Baking Apple Crisp
I had planned a baking activity for Friday, September 22 for both the AM and PM classes. As a way to get the students excited about our first baking experience together, I brought in my apple peeler/corer. I didn’t tell the kids what it was but rather invited the students to tell me what they thought it was. The responses varied. Suggestions included: “a mixer”; “a tree machine”; “a spiker”, “a tool”. I wasn’t about to give it away…
On Thursday, I had brought in the ingredients to show the students. Again, I didn’t tell them what recipe I had picked out and invited more wondering. After looking at the flour, brown sugar, oats, a bag of apples, cinnamon, etc the students made more guesses about what we might make the next day. Some of the guesses included: “applesauce”; “oatmeal”; “apple pie.” They were getting closer!
Finally on Friday it was time to work together to bake. The center was set up and the students who wanted to participate and help were able too. We discussed cooking safely, and the importance of handwashing. After we all washed our hands we got started. I told them the recipe was for Apple Crisp and then I read the recipe to the eager bakers.
I have photos on the display that will be set up in the hallway soon.
While we worked together there was plenty of discussion about what was taking place, and about things they have helped make at home.
“Oh, it’s peeling off the apple.” (Keita while using the apple peeler)
“I haven’t had apple crisp in a long time.” (Charlie)
“I want to try that again.” (Andrew- as he was cutting up the apple)
“It is so hard to cut the apples. Why?” (Keita as she was chopping)
“It looks like oatmeal.” (Andrew, pouring in the oats)
“Ok, I’m done now,” (Amira, after participating)
“My mom likes it.” (Hassnain as he was cutting an apple)
“My mom doesn’t have that.” (Raphael referring to the apple peeler/corer)
“What’s next?” (Ananya asking about the steps for the recipe)
“Now we spread them,” (Maddia explaining what to do after she poured in the apple mixtur
The Benefits of Baking with Children:
When children participate in baking they are exploring a multitude of concepts and social skills.
Baking and cooking provides real life opportunities for children to explore mathematical concepts that include measurement, weight, volume while seeing that math has practical applications.
As children follow a recipe they are learning to follow step by step instructions, following a sequence, and exposure to language related to cooking (mixing, pouring, etc).
Cooking is science! The observations made, use of our senses, exploring how adding ingredients or changing a temperature can change what product we end up with, are all hands on scientific learning.
A Sense of Confidence
Cooking allows children to receive instant feedback, which helps them learn and grow in self-knowledge. Learning a new skill and working with others is known to help students develop a healthy self-esteem. They see themselves as capable to do something that ‘big’ people do. Just seeing the students’ confidence when allowed to chop the apples was evidence of this.
Fine Motor Skills
Using measuring spoons and cups, an apple corer, and even a knife for cutting provides a rich opportunity for fine motor skill development. As students use the tools to prepare the apple crisp they are also developing hand-eye coordination.
Cooking is fun! Allowing the children this time to work together to try something new (or not new), to participate freely, create memories and good food is just simple FUN.