Every December, a friend of mine hosts a Christmas cookie swap. Anyone who comes is to bake six dozen cookies of the same variety and write down the recipe on several recipe cards. Then, at the party, each person receives a gift box in which they place about half a dozen of each type of cookie, and they can pick up the recipe cards for the cookies they like the best. Not only do participants get to sample all the delicious cookies, but they take home a box full of many kinds of Christmas cookies to share with other family and friends.
While the swap tends to be a night out for moms, my friend welcomes girls too, especially those in the upper elementary grades and older. And what a great opportunity for learning!
Cooking and baking has always been a good hands-on approach to math, and children love to be involved. By helping bake those Christmas cookies, they can learn how to read a recipe, use kitchen tools, understand liquid and dry measurements, and practice with fractions.
When working in the kitchen, children can learn practical life skills as well. They learn how to prepare the ingredients and clean up afterwards. And of course, writing out those recipe cards provides extra handwriting practice. At the swap, they’ll discover that all that hard work does pay off, as they taste a little bit of everything and take a box of cookies home.
If you’d like to attend a cookie swap with your child, but there’s not one in your area, consider hosting one yourself. Bring your child in on the planning by making the guest list together, writing out invitations, decorating the table, and making the punch. Then teach her how to greet the guests and be a good hostess. You may even want to make it a swap just for girls, allowing your daughter to serve as the main hostess and giving moms some time away to shop.
However you do it, you’ll find that a cookie swap provides wonderful learning opportunities — and great memories!
Homeschooling Reading Curriculum by SmartTutor.com
Picture By: norwichnuts
Guest Blogger: Samantha Bell