Thursday, November 11, 2010

cooking as science for preschoolers

Do you remember a while back the children made slinky chips with the apple slinky maker?  (I'm sure this nifty little machine is called by another name in the non-preschool world).

This time around my lovely colleague expanded our slinky repertoire to include mushrooms, zucchini and eggplant:

The veggies were cut into big chunks:

Each one was attached to the "apple slinky maker":

And this is where things became more of an exercise in scientific process than cooking experience as they investigated the question:  Which vegetable would work as a slinky? 

They observed, compared, predicted, hypothesised, tested and inferred as they took turns using the slinky maker.

Zucchinis produced very satisfying slinkies.

Some of the eggplants, worked while others crumbled.

The mushrooms were a complete flop.

The veggies were sprinkled with oil, and roasted in the oven.

There is a science to most things we do with young children, from making art and cooking to building things and using language.  Helping them to learn how to "find out" is as easy as celebrating the wonder of exploring the world together.

Oh, and the veggie slinkys got the big thumbs up from our budding chefs and scientists.


  1. YUM! That's so cool Jenny. Last week our pre kinder children used our "apple slinky maker" on apples at a picnic we had and we were discussing the possibility of using sweet potatoes and spud potatoes ... it never crossed our mind to use softer vegies. I think a little 'science experimenting' is definitely in order for our children next week!
    Donna :) :)

  2. love the idea of veggie slinkys! And cooking in the name of science is a great idea, too. I'll bet your budding scientists learned all kinds of stuff from this experiment.

  3. Love it, Jenny! Looks like alot of foodie fun.

  4. I need one of these slinky makers! Where do you get them?

  5. They are pretty nifty little things Rachelle aren't they? We use them evey day with the kids at lunch and morning tea for their apples. I think in real life they are called apple corers and we got ours from a kitchen supply shop.