Read the book Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert, and then make vegetable soup – a popular classroom recipe.
Vegetable soup is a food that some kids might not want to try at home, but when paired with a story and a fun preschool cooking activity, it becomes a powerful lesson in nutrition!
Growing Vegetable Soup Activity
Start with a group discussion about vegetables. Ask your children what their favorite vegetables are and if they know where they come from- be prepared for some interesting responses!
Next, read the book Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. The vibrant, unique illustrations in this classic book are sure to capture the attention of your kids.
Gathering the Ingredients for Vegetable Soup
After you have read the book aloud to your kids, tell them you will be making vegetable soup together in the classroom soon.
Explain that vegetables are part of a healthy diet and help us grow into healthy adults (or bigger kids!).
Then, show the kids the recipe you will be using. There is a recipe included in the book, or you could use one of your own. Since most classrooms don’t have access to a stove, I prefer to use my own slow cooker recipe (see below).
Ask parents to send in specific ingredients needed to make the soup if you’re allowed to do so. If you have a large class you might consider asking 5 children to bring one carrot each, 4 children to bring one stalk of celery each, 1 child to bring an onion, 2 children to bring potatoes etc. You could also ask for disposable cups and spoons for eating the soup.
Recipe For Vegetable Soup
Here are the ingredients you will need to make vegetable soup in your slow cooker.
- 1 onion
- 2 potatoes
- 4 stalks of celery
- 5 carrots
- 3 tomatoes
- 6 cups chicken broth
- salt, pepper, garlic, and oregano to taste
Invite your children to watch you chop the vegetables. Encourage participation by asking your kids to hand you a vegetable. Talk about the vegetables as you chop them, mention where and how they grow, their colors, and texture. Invite kids to put the chopped vegetables into the slow cooker. You can even count the chopped pieces for oral counting practice.
Cooking Vegetable Soup in Preschool
Then, invite the kids to pour the cups of chicken broth into the slow cooker with your supervision. When all the vegetables and broth have been added, add your spices to taste and invite each child to stir the pot. Cooking times will vary depending on your slow cooker, this recipe took six hours on high in my slow cooker.
If you are in a classroom setting and your class isn’t in session for six hours, you can cook the soup and serve the following day.
Eating Vegetable Soup in Preschool
Allow the soup to cool and then invite kids to taste their delicious and healthy creation!
If you’re serving the cooked soup on another day, warm it up and scoop it into cups or bowls for tasting with spoons. If you have a class of children, using a muffin tin to hold the cups is a great way to serve more quickly.
Vegetable Soup Pretend Play
Now that you’ve read the book Growing Vegetable Soup and made soup with your kids, extend the learning with pretend play. This pretend vegetable soup play set will provide your kids with plenty of opportunities to make soup over and over again while developing communication, problem solving, and oral language skills, just to name a few!