Hands-On Education: Cooking with Kids

Cooking with kids is one of our favorite hands-on ways of learning with our children. Did you know that getting in the kitchen can offer more than just recipes and dirty dishes? My kids have learned math, science, geography, and even history!

Cooking with kids also offers opportunities for them to feel empowered as they learn kitchen safety and how to prepare their own meals. Throw in a couple of favorite read alouds or audio books and you’ve got a recipe for a memorable learning experience.

Hands-On Education: Cooking with Kids

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Cooking with Kids is a Great Hands-On Way to Learn

Sometimes my children peruse Pinterest with me looking for a scrumptious pie or cookie recipe. This is a fun way to get their thoughts and ideas of WHAT they are interested in cooking.

This is great fun and sometimes warranted when you need a recipe for family night or the weekend. But what about during homeschool? How do we take it up a notch?

We are a family of bibliophiles. Books help sustain us in our everyday lives. My son often says that the only thing that smells better than a new book…is an old book or freshly baked bread!

I love to incorporate cooking into our current read alouds.

Are you wondering how?

Cooking with Kids and Combining Great Read Alouds

When reading a great book like The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events, we look for opportunities to recreate a recipe from the book. Do you remember this classic about the Baudelaire orphans and the evil Count Olaf? In the book, Count Olaf sends the children to the market to buy ingredients for his dinner party. The children ended up finding a recipe for and making Pasta Puttanesca!

While making this delicious dish the children and I talked about the book and the treatment of the orphans, we also talked about the recipe itself and why it calls for anchovies… but the result didn’t taste fishy at all!

Here just a few of our favorite read alouds with a recipe we made to go along with it…

  • The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events) – Coconut Cake
  • Little House on the Prairie – Corn Cakes and Maple Snow Candy
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Butter Beer and Treacle Tart
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe – Turkish Delight
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Blueberry Pie
  • James and the Giant Peach – Peach Cobbler

Cooking with Kids and Geography

Around the World Audio Stories offers corresponding recipes to their audio stories too! We love this fun way to incorporate geography and we have made some delicious recipes while learning about the Alps, and the Black Forest of Germany: Black Forest Cake, and Apple Strudel!

When we studied China, we made Chinese noodle soup. Now we are studying Japan and plan on making our own versions of Sushi!

Try and find recipes to make that coincide with your current read aloud or subject of study because cooking with kids is so fun!

Fun Recipe Books that Help Teach Important Concepts When Cooking with Kids

Did you know there are fun recipe books that help teach important concepts like math, science, and history?

The Eat Your Math Homework, Eat Your Science Homework, and Eat Your U.S. History Homework books do just that! These great books offer quick stories and background information on a subject, like the mathematician Fibonacci and the Fibonacci pattern, or the Boston Tea Party! Then the children follow a recipe to make a corresponding dish.

Our Tangram cookies were especially fun, we even made pictures out of them before devouring them!

We have found including recipes into our homeschool to be a fantastic way to make subjects hands-on!

Tell me, how do you incorporate cooking with kids in your homeschool?

Erin Vincent

About the author

I'm Erin, a homeschooling mom to two intense kids. We are child led with a heavy emphasis on read alouds, games, art, nature hikes, and hands on science! We also traded the hustle and bustle of city life for the quiet that only farm life can provide. Though our inside space is now much smaller, our opportunities for exploration in nature and the farm has never been greater. When we're not homeschooling you'll find me curled up with a cup of coffee and a good book!

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