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10 Ways to Make it Fun
Fun with Food typography

by Trish Corlew

The homeschooler’s classroom extends far beyond “the school room!”

The kitchen is one of the best places to combine both life skills and experiences. The processes of cooking and baking offer so many engaging ways to bring learning to life for kids of all ages. The ways we can blend culinary arts with education are almost as boundless as the recipes waiting to be discovered.

So, make it fun with food in your homeschool!

1. Celebrate Stories with Food

Celebrate your reading adventures by concocting some on-theme treats in the kitchen! Doing a unit on Dr. Seuss for Dr. Seuss month? Check out this simple and fun Cat in the Hat Pizza or Truffula Trees Treats. Whip up some Turkish Delight after reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, or celebrate a study on Arabian Nights with these magical Aladdin cupcakes. This kind of special culinary celebration will create even more positive associations with reading!

chicken drumstick
2. Explore Cultures Through Cuisine
Recreating traditional dishes from other cultures is a memorable, hands-on way to learn about other people groups and discover traditions that have shaped the world! What cultures or parts of the world interest your homeschoolers? Whether it’s rolling sushi while learning Japanese or kneading dough for Italian pizza while studying geography, recipes can offer an amazing way to explore the world around us. One of our favorite recipe sources is Eat Your Way Around the World and Eat Your Way Around the USA from Geography Matters! We have used both cookbooks and love the recipes!
3. Get a Taste for Math
If your learner struggles with math, bringing those math problems to the kitchen can be an absolute game changer! The kitchen is a place where kids get to see the math in action and why math matters in a very real way! From sequencing, to measuring, to counting (check out this cute addition-themed cupcake project), there are endless ways to study math by creating delicious food! Check out this article with 15 ideas on teaching math in the kitchen!
4. Discover Hands-On Nutrition

For all kids, the basics of nutrition start at home. If you’re wanting to teach your young learners more about healthy ways to fuel their bodies, you could start by whipping up one or two healthy snacks each week, teaching your children about the value of proteins, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and more. These recipes for no-bake energy balls and rainbow fruit salad are both tasty, fun, and nutrient-dense, making them great choices. Pair your snacks with your favorite nutritional textbook for extra food-for-thought!

5. Practice Budgeting Bites
Managing a grocery budget is a practical math lesson with real-world applications. Planning meals, comparing prices, and maximizing ingredients all teach real-world financial skills that kids will absolutely need when they grow into adulthood! Fun challenge: try letting your kids plan a meal (or a week of meals) using a predetermined budget using cash only. If you have a large family, each child can rotate and share tips they’ve learned from their experiences managing the food budget. Here are some good practical tips for sticking to a food budget!
top view of a sunny side up egg
6. Experiment with Food
Create a volcano with vinegar and baking soda, create a mind-boggling rubber egg, or explore the states of matter by making homemade ice cream. These tasty experiments teach basic chemistry concepts and make them more accessible. Your children may not always recall exactly what the science textbook said, but they will always remember the science you did in the kitchen!
7. Travel Back in Time
Cooking foods enjoyed by people from different historical periods can really bring history to life! Try researching and recreating a medieval feast, the diet of the Native Americans, or the hardtack that soldiers ate during the Civil War. You can also apply this concept to learn more about the traditions and rich history of specific holidays, too. Learn more about what different cultures eat during Christmas, for example, and the origin behind those traditions.
a woman's hands crack an egg over a glass bowl
8. Devour Edible Art
Permission to play with food? Granted. From carefully plating gourmet meals, to crafting bouquets of fruit kabobs, try highlighting the artistry of food preparation with some edible art assignments. Kids will love this creative way of learning about concepts like composition—using the plate as a canvas—or even the color wheel! If you have children who are honing their painting skills, it could also be fun to give this sugar cookie painting activity or pancake art a try!
9. Keep Food Journals
Encourage ownership in the kitchen and bring language arts out to play by teaching your children how to keep a food journal. They can write recipes, make meal plans, describe the sensory experiences of their culinary creations, or reflect on the cultural significance of the dishes they create. The way your children will use this journal really depends on what you aim to achieve through the process of recording! Food journals can cultivate writing habits and encourage mindfulness, too! Here are a couple of free food journals that you can print and use in your homeschool!
10. Grow or Raise Your Own Food
If you’re a homesteader, your children are probably already familiar with collecting eggs and helping in gardens. But what if you don’t have a big piece of land to work with? Even if you have a small space, growing a few herbs or vegetables and using them in home cooking can teach valuable skills and foster an appreciation for growing and using your own food. This is such important, practical learning to pass onto our next generation. It’s also really satisfying and, of course, it’s fun, too!

I hope these ideas have inspired you to bring more homeschool lessons into the kitchen. Food can bring so many of the things we study—from math to history—to life in engaging and unexpected ways that your kids will always remember!

- Trish
headshot of Trish Corlew

rish Corlew loves to teach and mentor homeschool moms in how to adopt the hands-on, fun, and active learning style she fell in love with when she was involved with her kids’ Montessori school before homeschooling. As the owner of Hip Homeschool Moms, Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, Only Passionate Curiosity, and Love These Recipes—Trish has been equipping homeschool moms to spark their children’s interests in order to become life-long learners. One of her favorite ways to do this is through travel! With her popular community, Homeschool Travel Adventures, she has taken homeschooling families on incredible educational adventures for nine years.

She’s married to David, her best friend and husband of 26 years, and they have three adult sons. Originally from the coast of North Carolina, she now lives in rural West Tennessee on a forty-acre farm. In her spare time—her very spare time—Trish loves to travel, write, and work in the garden. You’ll often find her trying to learn something new, modeling that learning is indeed a life-long endeavor!