Five Cooking and Gardening Activities to Do With Kids

Spring feels different to me this year. It’s usually an exciting time of new beginnings and planning for the upcoming warmth and growing season. Yet this year we all feel a bit stuck, not knowing what the future will bring.

One thing we do know for sure is that there is always something new to learn in the garden and kitchen! Hopefully, these activities can spark joy for you and your family. If you’re like me, at home more often these days with a curious kiddo, spending time exploring the wonders of growing and cooking food is always an adventure. 

At FoodCorps, we’re excited to cultivate these adventures by sharing 35 FoodCorps lesson plans. Our hope is that offering these will support parents, educators, and caregivers through COVID-19 and beyond. These hands-on cooking and gardening lessons have been developed for our service members to lead in schools and gardens with kids between the ages of 5 and 11. These lessons have been selected because they incorporate materials commonly found at home and can be adapted for that setting. Activities are intended to be modified to reflect local culture and food traditions. Lessons include academic connections to the Common Core State Standards or Next Generation Science Standard to support student learning goals related to language arts, literacy, math, and science.

FoodCorps AmeriCorps service members have recorded video lessons online to share with their students and communities. Want to get your kids excited about gardening and cooking? Here are five fun activities to get you started:  

1. Go, Grow, Glow Together

How can eating certain foods help our bodies grow strong and healthy so that we can be who we want to be and do what we want to do in the world? In the Go, Grow, Glow lesson, kids will explore which foods help give our bodies energy (go), grow strong (grow), and stay healthy (glow) with service member Diego Alonso Virgues. Check out the full lesson plan here!  

Video by Diego Alonso Virgues, serving with Crim Fitness Foundation in Flint, MI

2.  Draw Imaginary Plants 

Spark your child’s creativity and imagination with the Imaginary Plants lesson. In this lesson, taught by service member Casey Haggerty, kids will learn all six parts of a plant through drawing and sing along to a fun song.

Video by Casey Haggerty, serving with Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities in Petoskey, MI.

3. Taste a Rainbow 

Want to make a healthy snack with your kids that’s full of lots of colorful fruits and vegetables? Give the Rainbow Smoothies recipe a whirl with service member Priyanka Rangadass. 

Video by Priyanka Rangadass, serving with Healthy Chelsea in Chelsea, MA

4. Build an Insect Home 

Make a home for beneficial garden insects with items you can find around your home in this simple Insect Homes lesson taught by service member Erin Baumann. 

Video by Erin Baumann, serving with Michigan State University Extension in Traverse City, MI.

5. Make a Sweet and Healthy Snack

Explore the importance of seeds and make healthy treats called Sunny Honey Seed Snacks with service member Chloe Miller. 

Video by Chloe Miller, serving with Gardner Pilot Academy in Allston, MA

Interested in watching more video lessons from our corps members? Watch them all here.