Hands-on learning is the best kind of learning – and hands-on learning that you can eat is the best kind of hands-on learning! I love edible projects. The kids typically get excited about them. They’re a tasty treat for your school day. And, the finished project doesn’t require any storage – just take some photos and eat the project!
Because I love these types of projects so much, I wanted to collect some of my favorite ideas from around the Internet and share them with you. Check out these amazing – and delicious – edible hands-on learning projects!
1. STEM Club: Cells – The Building Blocks of Life by Eva Varga of EvaVarga.net. – This article features a printable subscriber freebie with all sorts of resources for learning about cells, including this edible plant cell.
2. How to Make an Edible Cell Model – Making this edible cell model was probably one of my family’s all-time favorite projects. It was relatively easy, turned out just as I’d envisioned, and helped the kids remember the names and purposes of the organelles of an animal cell.
3. Edible Cell Project: Chocolate Chip Cookie Science by Stephanie Harrington of Harrington Harmonies – If Jell-O or cake cell models aren’t your thing, how about this amazing chocolate chip cookie cell? Stephanie includes complete directions in an easy-to-follow tutorial.
4. How to Make an Edible Map with Crispy Rice Cereal by Susan Williams of Education Possible for Weird, Unsocialized Homeschooler – I’m all about making maps of all kinds – salt dough, paper mache – but this crispy treat map made my mouth water! The great thing about crispy treats is that they’re easily molded for a variety of projects (we’ve even made sweet sushi with them before), so they’re perfect for map-making.
4. Making Edible Maps by Heather of Blog, She Wrote – Heather shares another way to get creative with edible map-making. Her map features cookie dough, chocolate chips, and icing in a variety of colors. Yum!
5. Step-by-Step: Making an Edible Map – We’ve also made a cookie dough map, though ours didn’t turn out as pretty as Heather’s. It was still tasty, though. The photo is pretty lousy, but the step-by-step directions are clear.
6. Homeschooling with Pancake Art by Pam Odd of Keeping Life Creative for Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers – Pam did this pancake project with younger kids, but it’s suitable for a variety of ages and adaptable to a wide range of topics. In the article, Pam offers suggested topics for pancake art, but I love this one of a butterfly lifecycle.
7. Atomic Cookies from Susan Evans of SusanEvans.com – My son is supposed to draw atom models this week for science. I’m so glad I came across this post before he did! Why draw a model when you can make one out of cookies, frosting and M&M’s – and eat it?
8. Periodic Table of Elements Activity with Cookies by Stephanie Harrington of Harrington Harmonies – Atoms aren’t the only science topioc that are better as a cookie than a paper drawing. What about a cookie version of the Periodic Table of Elements? I love that each element is its own square cookie, so they’re easy to maneuver. Plus, you can color-code them with icing to match your Periodic Table model.
9. Earth Structural Layer Cake by CakeCrumbs – This 3-D Earth layers cake is so insanely incredible! I confess that I would not have the patience or skill necessary to pull this off, but I know there are parents and teens out there (and probably some younger bakers, too) who could. I would totally give a teen dual credit for this – one for geography and one for a cake decorating (or similar) elective. If you visit this site, there is a link at the bottom of the post to a video tutorial for making a spherical concentric layer cake.
11. Metamorphic Edible Rocks & Notebooking Pages by Tina of Tina’s Dynamic Homeschool Plus – Use peanut butter, marshmallows, and chocolate chips to helps kids understand how metamorphic rocks are made.
As you can see, there are so many ways to turn an ordinary topic into an edible hands-on project. In addition to each of these projects, there is also the simple idea of making themed recipes related to your topic of study. For example, if you’re studying a state or country, try making a traditional meal from the place you’re studying. If you’re studying a specific time period, make a meal that the people you’re studying may have eaten.
You might also make a dish related to a trivial fact about the places you’re studying. For example, we made artichoke dip when learning about California during our 50 State Fridays study after discovering that Castorville, California is known as the “artichoke capital of the world.”
What are some of your favorite edible, hands-on learning projects?