Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Cooking
- Ingredients for the rice cereal sculptures (see recipe)
- Chart paper and markers
- Cooking tools: large microwave-safe bowl, spatula, and large, flat baking pan
- Aluminum foil
- Additional: raisins, colored toothpicks, marshmallows
- Sensory awareness
- Fine motor
- Creative thinking
Prepare a rebus recipe chart so the group can read along as they prepare this recipe: 1/4 cup margarine or butter, 4 cups miniature marshmallows, 5 cups rice "bubble" cereal (you can use cocoa rice cereal, too), cooking spray. Serves six to eight children.
Tell children they are going to make animal sculptures they can eat. Review the recipe with the group and have them assist in gathering the ingredients and cleaning the cooking area. Make sure everyone washes hands.
Suggest children take turns filling the microwave-safe bowl with four cups of miniature marshmallows (save extra marshmallows for decorating). Add the margarine, and microwave on HIGH for two minutes. Stir the mixture, and microwave for one more minute. Stir until smooth (you may need to have an adult stir if the bowl is hot).
Give children a sheet of foil that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Allow the mixture to cool a bit (it should be warm for molding but not hot). Spray the spatula with cooking spray and give each child some of the mixture to sculpt. You may need to put a bit of butter or cooking spray on their hands to keep the mixture from sticking. Invite children to mold the rice mixture into an animal shape.
Provide them with items to decorate their animals, including raisins, colored toothpicks, and mini marshmallows. Stick items onto toothpicks to attach to the mixture, or attach pieces of the mixture together. Place their foil and sculptures onto a large cookie sheet and refrigerate until cooled. Invite children to show the class what they've made before they indulge!
Remember: Some children may not like the feeling of the mixture. For them, or for very young children, place the mixture into a pan coated with cooking spray and give them animal cookie cutters to cut out animal shapes.
TAKE HOME ACTIVITY:
Sorting Animal Crackers: Send home a note explaining that children are learning about animals. Describe how math, language, and science skills can be enhanced by giving children a snack of animal crackers to sort. Ask families to talk to their child about the different groups he or she made.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: DRAMATIC PLAY
Animal Tea Party: Invite children to bring in their favorite stuffed animals for a snack-time tea party. Help children make herbal iced tea and crust-free tea sandwiches (cream cheese and cucumber or cream cheese and jelly). Bring everyone, including the "animals," to the table for tea.
Miss Spider's Tea Party by David Kirk (Scholastic, 1994; $16.95)
What's the Difference? 10 Look-Alike Animals by Judy Diehl (Annick Press, 2000; $6.95)