Rebus Recipes: I mentioned I'd visit this topic so maybe today is a good day! Why do we "cook" with children.
* If a child makes it...they'll taste it. So a good way to introduce new foods.
* Fine motor. Maybe you aren't doing an actual recipe but children can scrub carrots and potatoes with a brush, they can slice cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumbers and so on with a plastic or table knife. They can slice strawberries in an egg slicer. They can grate cheese and carrots. Etc. There is almost something in every meal that a child can help with...even if it's just rinsing the food. These types of activities are priceless. Not only do they help you (after some practice on their part :-P) but you are teaching them practical life skills, helping them have an interest in healthy eating and also working those small muscles in their hands.
* Recipes. You can create a very simple recipe on your own but there are resources out there for you if you wish to use them. Rebus recipes teaches children about print concepts. They teach them about following directions. About safety....measurement/counting and other math skills. You can even slip in some cultural studies if you want!
My favorite is The Mailbox Preschool magazines. They have a rebus recipe in every magazine. Which is where we got the recipes pictures for the Sunshine Salad they made in the picture above. The Mailbox also has a book called Kids in the Kitchen. It's a compilation of many of these Rebus Recipes that are found in the magazines.
You can see a sample of their recipes and the table of contents in this book. Check it out!
Not my favorite site but will give you an idea how to use images you can find on the Internet to make your own. This is a great use for a digital camera also. It took me a moment but I figured out that the top images in these recipes are "what we need". Then the picture directions are below.
Hubbard's Cupboard has a selection of simple recipes that you could easily make into rebus recipes. Most have a "final outcome" image.
Again, not as organized and clear as The Mailbox rebus recipes but they work.
Here is one that is a bit more organized and clear. Rebus cards are black and white and each one a half of page. You could use the "2 pages on 1" print option on your printer to get them to be about 1/4 of a piece of paper. That works nicely for small groups. May wish to add some color. This site also has additional learning ideas that can help you "extend" or "lead into" your recipe activity. Also gives good reminders like "work from right to left" (print concept).
Extension: The children love it when I take these recipe cards and laminate them, attach a ring and put them with the "kitchen stuff" for further dramatic play.