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Grandparents Teach, too: Making soup is fun with children

Sabin, DaVIS, HETRICK, ANDEREGG, Macalady, walker, darling and Katers

“Only the pure in heart can make a good soup. — Beethoven”

Children evidently can make great soup. They love to cut, chop, and learn to cook soup. When they are talking with adults in the kitchen, the soup is twice as good. Cooking soup is another way to blend children’s learning with required daily activities like preparing meals. These are times to talk, practice math, follow directions, and teach.

To start, take children to the grocery to buy fresh ingredients for soup. Explain how to look for good quality produce. At home wash hands and vegetables. Then gather materials and follow the recipe below. Cut carrots, potatoes, and other vegetables in shapes that children can easily cut with a table knife.

Children’s Soup

You will need 2 tablespoon oil, 2 chopped potatoes, 2 chopped scallions (adult cut), 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, 1 large box chicken soup stock, , 2 large can chopped stewed tomatoes, 1 cup cut green beans, 1 cup frozen corn, 1 can drained black beans, 1 teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon thyme, 3 T barley, rice, or ½ cup pasta, 1 tsp salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper.

Sauté potatoes, onions, carrots, and celery in the oil for 2 minutes. Add soup stock and rest of ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for 40-50 minutes. When the potatoes and carrots are tender, the soup is ready.

If you wish to cook an easy chicken vegetable soup, purchase an already cooked rotisserie chicken. Remove the skin and bone, cut the meat into small chunks. Add it to your vegetable soup and simmer.

“Stone Soup” Story

While you wait, tell the story of” Stone Soup” found in many cultures.

Some travelers came to a town where the people did not help each other very much and were unhappy people. The hungry travelers had an idea. They told the people they had a very special stone that made the best soup in the world. They just needed a few ingredients.

The travelers went from house to house with their tale and asked each family to bring one ingredient to the City Hall. The traveler’s brought the stone.

While people worked together chopping vegetables and adding them to the large pot, they had the greatest time getting to know each other. They even talked about solving some of their town’s problems and listed fine qualities of their home. The children especially had fun.When it was done, they all shared the delicious soup and agreed the stone was indeed special. Actually, people made their own soup very special. Then the travelers sneaked out the door with their stone and walked on to the next town. For more, see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the U.P. Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.

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