• math: measuring, counting, mixing
• language and literacy
• fine motor
• measuring cup, measuring spoons, small bowls, cutting boards, spoons and plastic knives (one for each child)
• 10 8x5-inch index cards
• bag of toasted coconut
• can of frozen orange juice concentrate
• 2 oranges, 2 apples, bunch of bananas, 1 ripe cantaloupe, 1 bunch of grapes
• 1 lb. of mild cheese
Prepare 10 8x5-inch index cards with the numbered salad steps. On the first card, write the number 1 in the corner and draw a simple bowl and hand. Write 1 handful of coconut. On the second card write the number 2 and draw two tablespoons and a can of orange juice concentrate. On this card, write 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate. On the third card, draw an orange and three slices, and write 3 orange slices. Continue with the other fruits: 4 = apples, 5 = cheese cubes, 6 = banana slices, 7 = melon pieces, 8 = grapes, 9 = stir nine times, 10 = eat!
Keep ingredients and kitchen utensils available on the table. Invite children to help cut up the fruit (those that can be cut easily) and cheese into bite size pieces. Suggest they place them in separate bowls.
Read over the number salad recipe cards with children. Ask them to help you lay them out in order, and place the corresponding card next to the bowl of ingredients.
Provide children with small bowls and invite them to assemble their salads. Once everyone finishes, have a number salad picnic and eat together.
Remember: Attention spans of young children may not last the whole prep time. This is to be expected, but when it comes time to assemble their salads, they will be excited and ready to participate again. It’s important to be organized and have all ingredients and tools ready to go when cooking with young children to prevent them from becoming distracted.
Sculpting Dough. Send home this recipe for parents to make with their child. Mix together 4 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt, and 11⁄ 2 cups of water. It can be kept in a container or plastic bag for weeks. This dough also air dries wonderfully if the sculpture is flat and thin. Children can then paint or draw on their work.
Curriculum Connection: DRAMATIC PLAY
General Store. Set up the dramatic play area as a store. Bring in all different types of food containers and arrange them on a shelf. Put all of the food from the dramatic play area in small baskets. Make price labels for each product, making sure the cost is small (pennies or a nickel) so children can pay the actual amount. Provide a cash register with play money and invite children to shop!
by Ellen Weiss
(PBS Kids, 2006; $7)
by Rebecca Dickinson
(Scholastic, 2000; $6)
The Popcorn Book
by Tomie de Paola
(Holiday House, 1984; $7)