Summer is such a great time of year to dive into cooking activities. It's nice to be able to bring summer cooking activities outside and cut down on the mess in the kitchen or classroom. Today, I am sharing my favorite summer cooking activities for kids! Plus... be sure to stick around until the end! I'm sharing a simple science experiment perfect for summer also!
Summer cooking activities are a great way to engage young learners when the daily schedule is a bit more "relaxed" than usual. I don't know about you, but I always find that a change in schedule means some added chaos! Using fun and simple cooking activities is a great way to reign those kiddos in with something exciting and refocus on some key skills! Ready to see my favorite summer cooking activities? Let's dive in!
1. Sand Visual Dessert Recipe
Have you ever made "Dirt Dessert"? It's one of my all-time favorite recipes to use with kiddos. In the summertime, I like to do a variation of this treat and make a "Sand Dessert". It's the perfect activity to remind us of the beach.
This is super simple and requires no "actual" cooking- making it perfect for those hot summer days!
To get started, you will need:
- Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
- Vanilla Wafers
- "Teddy Grahams" Cookies
- "Lifesavers" Gummy Candy
- Clear, Plastic Cups
- Ziplock Bags (for smashing the wafers)
- Mixing Bowl & Spoon
- Bonus- Paper Drink Umbrellas
So, the idea here is that when this dessert is complete, it will resemble a little bear sunbathing on the beach. Cute right? I sure think so!
Once you have all your supplies, you will work with your kiddos to make the pudding, smash the vanilla wafers (to make your sand) and then assemble. Add pudding to the bottom, top with crushed vanilla wafers, and finally add your lifesaver and little bear friend. If you want to go the extra mile, those paper umbrellas make a super cute finishing touch!
This is a great activity to work on vocabulary and sequencing with your littles. I love using a visual recipe card for activities like this to help give kiddos a more in-depth look at what we will be making together. I will ask them to look ahead on the recipe card and try and figure out the order in which we will be arranging everything. The recipe cards provide visual aid and help prompt less verbal children. I find that visual recipe cards are such a helpful tool during these summer cooking activities!
Afterward, I always follow up this recipe with some comprehension questions to see how much my group remembers. Children always love this activity and it's especially fun to try in the summer months.
The full recipe, vocabulary cards, and comprehension follow-up questions can all be found in my Cooking & Craft Visual Recipe Pack if you're interested in trying this with the kids in your life!
2. Ice Cream Party
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! I mean, who doesn't love ice cream? It truly does scream summer. I love having ice cream sundae "parties" with my kiddos and letting everyone make their own for a fun summer project.
It makes a a great reward activity after a few weeks or months of hard work and meeting goals. This is also a fun activity for an end-of-the-year party, summer camp, or even just at home with your kiddos after playing in the pool all day. The best part of this summer "cooking" activity is that there's no actual "cooking" required. No need to heat up that kitchen!
To get started grab yourself some ice cream, I always go for chocolate and vanilla. Next is the fun part....toppings! You can get as many or as few as you would like. Some of my faves are...
- Sprinkles (Rainbow & Chocolate)
- Chocolate Syrup
- Crushed Oreos
- Chocolate Chips
- Gummy Bears
- Whipped Cream
I also like to run by the Dollar Tree and grab some plastic bowls, spoons, and ice cream scoops. Be sure to peek around for toppings there. Sometimes I get lucky and find everything on my list!
Once you're ready to go, set everything up in an "assembly line" and allow kiddos to build their own sundaes. Don't forget to label and talk about the toppings as students are building their sundaes. You can also ask questions like "What toppings did you like?" or "Which ones don't you like?" Build those conversations during this activity!
3. S'mores On A Stick
Do you ever use a camping theme in your summertime lessons? Camping is SO exciting to children and it makes a great theme for your summer activities. Plus, we all know.... the best part of camping is having s'mores, right? Right!
This simple S'mores On A Stick Recipe is a great addition to any camping theme or really any time of year! This freebie comes complete with a visual recipe card, vocabulary cards, and comprehension questions so you can extend this project and get the most out of this summer cooking activity.
This recipe is also featured in my Visual Recipe Cards for Kids! Be sure to check those out if you're interested in getting your hands on some physical recipe cards.
Now, to get started you just need a few basic ingredients and materials. You will need:
- Jumbo Marshmallows
- Chocolate Chips
- Graham Crackers
- Ziplock Bags (for smashing the crackers)
- Mixing Bowl
- Skewers/Popsicle Sticks
- Access to a Microwave
To get started, crush those graham crackers up, melt your chocolate in the microwave, and put your marshmallows on the sticks. Have kiddos dip their marshmallow in the chocolate and then roll in graham cracker crumbs. This recipe is so simple and always a hit! Be sure to download the freebie for the full recipe, visual recipe card, and extras! And don't forget to tag me on IG if you make it with your kiddos! I love seeing what you guys are cooking up!
Bonus- Simple Summer Science Experiment!
Now, this last one does use a visual recipe, but it's not something you're going to eat! It's way too much fun to leave out though, especially during the summertime! This simple science activity is perfect for the 4th of July!
Children love all things science, and science experiments are a great time to work on vocabulary, grammar, following directions, sequencing, and more!
To conduct the experiment, you will need a few items. I can usually find all of these at the Dollar Tree:
- 1 Large, clear container (bottles, fish bowls & vases all work great)
- Food Coloring
- Vegetable Oil
- Optional: Shaving Cream
To get started, you will want to fill your container with water. Next, add some oil, followed by a few drops of food coloring. Give this a gentle mix and watch as the colors "dance" together in your container and create a "firework show".
Alternatively, you can layer shaving cream on top of the water and drop the food coloring right on top of the shaving cream. The food coloring will drip more slowly into the water and prolong the effect of the "fireworks".
You can grab the full visual recipe in my Simple Science Experiments Resource if you're interested in using vocabulary cards and comprehension questions during this activity. Kiddos will love participating in this activity and watching the "fireworks".
Dive Into Summer Cooking Activities With Your Kiddos!
So what do you think? Ready to explore some visual recipes with your kiddos?! I hope you found something fun to work on with your kids during those long summer days. Don't forget to take advantage of that warm weather and take the cooking outside!
If you're interested in any of the recipes and activities discussed in this post you can find them all below. And don't forget to grab that S'mores Freebie too! Have fun cooking and learning with your littles this summer!
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Don't forget to Pin this post to your favorite classroom Pinterest board for when you're ready to start planning some fun, summer cooking activities!