My kids help in the kitchen all of the time. Sometimes, I just step back and observe all the great literacy skills (along with math, science and social skills) they are developing as we work together on a cooking project. I’m always so energized to think of more activities to help develop literacy in the kitchen.
Full Disclosure: I was provided a copy of End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad for review. All opinions and ideas expressed are my own!
We get our greatest creative cooking inspiration from books for kids. This week we read, End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad from the Kitchen Club Kids series by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak and Marianne Welsh. It’s a fun book for preschoolers who are learning about colors, counting and following directions. The story introduces the reader to the ingredients used when making a fruit salad. Along the way, color words and numbers are emphasized. The end of the book includes a recipe for rainbow fruit salad.
After enjoying End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad several times, we came up with a few literacy activities to go along with the book. We then created a Christmas Fruit Salad perfect for this holiday season.
First, we brainstormed fruits that were red, green and white. Brainstorming words that fit into categories is a great skill that will help with future spelling, writing and reading development. My 3 year-old said strawberries, apples, grapes, and raspberries for red. Kiwi, strawberry tops, grapes, and apples for green. White was a little tougher. I asked him to think about fruits that were white inside. He eventually came up with bananas and apples. We had a good conversation about other items he named that were the right color but didn’t fit into our fruit category. Lots of thinking skills happening in this activity! Here is the shopping list we finally settled on for our trip to the store.
Next, we went shopping. I gave him a list of ingredients we were going to need to make our Christmas Fruit Salad. I included the word and picture. As we found each ingredient, he colored in the box next to the correct ingredient on his list. This was a great pre-writing skill to practice.
Once we got home we sorted the fruits onto color construction paper sheets that I had labeled with each color word. We talked about the first letter and sound of each color word as we worked.
Finally, we made our fruit salad. I wrote out a simple recipe for us to follow that included counting practice similar to the style of The End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad. My boys helped to wash, cut, count and mix. Here is the recipe we used.
Christmas Fruit Salad
In a bowl, mix the following:
1 green kiwi cut into 6 slices.
Add 3 handfuls of red pomegranate seeds.
2 apples are needed next. Slice the red apple into 7 pieces. Slice the green apple into 8 pieces.
Plop in 4 red raspberries.
Cut a banana into 9 white slices.
Add 10 red grapes.
Stir 5 times with a spoon. Scoop evenly into the bowls and enjoy!
I was really pleased that in this season of cookies and candy, we were able to come up with a fun and healthy Christmas snack. These activities would work well at home or in the classroom.
If you enjoy End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad, also look for Garden Safari Vegetable Soup and Feed Your Senses Homemade Bread by the same authors through Bread + Butter Publishing that will be coming out soon.
What books have inspired you to cook in the kitchen with kids? I’d love to hear your comments.