Writing Recipes & Sensory Play

This idea actually came to me after I taught my Intro to Kindergarten course last week. My college studentsare practicing writing and teaching lesson plans for 5-6 year olds. One group had a lesson on following directions. They brought in trail mix for their classmates to make following the directions. I brought home threebags of the mix for my own children. The problem is that I have 4 kids. My oldest middle didn’t get any. He decided to make his own mix using things he could scrounge up in the pantry. 

It was not necessarily the most healthy combination in the world, but he assured me that it tasted great. I asked him to write down the recipe for me.

Don’t you love invented spelling?

Children follow directions that they are given all day, every day. It is powerful when we let THEM give the directions. One way to do that is through recipe writing. Allowing our children to write the recipe gives them a sense of control and pride. 
For this moms’ group activity, I chose to use reusablesensory materials for the recipe writing activity. You could definitely use a variety of edible materials, though! 
Set up:
1. Set out a variety of “ingredients.”
2. Provide measuring cups, measuring spoons, scoops, and tongs. 
3. Give children small bowls to put their creation in.

4. Have notecards and writing utensils available for children who would like to record their recipes.

Why is this beneficial?

  • Children build motor skills: filling, dumping, pinching, picking up small items using a developing grasp (palm versus pincer). 
  • Children practice mathematical skills: measuring, comparing quantities, volume, counting
  • Children practice writing skills: prewriting skills, phonemic awareness, letter and number formation
My children spent over an hour with these materials. My oldest middle even sorted the popcorn kernels, rice grains, and beans! He told me it was “calming”.https://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=1PUE0c34rxXt916Ut6vGls42X8j4tbNeNhttps://drive.google.com/uc?export=view&id=14m1zevsH-yrSoTMRNAeloBBEPpdPr9bC

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