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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Cooking: A Fun Way to Keep Children Reading this Summer!

By Mary Schroeder, Extension educator and registered dietitian

It's important that children keep reading and doing math during the summer so they do not forget what they learned in school. Cooking with children is a fun way for children to practice reading and math. Give these a try.
  • Letter recognition: Have children look at the foods in the cupboard and find a food that starts
    with a certain letter. For example, show children three varieties of soup and have them find one that starts with a "t" (like tomato soup)
  • Counting: Children can count the number of cups of flour that go
    into a pancake batter or count the number of times they stir something.

Early Elementary

  • Practice alphabetical order by finding a recipe in the index of a cookbook.
  • Read and prepare a simple recipe.
  • If a recipe calls for 1 cup of an ingredient, show children how two ½ cups are the same as 1 cup.
  • Find and read books about food.

Upper Elementary

  • Read and prepare a more complex recipe.
  • Try doubling a recipe as a way to practice multiplying by 2.
  • With your children, explore online websites to see how food is grown and to find different science experiments to do with food.
The University of Minnesota Extension Recipe Box has easy and fun recipes you can use. Or check out Kids A Cookin from Kansas State University which includes cooking videos with children helping to do the cooking.

Kids in the kitchen — a great way for children to cook while doing reading and math at the same time!

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