything you need for cooking in your classroom.

Recipes, guides, tips, lessons

http://www.mealsforyou.com/

Recipes including Kwanzaa recipes

http://recipeemporium.com/results/kwanzaa-recipes      and

http://members.tripod.com/~Nancy_J/kwanzaa.htm

Craft recipes.

http://www.melborponsti.com/crafts/craft085.shtml

Candy and FUDGE

http://www.fareshare.net/0recipe-index-desserts-candies.html

 


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