This year our preschool co-op is doing something new- we’re holding a monthly “Kids in the Kitchen” class. That’s right- a PRESCHOOL cooperative class focusing on developing kitchen skills for 4-year-olds! I am so excited about this one and I can’t wait to share the whole curriculum with you in the coming months (watch for it! It’s going to be exciting!)
For now, I’ll share one of our mini-lessons on chopping veggies.
Since we are so close to Easter, I thought it would be appropriate to use carrots in this lesson 🙂
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- Carrots with the stems attached
- Cutting board
- Crinkle Cutter
When I give my boys “big kid work” (washing dishes, taking out trash, cleaning windows), they are usually pretty happy to help. They enjoy being my little helpers (even if them “helping” sometimes means more work for me in the end 😉 ).
One of the “big kid” jobs they’ve enjoyed a lot lately is helping me in the kitchen. Grating cheese and chopping veggies is on their top ten list of fun things to do in the kitchen. Yes, that’s right, I said CHOPPING veggies. Let me be clear this isn’t a walk-away and let them at it kind of activity, though. It is one that requires 100% adult supervision. One more time for emphasis- this lesson requires an adult to be with a child and actively supervising the entire time.
Now back to the lesson. After washing the vegetables, I modeled to my boys how to use the crinkle cutter. Holding the vegetable with my left hand (non-dominant), I firmly and slowly pressed the crinkle cutter down with my right hand. CHOP. I reviewed the move a few more times, making sure my kids understood the proper hand positions, then handed over the cutter.
Look at that! Carrots were chopped and all fingers stayed intact 😉
Raw carrots are pretty dense and require some muscle to get through, just check out these faces!
That is kid-work at it’s finest! He’s concentrated, planning his movements, exerting muscle, and enjoying the
fruits vegetables of his labor! (if you’re planning on using the carrots for a recipe, make sure to have extras available because there will be snacking!)
Need a recipe to use these carrots in? Try making Vegetable soup!
Lastly, because incorporating math lessons without worksheets is always best, we counted the number of carrots we chopped.
Other math skills that you could incorporate:
- Weighing the carrots on a food scale
- Sorting the chopped pieces (big and small)
- Predicting (how many pieces can we chop from one carrot?)
What other extensions can you think of for this activity?