Pretend Play Cooking Using Real Ingredients

As soon as I saw this post from Play Create Explore, I knew Rosie would love it!  I had done a little bit of realistic pretend cooking with Rosie before by giving her flour dough and muffin tins, and loved the idea of extending this.  Adding an array of real ingredients to our pretend cooking would surely foster the imagination, and also enhance the activity with smells, scents, and textures.

With this play set up in mind, I had been saving scraps of real food ingredients through out the week. I also went sifting through my spice cabinet for spices that were no longer good.  My intention was to waste as little food as possible while still giving Rosie the opportunity to explore real ingredients.  Here is what I came up with!

Garlic salt, flour, pasta, an Italian seasoning mixture, an array of other spices mixed together (no hot spices), a few blackberries, spinach, egg shells, used coffee grounds that I had dried out, seeds from the red peppers I cooked with the other night, and the tops of strawberries we recently ate.

I chose spices with strong smells to enhance sensory exploration.

I loved the idea of Rosie getting to crack real eggshells and knew she would love that!  I looked everywhere and could not find any confetti eggs like the ones used by Play Create Explore.  So, I improvised and created some.  I filled a couple of our plastic Easter eggs with different materials.  I put actual confetti in one.  I added glitter and colored candy sprinkles to a few others.  

I then set out pots, spoons, and other cooking gadgets. 

 I filled one of the pots with a bit of water.  I had some food coloring tucked into my pocket to pull out as a surprise.

Rosie loved this activity!  

Adding a dash of flour

Then a sprinkle of salt

Our homemade confetti eggs were her favorite!

When I asked her what she was making, she kept saying, "Something to eat."

More flour was needed

Rosie had so much fun with this activity!  As she handled the real ingredients, we talked about the different smells and textures.  I feel Rosie really learned a lot, and I know we certainly expanded her vocabulary a bit.  I also love that we were able to find a use for things that we would have otherwise thrown away.  

Such a proud chef!

I look forward to doing this activity often and seeing where her imagination takes her next time!

Pretend Play Cooking with Real Ingredients
Tons of FUN!
Growing a Jeweled Rose

Growing A Jeweled Rose

Growing a Jeweled Rose is a site packed with fun and educational activities for kids. Read more about us or catch up with our favorite posts .