If you've been here a while, you probably already know that cooking with littles is my thing. I love cooking in SLP sessions, at home with my son, and just about any time I can find a way to sneak it in! While I've already discussed all the reasons you should cook with littles, today we are talking about what you need to get started! I know that buying supplies can feel overwhelming, so today I'm sharing the 20 essential items you need to build a speech cooking kit.
Where Can I Find These Items For My Speech Cooking Kit?
If you know me, you probably know that I love Dollar Tree. And for good reason! You can find everything you need to make your speech cooking sessions super effective at just about any dollar store! Getting prepared for your speech cooking sessions doesn't have to break the bank.
Also, be sure to peek around your own home for things that are ready for the donation bin. I often find multiples of items that I'm more than willing to part with at home and use at school. Thrift stores and yard sales are also great places to look for many of these items. Without further ado... let's get to it!
First up, you will need some kind of forks, knives, and spoons for most cooking projects. I like to have a few metal ones on hand as well as a multipack set of plastic ones for kids to use while taste testing.
2. Large Mixing Bowl
We make a lot of playdough, slime, and other fun doughs in our sessions so a good mixing bowl is key. I like the large plastic "party size" ones you can find at the dollar store. They are easy for kiddos to hang on to and won't break if they fall off the table.
3. Small Mixing Bowl
Again, go with plastic on this if possible as bowls made from other materials may be too heavy or fragile for kids to manage. You will want to have both sizes as many recipes will call for mixing dry ingredients in one bowl and wet in another.
4. Plastic Cups
I like to grab the larger "Solo" style cups so that I can use these for a variety of things. Also, get clear cups if possible so that your students can see what's going on. Cups will also double as "bowls" for when you're making parfaits and pudding in your sessions.
5. Paper Plates
No one wants to spend a ton of time washing plates in a tiny classroom sink. Go for paper on this one and save yourself some time and effort when it comes to taste testing. Usually, the smaller, salad-sized plates are perfect for any speech cooking projects.
6. Plastic Baggies
At some point or another, you will for sure need plastic baggies. I like to grab a pack of the small sandwich-size bags as well as the gallon zipper bags to keep in our speech cooking kit.
7. Dry Measuring Cups
This is one of those items that I always check my own drawers for first. I always seem to end up with a ton of random measuring cups lying around my house. If you don't have any you're willing to part with - Dollar Tree has your back!
8. Measuring Spoons
You will want a full set of measuring spoons as well for your speech cooking kit. You can find a set of these at any dollar store as well as places like Walmart & Target.
9. Mixing Spoon
I've seen sets of 3-4 wooden and plastic spoons at my Dollar Tree, so this is usually what I go for. You want to consider what will be easy for a child to handle and manipulate without causing too much spillage.
10. Liquid Measuring Cup
While you can certainly use those dry measuring cups to measure liquids in a pinch, I find it a lot easier for littles to pour from an actual liquid measuring cup. I like the 2-cup ones to avoid spills.
11. Food Coloring
This is an absolute must in my book. Just a drop or 2 of food coloring will help you transform the same playdough recipe to fit any seasonal theme.
12. All-Purpose Flour
This is a speech cooking kit pantry staple! We use flour for all the dough recipes and I like to keep it on hand so that we can mix up any "dough" recipe at a moment's notice.
Just regular old salt will do the trick in many simple recipes and it comes in handy more often than you might think. Grab one of the large containers at the dollar store and you will be set for some time.
14. Vegetable Oil
Vegetable oil is one of those shelf-stable items that is great to keep on hand. It lasts forever and can be used in SO many recipes and science activities.
15. Can Opener
Don't forget this one!! There's nothing worse than having a whole activity ready to go and then realizing you can't finish because you don't have a can opener!
16. Plastic Wrap & Foil
These are great to keep on hand for sending leftover treats home with kiddos or packing up containers after your lesson.
17. Cookie Sheet
Just grab a cheapie - no need to get fancy here! The ones sold at discount & dollar stores will work great. Or, bring an old one from home that's seen better days.
18. Rolling Pin
You will use a rolling pin all the time in your cooking lessons. The smaller, playdough-sized ones are perfect for little hands but the big ones work just fine as well.
19. Cutting Board
Most dollar stores sell a variety of these, so if you can - grab a couple of different kinds. I like to get one of the flexible ones that you can fold when pouring ingredients into a bowl as well as a more firm, heavy-duty plastic one for cutting fruits & veggies.
20. Cutting Knife
Last but not least, this one is obviously for adults only, so choose what you like best! Surprisingly, I've found more than a few good-quality cutting knives at.... you guessed it - Dollar Tree!
Tips For Building Your Speech Cooking Kit
I know, 20 items can be a lot to get all at once, but you don't need to get everything right off the bat. Use what you already have and add items a few at a time.
And once again, don't forget to scour your own home first!
Free is always best and I'm sure you probably have random items laying out that you can give new life to.
Those mismatched silverware pieces, plastic Halloween candy bowls, and old princess paper plates can be reused in your speech cooking kit!
Another great idea is to write up a parent letter at the beginning of the year requesting these items be donated.
Asking for parent help is one of my favorite tips for making cooking successful in speech therapy sessions.
Grab A Freebie & Get Cookin’
Are you ready to start cooking in your speech sessions? I hope the answer is YES! Cooking with kids will help you create lasting memories, form meaningful relationships and target those big learning goals.
Be sure to grab this free, S’mores On A Stick Visual Recipe if you’re looking for a fun recipe to try with your kids. With just a few ingredients and simple tools, this is a great starter recipe! Have fun building your speech cooking kit and diving into some cooking with your littles!
Save This Post For Later
I hope you had fun reading about my favorites and must-haves in my speech cooking kit! Don't forget to save this post on your favorite classroom Pinterest board for when you're ready to start building your own speech cooking kit.