TRC Read to Kids

Welcome to The Reading Connection’s blog, where you’ll find the best guidance on reading aloud to kids. Whether you are a TRC Read-Aloud volunteer, parent or student, the book themes and crafts ideas, child development guidelines and recommended websites will expand your world. For 25 years, The Reading Connection has worked to improve the lives of at-risk kids by linking the magic of reading to fun experiences that inspire a passion for learning. Visit our website at

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cooking Together

'Tis the season for large meals with family and friends, so what better topic for a Read-Aloud than cooking as a group? Cooking together with family and friends is a great way for kids to learn how to work together while having fun at the same time! 

Bring in props such as measuring cups and spoons, a whisk and a spatula and talk about their uses. Show the kids several cookbooks and talk about their differences. Be sure to bring one that's made for kids with lots of pictures. The kids will learn important vocabulary and background knowledge they'll use for the rest of their lives. 

Feast for 10 by Cathryn Falwell
What does it takes to prepare a feast for 10 people? Follow this family from the supermarket to the table.

Eight Animals Bake a Cake by Susan Middleton Elya
In this bilingual story, several animals come together to bake a cake. What will they do when their cake is destroyed?

Cook-A-Doodle-Doo! by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel
In an adaptation of the folktale, "The Little Red Hen," Rooster and his friends figure out how to cook the most wonderful, magnificent strawberry shortcake.

Ugly Pie by Lisa Wheeler and Heather Solomon
Tired of pretty pies, 'Ol Bear embarks on a journey to find an ugly, yet tasty, pie.

Bunny Cakes by Rosemary Wells 
Max and his sister, Ruby, compete to see who will make the best cake for Grandma’s birthday.

Cooking Activities
Now that you've read about cooking, it’s time to give it a try. Creating one of these snacks to take what you've learned and put it into action.

Fruit Kabobs
Cut pieces of fresh fruit slide onto skewers to make colorful, healthy snacks. You will need wooden skewers or pieces of uncooked spaghetti and an assortment of fruit. 

Seedless Ggapes

If time is tight, pre-cut the fruit and have kids do the threading. If you know you'll have a little more time, let the kids help prepare the fruit. Kids can wash the fruit, peel bananas and pull grapes off the vines. Have an adult seed and peel melon and let the kids cut it into smaller pieces with kid-friendly cutlery. Kids can slice the bananas and cut the tops off off strawberries. 

Most of the fruit will slice easily with a plastic knife. Older kids can cut fruits with a regular knife, with supervision.

No Bake and Decorating Foods
All of the stories listed above feature cakes or pies. Bring in the ingredients to make a no-bake cake or pie, such as a peanut butter pie. Be aware that many no-bake cakes require an electric mixer.

To avoid all that measuring and mixing, but still offer the opportunity to interact with food, let the kids decorate their snack. You can bring any variation of the following items to decorate or assemble the kids' own creations.

  • Pre-baked cupcakes or cookies and frosting supplies
  • Flavored rice cakes (like Quaker brand) with cream cheese and fruit or frosting supplies
  • Pre-baked biscuits or store-bought shortcake shells, whipped cream and fruit
  • Individual graham cracker pie shells and filling options such as pudding or whipped cream and fruit

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  1. Very please to be included here. Happy Cooking, and Happy Reading!


  2. Thanks so much! We love your books and love sharing them with the families in our program. We just used Fiesta Para Diez with a Spanish-speaking playgroup as well.