Cooking Poems for Children

Written by kathy price
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Cooking Poems for Children
Cooking combined with poetry enables creativity in the kitchen. (Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

"Sugar, spice and everything nice," a classic nursery rhyme depicting the behaviour of girls, can also illustrate the potential of a child's cooking experience. Enhance cooking skills with children by integrating poetry. Children can retain the concept of cooking with lyrical narrative. Recipe rhymes provide interaction of language, focus and play. Encourage creativity and imagination with cooking through poems.


Singing a recipe rhyme with children before a cooking activity prepares children for the experience. Singing after a cooking activity facilitates the follow-up, including cleanup.

"Shortening Bread"

"Put on the skillet

Put on the lead

Mama's gonna make us some shortening bread

That's not all she's going to do

Mama gonna make some coffee too

Mama's lil baby loves shortening, shortening

Mama's lil baby loves shortening bread"

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich making represents cool cooking in this song, "Peanut Butter Sandwich" written by children's performer Raffi Cavoukian.

"A peanut butter sandwich made with jam

One for me and one for David Amram

A peanut butter sandwich made with jam

sticky sticky sticky stick"

Ella Jenkins' adaptation of "The Little Red Hen" in this excerpt includes the details of making and baking bread.

"Who'll bake the bread

Who will I say?

Who will bake the bread

On this fine day?"

Cooking Poems for Children
Singing cooking poems creates a lighthearted environment. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)


Storybooks introduce the art of cooking and provide a context for classroom cooking activities. Dr Seuss' "Green Eggs and Ham" is a rhyming story of green eggs and ham.

"I am Sam

Sam I am

Do you like green eggs and ham?"

Cooking green eggs with ham creates an exciting activity. Mix blue food colour in the yellow mix to achieve the green eggs.

"Stone Soup" is a story of soup that materialises from a stranger.

The poetic refrain is:

"Soup from a stone, fancy that,

Soup from a stone, fancy that"

Many classes make a stone soup with a cleaned stone and one vegetable contributed by each child.

Cooking Poems for Children
Storybook cooking poems provide a context for cooking actvities. (Thinkstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Sound Poems

Children recognise a fundamental musicality in cooking sounds such as bubble boil. The "Popcorn" poem connects with a definite rhythm.

"You put the oil in the pot

And you let it get hot

You put the popcorn in

And you start to grin

Sizzle sizzle sizzle Pop

Sizzle sizzle sizzle Pop"

The P in the word pat simulates the patting sound in the "Potato Pancakes."

"Take a potato and pat pat pat

Roll it to make it flat

Fry in a pan with fat fat fat

Potato pancakes just like that"

Cooking Poems for Children
Popcorn poems simulate popping sounds. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)


Consider making cooking poems with the children. A cooking poem does not have to be complicated or rhyme. Record all of the comments from the children from a cooking activity to coordinate a group poem.

Children also respond to different language cooking poems. This nonsense chocolate cooking song adds a different dimension to a classroom cooking activity.

Excerpted from "A Mexican Chocolate Song."

The first line of the following is pronounced bought-tay bought-tay chock-oh-lot-tay.

"Bate bate chocolate

Bate bate chocolate"

The English translation is:

"Stir stir stir the chocolate

stir the chocolate"

Cooking Poems for Children
"The Mexican Chocolate Song" is a nonsense Spanish cooking poem. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

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