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December 19, 2017

A Classroom Collection of Family Favorite Recipes

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    When I taught second grade, my students and I made a cookbook every year. It made a perfect gift for the holidays, but really, you could do it any time of the year! This project was a great way to engage my students and was simple to make, but most of all, my families LOVED it.

    I missed making our class cookbook, so I decided that this was the year my kinders and I would take it on — and boy I am happy we did. It turned out so cute and I am confident their families will love receiving this handmade cookbook.

    Here’s how we got started…

    Recipe Request

    I send out this letter about a week or two before I plan on working on the cookbook. Be sure to give your families plenty of time to choose and submit their favorite recipes. This is especially important if you are doing this project during the holidays, when people are beyond busy. Make sure to have them email you the recipes, so then all you have to do for this step is copy and paste.

    Taking Pictures

    Since our cookbooks are going to be a Christmas present, I took pictures of my kids in a cute Santa hat. Make sure to get a nice close-up of each of your students. I always love using the brick on our building as our background, but you can also buy red brick paper at most drug or dollar stores. Whether you print your pictures in color or black and white, you can’t go wrong with this background.

    Recipe Page

    As soon as I begin receiving recipes, I format a page in a Word document. Next, I choose a cute font, and then I just have to copy and paste the recipes from the emails I receive. It’s so easy once you have the first one set up.  

    Student Page

    This is the page where I put the adorable pictures of my kids wearing the Santa hat. I also ask the kids why they love their families, and what they would like to give them for Christmas. Their responses just melt.my.heart! Their words make it so personal and child-centered, and really are one of my favorite parts of the cookbook.

    Cookbook Cover

    The time of year you do this activity will most definitely dictate what you put on the front cover of your class cookbook. Since our cookbook is for Christmas, I thought gingerbread houses would be a perfect addition for the cover. I also like to include the date, so families can remember what year they received the gift. You’ll also want to make sure to laminate the front and back covers to ensure it lasts through the spills and splatters that occur in the kitchen!

    Family Letter

    I am always excited to write a letter to my families. It gives a little explanation of the cookbook, but it also provides an opportunity to show my gratitude and thank my parents for all they do. Anyone who knows me, knows I love cooking, so I always make sure to include a favorite recipe of mine also! Here is the letter I used in our cookbook this year.

    Copying

    When I am ready to copy, I make sure to put them in order so that the kid page is right next to their family's recipe. I also make two-sided copies to save a lot of paper.

    After collecting recipes, it only took me literally one evening to turn these recipes into a charming little cookbook! My kids are beyond-the-moon excited to give the presents to their parents! I hope they love the cookbooks just as much as I do!

    Fingerprint Christmas Lights Card

    We always make cards to go with our gifts, and this one turned out great! Making a string of Christmas tree lights out of fingerprints is so cute and can be used to make cards, or even a special gift. Simply frame the card, and then parents can bring out and enjoy their child’s artwork every year. I am always a sucker for anything that uses my kindergarteners' little hands. I still cherish all the fingerprint crafts my children made at school years ago. Time flies, but these sweet memories will last forever.

    First take a black permanent marker and draw a line with swirls in it.

    Have each child dip their pointer finger in different colored paints (we used paper plates for a quick and easy cleanup), and push them right up to the swirly line. Make sure to space their fingerprints evenly apart so that they do not overlap.

    Doing fingerprint projects can be very time-consuming. My parent volunteers are the very best, and I am so thankful we had a volunteer on the day we made ours!

    When the paint dries, the children can use a black permanent to draw the bottom part of the bulbs.

    We mounted the fingerprint Christmas lights onto a folded piece of bright-colored construction paper. Next, I passed out a letter template for each child to write a Christmas wish for their families. They turned out better than I ever imagined!

    Here's wishing you and your students have as much fun creating a class cookbook as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a December that’s filled with delicious recipes and good times with friends and family!

    Have a wonderful break, and I will see you in the new year!

    xo-Shari

     

    When I taught second grade, my students and I made a cookbook every year. It made a perfect gift for the holidays, but really, you could do it any time of the year! This project was a great way to engage my students and was simple to make, but most of all, my families LOVED it.

    I missed making our class cookbook, so I decided that this was the year my kinders and I would take it on — and boy I am happy we did. It turned out so cute and I am confident their families will love receiving this handmade cookbook.

    Here’s how we got started…

    Recipe Request

    I send out this letter about a week or two before I plan on working on the cookbook. Be sure to give your families plenty of time to choose and submit their favorite recipes. This is especially important if you are doing this project during the holidays, when people are beyond busy. Make sure to have them email you the recipes, so then all you have to do for this step is copy and paste.

    Taking Pictures

    Since our cookbooks are going to be a Christmas present, I took pictures of my kids in a cute Santa hat. Make sure to get a nice close-up of each of your students. I always love using the brick on our building as our background, but you can also buy red brick paper at most drug or dollar stores. Whether you print your pictures in color or black and white, you can’t go wrong with this background.

    Recipe Page

    As soon as I begin receiving recipes, I format a page in a Word document. Next, I choose a cute font, and then I just have to copy and paste the recipes from the emails I receive. It’s so easy once you have the first one set up.  

    Student Page

    This is the page where I put the adorable pictures of my kids wearing the Santa hat. I also ask the kids why they love their families, and what they would like to give them for Christmas. Their responses just melt.my.heart! Their words make it so personal and child-centered, and really are one of my favorite parts of the cookbook.

    Cookbook Cover

    The time of year you do this activity will most definitely dictate what you put on the front cover of your class cookbook. Since our cookbook is for Christmas, I thought gingerbread houses would be a perfect addition for the cover. I also like to include the date, so families can remember what year they received the gift. You’ll also want to make sure to laminate the front and back covers to ensure it lasts through the spills and splatters that occur in the kitchen!

    Family Letter

    I am always excited to write a letter to my families. It gives a little explanation of the cookbook, but it also provides an opportunity to show my gratitude and thank my parents for all they do. Anyone who knows me, knows I love cooking, so I always make sure to include a favorite recipe of mine also! Here is the letter I used in our cookbook this year.

    Copying

    When I am ready to copy, I make sure to put them in order so that the kid page is right next to their family's recipe. I also make two-sided copies to save a lot of paper.

    After collecting recipes, it only took me literally one evening to turn these recipes into a charming little cookbook! My kids are beyond-the-moon excited to give the presents to their parents! I hope they love the cookbooks just as much as I do!

    Fingerprint Christmas Lights Card

    We always make cards to go with our gifts, and this one turned out great! Making a string of Christmas tree lights out of fingerprints is so cute and can be used to make cards, or even a special gift. Simply frame the card, and then parents can bring out and enjoy their child’s artwork every year. I am always a sucker for anything that uses my kindergarteners' little hands. I still cherish all the fingerprint crafts my children made at school years ago. Time flies, but these sweet memories will last forever.

    First take a black permanent marker and draw a line with swirls in it.

    Have each child dip their pointer finger in different colored paints (we used paper plates for a quick and easy cleanup), and push them right up to the swirly line. Make sure to space their fingerprints evenly apart so that they do not overlap.

    Doing fingerprint projects can be very time-consuming. My parent volunteers are the very best, and I am so thankful we had a volunteer on the day we made ours!

    When the paint dries, the children can use a black permanent to draw the bottom part of the bulbs.

    We mounted the fingerprint Christmas lights onto a folded piece of bright-colored construction paper. Next, I passed out a letter template for each child to write a Christmas wish for their families. They turned out better than I ever imagined!

    Here's wishing you and your students have as much fun creating a class cookbook as we did. I hope you can use some of these activities and that you always remember, when you love what you teach, your students will love what they learn!

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for following my blog, and here’s to a December that’s filled with delicious recipes and good times with friends and family!

    Have a wonderful break, and I will see you in the new year!

    xo-Shari

     

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