Updated February 2024
Kids in the Kitchen (a.k.a. Kindergarten Cooks) was developed as a beginning reader by Nellie Edge while teaching kindergarten on the Makah Indian Reservation in Neah Bay, Washington. This classic kid’s cookbook was a best-seller with over 150,000 copies sold. Now available digitally. See the free recipes and our newest TPT resource Family Guide to Kids in the Kitchen: 20 Favorite Recipes.
I sent this home with parents during distance learning! It was so much fun!... Families loved it! -Meghan E.
Use the experience making Play Dough to inspire procedural writing. Read the recipe together with each child having a copy. Take turns adding and mixing ingredients, while continuing to review and verbalize procedural language “first we add…, next, then…” review vocabulary and step-by-step ingredients. (Notice: after play dough ingredients are mixed, it can be cooked in the microwave.)
Hands-on classroom cooking is best provided with small groups of 5-6 kids at a time. It is ideal for families to enjoy at home. Follow these steps:
- Wash hands carefully and discuss hand hygiene.
- Give each child a copy of the recipe so they can follow along and read.
- Explore the ingredients—read the packaging, smell, feel and touch everything possible!
- Children will delight in taking turns, adding the ingredients and mixing them together. Talk about ingredients and procedures. Re-read the recipe.
- Share the finished product with friends! YUM!
Read the classic folk tale, Stone Soup by Marcia Brown: Act out the story with the teacher playing the narrator. Plan to make Stone Soup in your classroom! Send home a note asking each child to bring a vegetable. Teacher gets to bring a clean round stone! How satisfying it is for each child to read the recipe and contribute an ingredient. Idea: Create a graph with pictures of the veggies and invite children’s input! “Imagine! You made the whole delicious soup with just one stone!”
Choose 5-6 of your favorite recipes, print and staple, or bind them into a book. Send copies home as a gift for family literacy! Reading and math doesn’t get any more fun than this!
Making your first non-bake cookies to share with others becomes a rite of passage for kid chefs! Beginning cooks deserve their very own cookbook—one they can grow on!
Even if you have no aspirations of becoming a professional chef, cookbook collector, or “foodie,” you owe it to yourself to read this cookbook if only for the “African Slush Punch” recipe and the best-ever classic cookie recipes! This best-selling book has proven recipes for kids of all ages. Enjoy the Northwest Indian motifs, breads from different cultures, and food as art.
Cooking and reading are life skills!
All young students deserve the integrated, hands-on reading, math, and science experiences that cooking provides. It is especially powerful for English Language Learners and Special Needs students to develop life skills with a cookbook or small recipe collection of their own! They will return to favorite recipes again and again with pride and satisfaction! You know…food is one of our love languages.
After this project, our illustrator went on to a thriving art career!
This was illustrator Pierr Morgan’s first published book. She now is recognized as a celebrated children’s book illustrator. Her imaginative, playful style adds an extra depth to our cookbook. Idea: Students of all ages may find it therapeutic to color this cookbook using colored pencils!
Nellie Edge Kids in the Kitchen (aka Kindergarten Cooks) So Many Reasons to Love It!
I sent this home with parents during distance learning! It was so much fun!... Families loved it!
– Meghan E.
These are great. They are a perfect way for building kitchen skills with my life skills students.
– Marjorie H.
I used this with my 3rd graders during our measurement unit. It was great!
– Geneva L.
So many fun recipes!
– Tim M.
This is so stinking adorable for my little chef's birthday! Sweet pictures to boot!
– Sadina R.
Creating family memories is important to me. I love using this with my grandchildren.
– Joy B.
I am sending this to my parents as an end-of-year gift. It's great because recipes deal with measurements and it's something parents can do with their children during the summer. Hopefully, I will inspire an upcoming chef!
– Betty K.
Used this at home with my son, kid-friendly font, easy to follow!
– Marijo R.
…What a blast from the past! I have this book and used it extensively back when kindergarten was less academic. Now a new generation of teachers can enjoy these recipes! Thank you, Nellie!
– Cynthia W.