When children draw pictures of flowers or their families, family members hang the cute masterpieces on their refrigerators to encourage the children’s creative endeavors. But what if children could get creative with cooking instead and make things that go inside the refrigerator—and inside stomachs?
Cooking Art: Easy Edible Art for Young Children by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Jean Potter provides cooking activities that allow children to explore the endless creative possibilities involved with cooking. Children can decorate cakes, sculpt with bread, paint with frosting, craft table decorations, build with fruit, and so much more!
Try these two activities from Cooking Art: Easy Edible Art for Young Children to equip your little chefs for their adventures in the kitchen—and to help them make their first recipe!
- Plastic sheeting
- Plain colored apron, one apron per artist
- Paper plates
- Fabric paints
- Paper towels
- Permanent marker
- Cover the work area with plastic.
- Place an apron on the plastic, right side up.
- Pour one color of fabric paint on each paper plate and spread the paint with a spoon. Use a different spoon for each color.
- Use a paintbrush to paint the palm and fingers of one hand, covering the whole hand.
- Press the painted hand onto the apron several times. It may be necessary to repaint the hand and fingers several times. If desired, rinse hands and use another color paint.
- Wash and dry hands.
- Allow the apron to dry for a day.
- Use the permanent marker to decorate the dry apron by tracing handprints or writing names or words.
- Wear the apron for cooking or art projects.
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 cups bread flour
- 1 package active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 ¼ cups warm water
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour, plus an extra pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
- Ground brown cookie crumbs
- Oven preheated to 350°F
- Baking sheet
- Large bowl and spoon
- Plastic wrap
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 2 small bowls and spoon
- Pastry brush
- Oven mitts
- Spray a light coating of cooking spray on the baking sheet.
- Place 1 cup of warm water in a small bowl. Add the yeast to the water and mix. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt together. Add the yeast water to the flour mixture and mix well. Set aside.
- Place the vegetable oil, honey, and ¼ cup water into a bowl and mix well. Pour the oil-and-honey mixture in the flour mixture and blend until a stiff dough is formed.
- Sprinkle 2 tablespoons flour onto the work surface. Take the dough out of the bowl and place it on the floured surface and knead.
- Divide the dough into 20 pieces. Roll each dough piece into a rope shape about 4 inches long and 1 inch around. Brush one side of the rope with water.
- Start at one end of the rope and wind a coil using most of the dough. This will be the snail’s coiled shell. Turn the other end of the dough into a hook shape for the snail’s head.
- Place the snail on the baking sheet. Make additional snails or experiment making different animals with the remaining dough.
- Place the snails in the oven and bake until golden brown. Wear an oven mitt and take the baking sheet out of the oven.
- Remove the snail from the baking sheet with a spatula. Sprinkle some cookie crumbs on the plate. Place the snails on the cookie crumbs to serve.