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What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

  • 1.  What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 10-25-2021 04:18:00 PM
    I have had some great fun with my garden club and other classes cooking in the outdoor classroom this fall. We have made several of the recipes that have been listed through these networks... so thanks for sharing. 

    I was wondering if anyone has suggestions for me. It seems most of the time there are "jobs" for everyone with the recipes I choose but grating a zucchini and measuring/dumping a teaspoon of salt are much different. I don't have the extra materials, ability or space to have several small groups all making the entire recipe.  What other activities do you do when students are finished with their one step of a multi-step recipe? I try to have them all paying attention to the others but sometimes I have wandering kids... Simple garden/kitchen related activities that won't need a lot of supervision? 
    Thanks so much!
    Pam

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    Pamela Cooley
    Prairie Winds Elem Hawk Gathering Garden
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  • 2.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    Posted 10-27-2021 06:38:00 PM
    Hi Pamela!

    I love this question and also cooking with kids!

    Getting them to help clean up is a great option ;) If you don't have access to a sink, I can send a picture of how we rigged a bucket with a spout to be a portable washing station. You could also get them to copy down a written recipe card to take home. 

    If the garden allows them to "wander" while still being supervised, you could send kids that are savvy with plant identification off to harvest herbs to add to the recipe! 

    Another thing is that inefficiency is key :) For example, I love having a mortar and pestle on hand - you could even have coarse salt or whole peppercorns and get the kids to grind them! 

    Hope this helps - I'll be happy to share more.

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    Lily Nguyen
    KidsGardening
    Education Specialist
    lilyn@kidsgardening.org
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  • 3.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 10-28-2021 03:40:00 PM
    Ikea sells very nice and affordable mortar and pestle sets.

    Lara Guerra
    The Hockaday School
    Dallas, Texas

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    Lara Guerra
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  • 4.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 10-30-2021 01:39:00 PM
    Hi Lily, I'm also gleaning from your ideas. I would like to see the bucket that you modified to be a portable washing station. :-) Thank you.

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    [Kimberley] [Lough]
    [Agriscience Education & FFA]
    [W.D. Sugg Middle School]
    [Bradenton] [FL]
    [loughk@manateeschools.net or kimberleylough@gmail.com]
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  • 5.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 11-02-2021 01:45:00 PM
    I would love to see the picture of that bucket, too! Sounds nice!

    Lara Guerra

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    Lara Guerra
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  • 6.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    Posted 11-04-2021 03:34:00 PM
    Here are a couple pictures! Or you could just use a water jug: https://extension.umn.edu/growing-safe-food/handwashing-station





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    Lily Nguyen
    KidsGardening
    Education Specialist
    lilyn@kidsgardening.org
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  • 7.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 11-02-2021 02:39:00 PM

    These are great questions and ideas. I am just starting preparing food with kids and am eager to  get advise on  how to manage it.  I'd  love for them to  be involved  rather than doing demos, but having enough space supplies, and jobs is challenging. I love the idea of transcribing recipe cards and also the idea of the "cooking show "  style so kids can observe and be engaged in turn. I want the  kids to be engaged with the clean up and thought I  would  buy three tubs for wash, rinse, and sterilize as well as a  dish rack. Any other ideas on how to do this is great. I am completely outdoors and would not have running water right there so I have to prep it all ahead of time.
    I'd love to see what other's systems look like.

    Thanks!
    Sky Feller
    Cornerstone Learning Community



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    Danielle Feller
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  • 8.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 11-02-2021 07:01:00 PM
      |   view attached
    Hi! I'm excited for you to do more cooking too! I unknowingly tried the "cooking show" technique last week but with only one set of materials. I had 2 kids doing separate jobs like grating beets & squeezing orange... It went really well. I think if I played up the cooking show theme I think the audience would have been even better! I use a large recycled laundry detergent jug with a nice button nozzle dispenser for the kids to wash veggies with a catch basin. I also use another with warm water for kids to rinse hands. (In picture on stump)
    Thanks


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    Pamela Cooley
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  • 9.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 10-28-2021 09:00:00 AM
    For those times when I need alternative activities I have the students work in their nature journals.  Sometimes it is free choice, others I have specific topics or skills to work on.





  • 10.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 10-31-2021 01:42:00 PM
    Thank you all so much for the great ideas! I love the concept of inefficiency, journaling, and helping to clean up! I will check out Ikea for a mortar and pestle soon. I will have the kids plant more herbs next year. I would love to see your photos and ideas for washing stations, too! Next phase...
    When you have students clean supplies do you feel they are usually clean enough to reuse or do you have to re-clean? Or do you incorporate a diluted bleach rinse outdoors? Thanks again for all of the input. Much appreciated! Happy Halloween!

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    Pamela Cooley
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  • 11.  RE: What to do...alternate activities while kids are cooking?

    Posted 11-01-2021 11:28:00 AM
    Hi there,
    When I cook with a class of kids, I write up the recipe in large letters on chart paper and hang it up high so all the cooking "teams" can see it. Depending on how complex the recipe is, I might also set up the equipment ahead of time. Then, each team makes their own (e.g., a team pizza), or each student within each team makes their own (e.g., a jar of pickled turnip), but they have each other to rely on for help deciphering the recipe.

    Another way I've done it is to set up a table at the front of the room, with two "stations" -- one at either end of the table -- and run it like a cooking show. Then separate the students into two teams and invite two students up to do each task. The other kids are engaged as the audience and have fun watching their teammates do their bit and cheering them on -- even if it's just measuring and pouring the salt. Next! It's not exactly a relay race, but it approaches that kind of excitement. (If I know the students well, I'll know which one from each team to call up for the next task or step in the recipe. I don't want to embarrass students who don't know their fractions yet, for example, but they might make great graters.)

    If you don't have all the cooking equipment you need yet, you and your students could make a list and then put it out to the school community (especially those into decluttering) or a local cooking/hardware/housewares shop with a connection to the school.

    Re the cleaning up. I always had a parent volunteer or two on hand when cooking with my class. I would get the kids to clean up their team's station, but for health reasons, I left the final washing up to the parents. It's a simple task and a huge gift that they can contribute -- and they don't need supervision! ;-)

    Julie

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    Julie Johnston
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