It’s that time of year to start getting in the learning mood, and what better way than to deliver a delicious reward at the end of a lesson? Here are five ways to get your kids learning the basics that will stick in their minds for a lifetime.
Shapes! Every kid loves to make shapes with just about anything they can get their jam hands on. Turn this curiosity into a project by using cookie dough cutters to make fun shapes in the pizza crust. Simply use a thawed crust (easier for cutting) and press down your desired cookie cutter shapes to create munch-able monsters or delicious dinosaurs, whatever your little’s heart’s desire! This is a great opportunity to teach about different animals. Ask questions like, “What is a biped? Quadruped? Which ones are mammals and which ones are reptiles? Where does the lion live? Don’t forget the geometric shapes either. How many sides does the triangle have? What does Octagon mean? The options are nearly endless! Use the leftover cutouts as breadsticks by following our breadstick recipe. Bonus Points: Use our Plant-Based crust for “cookie” type shapes. Simply follow our recipe for a whole pizza here: https://www.califlourfoods.com/blogs/recipes/mini-dessert-cauliflower-pizzas-with-deanna-stagliano -and get creative!
Fraction Circles. Make your Fraction Circles fun by letting the kids decorate their own pizza. Grab a crust, cut it into even slices, and then prebake according to instructions. Once cool, put the slices back together in the shape of a circle and sauce each slice lightly. Pick a different topping for each slice and have the kids count out the number of olive slices or pepperoni, etc., as they decorate the pizza. Show how each slice represents a certain fraction of the pizza (One slice is 1/8th, two is 2/8th or 1/2) as part of the whole. This is a great visualization technique to teach those harder to understand concepts such as “What is a half of something? A quarter?” In addition, you can do simple math by adding up certain different slices and asking how many toppings when you put slice 1 and slice 2 together. Lastly, the best part, subtraction! Count as you eat away at the Fraction Circle. As you play, you’ll find there are many different ways to teach math with something as simple as a pizza.
We always encourage creative toppings, but it’s more than just pairing foods. Show your kids how you can make dinner fun by designing the pizza toppings. Think of emoticons. What face can you make with the different emoticons and what emotion does that express? How can you use certain foods to express different scenes? Feta cheese for skies, chives for grass, pepperonis for wheels, you get the point. What would Picasso do?
History/Culture. All food has a root in culture. Of course, that culture varies, and the food a certain people group eats reflects the personality of that culture. Have the kids help you Google foods from different countries, find the kinds of foods they eat there, and then hit up the supermarket! When the pizza is ready for toppings, you could even test the kids a little by mixing up the foods to see if they can put the right topping together for the right crust. What foods go on Spain’s crust? What about China? The results can range from delicious to hilarious! For the ultimate variety, cut the crusts in half to double the potential amount of culture’s pizzas. Make sure to talk about why the certain food is so important to that culture for a solid lesson in history.
We have to have a balanced meal, right? This last project covers your choice of language. Choose either your native language to make it more concrete or pick a foreign one to span out! This one will take a little more planning, as you will likely not have an alphabet cookie cutter set but you can find a great one here: https://www.amazon.com/xifys-Pieces-Stainless-Alphabet-Cutters/dp/B06XQPS4JW/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1533674205&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=alphabet++cookie+cutters&psc=1
Cut out as many letters as you possibly can, prebake according to instructions, and have the kids arrange them to make words! Because these “cookies” will be harder to top, we suggest using them as either breadsticks or dipping crackers. As the kids create different words, challenge them by eating a letter and then rearranging to see what other words they can come up with until it’s all gone.
We hope this new season finds you ready mentally and physically with a healthy and fun meal!
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