Most preschoolers love to help. They enjoy getting to help Mom, Dad, Nana, Papa, and so forth in the kitchen. Cooking gives them opportunities to learn new skills, apply math principles, and just spend time with folks they love.
Some cooking activities tend to be a little messy, but, remember … it’s all about the process! In addition … safety should always be a high priority. Always remember to protect the children from hot objects as well as sharp utensils. The most important aspect of cooking with preschoolers is to “make memories!”
You may want to start with simple, no-bake items and build your way up to something that actually needs to be cooked. Any cooking activity can be accompanied with Bible-story conversation spotlighting a story about food and God’s provisions.
- Trail mix is easy and fun to make. Simply choose your ingredients (cereals, candy pieces, pretzels, dried fruit, etc.). Measure the amount desired of each into a bowl. Stir and serve in paper cups.
- Simple sandwiches are easy, yet fun to make and to enjoy. Provide your bread of choice. Consider cutting sandwiches into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Provide items for spreading: peanut butter, jelly, butter, mayonnaise, lunch meats. Enjoy!
- Consider store bought muffin mixes. It’s fun to measure and combine ingredients. Pour the batter into muffin papers in muffin tins. Let the adult bake and remove from oven. Decorate with your icing of choice and enjoy.
- Making homemade playdough is great fun. Mix ingredients in an electric skillet (be sure to share specific rules about not touching the skillet.) Heat and cook until dough forms. Add food coloring for excitement. Place on counter/flat surface to cool and enjoy molding and creating things that relate to a designated Bible story. An easy recipe: ½ cup salt; 1 cup plain flour; 2 T. cream of tartar; 1 cup water, 1 T. oil (cooking oil or baby oil); 3 drops of food coloring.
Never forget: Have fun with the process, include a Bible story when appropriate and the memories will make themselves!
Jerry Vogel serves as an editorial Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Kids. He is married to Janie, has four children, thirteen grand kids, and teaches preschoolers every Sunday at his church. He is committed to enriching the lives of those who teach kids as well as making eternal investments in the lives of children.