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Cooking Camp: Teaching Kids to Cook Review by Wendy RobertsonRebekah Sayler
A Better Way to Homeschool
Cooking Camp for Kids is a digital resource that contains everything you need to teach a basic cooking course. This 86-page ebook includes more than just recipes, although there are plenty of those too.
The book opens with basic instructions for parents (or teachers, as the case may be). These include:
- ideas for making cooking fun (not to be confused with optional), such as giving children a “uniform,” which includes an apron and a name tag
- how to set the table properly, complete with a diagram Kids can refer back to
- food safety tips, including information on taking a food handlers course online
After this section, we move into the “Camp” portion of the course. This begins with what is arguably the most important kitchen skill for anyone to master: knife skills. Rebekah gives a lot of tips for teaching kids to use a knife safely, and there are three options for printable reference guides to give to the children. You can choose which is best based on your children’s personalities. The choices include a completed book with pictures, a blank book for kids to fill in themselves, and a set of flip cards that can be laminated and attached to a ring. The two already-filled-in options are very complete, with everything from holding a knife correctly to how to chop a variety of fruits and veggies.
The next page is something that would be good for even a master chef to keep as a good kitchen reference, and that is a conversion guide. With cute Mason jar graphics, it breaks down all the major American measurements and how they correspond to each other (three teaspoons to a tablespoon, four tablespoons to a quarter cup, etc).
Then we move onto the fun part: recipes! Each recipe is broken down into an 8-Week course (one lesson per week) to make it easy for kids to master. The first week, students clean the work area, gather the ingredients required for the recipe, and carefully observe the construction of the recipe. The second and third weeks, they prepare the vegetables, including chopping, in addition to the Week One tasks. Weeks four and five are spent getting the meat ready. During weeks six and seven, the kids cook the meat and assemble the meal. The final week, your child is in charge of the kitchen! Every week also has kids helping with the post-meal cleanup.
After this, the main course is done and your kids are “master chefs.” But there’s a bonus section in the book that is full of Thanksgiving recipes and tips to help get your kids to help with the holiday.
After each main section in the book are award certificates that you can present to the kids when they’ve mastered a skill. Kids love to be rewarded, so these printable awards are a nice addition.
Working on this course with my kids has been quite fun. The class is broken up into very manageable chunks, and the recipes are easy for kids to get as well as delicious. We’ve taken things a bit slower with my 5-year-old than we have with my 11-year-old due simply to their ages impacting their motor skills and abilities, but there’s nothing in this cooking course that even young children can’t do, even if they need extra help or more practice in order to accomplish the tasks fully.
-Product review by Wendy Robertson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June, 2018