Cooking with Cloverbud Science

Kids love to experiment, so what better way than by using kitchen science? The best part about beginning kitchen science is a lot of ingredients are already available as common items in the kitchen. Children will be able to:

  1. Experience scientific method

When looking at scientific method, there are basically five points to take a look at:

  • Observe/Question: What do you want to find out?
  • Hypothesis: Predict what will happen.
  • Experiment: Conduct you experiment.
  • Draw Conclusions: What happened? Was your prediction correct?
  • Share Results: What did you learn? Share with your fellow Cloverbuds
  1. Explore the differences between a mixture, solution and a reaction

A mixture is when two or more items are combined and no reaction takes place. A solution is a type of mixture that is formed when one substance dissolves in a liquid with no reaction.  A reaction occurs when two materials are combined and a reaction occurs or something happens.

Materials list for each Cloverbud: ¼ t salt, ¼ t pepper, ½ t sugar, ¼ c water, 1 t baking soda, ¼ c vinegar, three small cups, small stick for stirring, small snack baggies and one sandwich size zip lock bag. Prepare one baggie for each dry ingredient.

Activity 1

  1. Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put salt and pepper together in a small cup.
  2. Have the children mix salt and pepper together in the small cup.

Did anything happen? Can you still see the salt and pepper? Did your prediction come true? What is a mixture? What other ingredients could you use to make a mixture?

Snack mixes make great mixtures because you can still see what ingredients you used.  You can use any snack ingredients such as pretzels, cereal, veggie chips, peanuts, or corn chips. A fun activity is to have several different snack items available and let the Cloverbuds make up their own recipe and name for a snack mix.

Activity 2

  1. Have the Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they put sugar and water together.
  2. Have them stir the sugar and water together in a small cup.

Did anything happen? Can you still see the water and sugar? Did your prediction come true? What is a solution? What other ingredients could you use to make a solution?

Smoothies work for making a solution. Here is a simple fruit smoothie recipe: 8 strawberries 1 banana and ¼ cup milk. Put in a blender to combine.

Activity 3

  1. Have Cloverbuds predict what will happen if they mix vinegar and baking soda.
  2. Put baking soda into sandwich size zip lock bag. Pour vinegar into small cups. Place cup into plastic baggie and seal. Dump the vinegar out of the cup and watch what happens.

Did anything happen? Did your prediction come true? What is a reaction? What other ingredients could you use to make a reaction?

Because of yeast, bread making is another way to show a reaction.  Mix together 1 ½ c warm water, 1 T honey, 1 ½ t salt, 1 T yeast. Let sit 5-10 minutes until there is bubbling or a foam on the top. Next knead in 3 ½ – 4 cups flour until it is no longer sticky. Make small balls (for number of Cloverbuds) and cover for 20 minutes. Preheat oven or toaster oven at 400 degrees. Bake 15-20 minutes.

 

These are just some fun activities you can do to encourage learning by doing. Not only will your Cloverbuds have fun, but they will also be learning some science knowledge.

Cooking with Cloverbud Math

Let’s take a look at math in the kitchen. You can use math skills like measuring, counting, fractions, weighing, and estimation. Utilize your whole group by having each Cloverbud help with making the snack. You can divide the jobs and ingredients among each Cloverbud (example one Cloverbud can measure the flour and another the sugar).  That way everyone is involved.  Here is a recipe that works great to give each Cloverbud a job.

Waldorf Salad

  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup seedless grapes (cut in half)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 T sugar

Prepare the fruits & celery (supervise children when using plastic knives). Mix mayo and sugar. Carefully toss mixture with dressing. You can use any fruits or veggies that you choose especially if you have more than 5 Cloverbuds.

A fun activity for your Cloverbuds is to fill a measuring cup with water. Pour the water into different bowls or containers that are different shapes. Does it look different? Now pour it back into the measuring cup to demonstrate that the amount hasn’t changed. 

Bring a small scale and let the Cloverbuds weigh the ingredients and measure them in a measuring cup to compare two different units of measure.  Of course what is math without counting? This snack mix will lend itself to weighing, counting and sorting skills.

Ranch Snack Mix (makes 7 servings)

  • 8 oz. miniature pretzels
  • 24 oz. Bugles
  • 8 oz. nuts
  • 8 oz. miniature cheddar cheese fish-shaped crackers
  • 8 oz. mini club crackers

Put ingredients in a large plastic Ziploc baggie. Sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons envelope ranch salad dressing. Drizzle with 6 Tablespoons canola oil; toss until well coated. Air dry.

Measure one cup of sugar (or other ingredient), then measure again using half cup, third cup, and quarter cup measures. Talk about how they’re different. Then demonstrate that you can measure two half-cups and it equals the same amount as one cup. Here is a recipe for:

No Bake Peanut Butter Squares

Combine:

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

Add to mixture: 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers

Press mixture into an 8” pan.

Melt: 1 cup chopped peanuts with 2 cups chocolate chips

Spread over mixture in pan. Let it set up before eating.

This recipe could also be doubled and the Cloverbuds could help rewrite the recipe so it can feed more people or even reduce it to feed less people.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are a fun way to add patterns and sorting to your Cloverbud math skills. All you need are grapes, strawberries, and bananas or any fruit, along with some small skewers or toothpicks. The Cloverbuds can make their own pattern and then draw the pattern on a piece of paper. They can make a quick dip with yogurt and a dash of cinnamon.

There are a lot of recipes that you can adapt to encourage math skills, so have fun. Happy cooking!