Recipes for Learning


Recipes for Learning Index:


Play Dough
Ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, 2 teaspoons cream of tartar, 1 cup water, 1 tablespoon oil, food coloring. Combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Mix liquids and gradually stir them into dry ingredients. Stir until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until a ball forms. Remove from heat, cool to touch, and knead until smooth. To give the dough a nice smell, use unsweetened Kool-Aid instead of food coloring. This dough is very pliable and lasts about three or four months.

Peanut Butter Play Dough (Edible)
Ingredients: 2 cups peanut butter, 6 tablespoons honey, Nonfat dry milk. Combine ingredients in a bowl and mix, adding enough dry milk to reach the consistency of bread dough. Shape, decorate with m&m's or other edible treats. Enjoy!

Kool-Aid Play Dough
This play dough is colorful and has a wonderful fragrance too. The kids just love it!

  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2-1/2 cups flour
  • 2 packages Kool-Aid
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 cups boiling water

Directions: Mix dry ingredients. Add oil. Add water and knead. Store in plastic bags in the refrigerator.

Paper Mache Paste
Ingredients: 1 cup water, 1/4 cup flour, 5 cups boiling water. Mix flour into one cup water until mixture is thin and runny, stir into boiling water. Gently boil and stir for 3 minutes. Cool before using. (Use with newspaper/newsprint strips for Paper mache).

Sidewalk Chalk
Ingredients: A DISPOSABLE plastic bowl, plastic spoon, something tube-shaped like a toilet tissue roll, wax paper, duct or electrical tape, plaster of Paris (available at craft supply store), water, and tempera paint.

Directions: Tape the bottom end of the tube with duct tape. Line the tube with wax paper. (Cut a piece of wax paper to fit inside tube.) In the bowl, mix 1 cup plaster of Paris with 1/2 cup water and 2 Tablespoons of paint. (For pastels, use white with a touch of primary paint.) Stir until all lumps are gone . Set tube upright and fill with colored Plaster. Tap to release air bubbles. Let dry - may take 1 or 2 days. Remove mold and enjoy! (WARNING: plaster of Paris will clog up drains!)

Modeling Clay
Ingredients: 2 cups salt, 2/3 cup water, 1 cup cornstarch, 1/2 cup water (cold). Stir salt and water over heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cornstarch and cold water. Mix until smooth, return to heat and cook until thick. Cool before using. Store in plastic bag.

Colored Rice:
Add 5 drops of food coloring and 1/2 tsp vinegar to 1/2 cup rice. Mix until all the rice is colored. Spread on a baking sheet and bake at 200 degrees for 45 minutes or until the rice is dry. Cool and place each color in a ziplock bag to keep. You can use colored rice for "coloring" pictures, mosaic art projects or just plain creative art work. (You can dry more than one color on a sheet by keeping them separate. Try making smaller foil trays to put each color in and then set on the cooking sheet.

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Edible Aquarium. Here's a fun activity to cook up when studying sea life.

You'll need 1 (4 serving size) pkg. Berry Blue flavor gelatin, 1 cup cold water, 1 cup hot water, Gummy fish

  1. Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water.
  2. Add the cold water and stir until dissolved.
  3. Refrigerate until slightly thickened.
  4. Pour into 4 dessert dishes.
  5. Place the gummy fish in the gelatin so it looks like they are swimming in water.
  6. Refrigerate until set.

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Make your own bubbles! Stir together: 1/4 cup Dishwashing Detergent, 2 cups water, and 1 tbsp. glycerin. Store in covered jar.

Moon Rock Candy

Ingredients: 2 Cups granulated sugar, heavy string, 1 cup water, 1 drop of food coloring, glass jar, and pencil

Put 1 cup of water and 1 drop of food coloring into a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat. Add sugar slowly stirring until the sugar melts. Continue adding sugar slowly until the sugar will dissolve no more. Remove from the stove and cool until it is warm. Pour the liquid into a clean glass jar.

Tie one end of the heavy string around the middle of a pencil. Place the pencil over the top of the glass jar letting the cord hang into the warm sugar mixture. A rock formation will form in a few hours. The next day reheat the sugar mixture in a saucepan. Pour mixture back into the jar and hang the rock formation again in the glass jar. Repeat this procedure every day until the rock formation is as big as you want it. This moon rock is edible! Have each child make a different color moon rock for fun!

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Edible Map

    1. 2 cups smooth peanut butter
    2. 2-1/2 cups powdered milk
    3. 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
    4. 2 cups white corn syrup

Mix together to make a dough. Form the dough into the shape of a map on wax paper. Use blue icing to mark bodies of water, m&ms for capitals and major cities, and chocolate chips for mountains.

Paper mache globe:

You'll need: 1 round balloon, old newspapers, 1 cup flour, water, plastic container, spoon, color picture of the earth, pencil, blue and green tempera paint, paint brushes, black marker.

Mix together 1 cup of flour and 1 cup of water. Stir into 4 cups boiling water. Simmer 3 minutes, then cool.

Blow up the balloon and tie it off. Tear newspaper into strips about 1 inch wide. Dip each strip of newspaper into the flour glue and wrap around the balloon. Cover the balloon completely with strips. Let it dry overnight. Repeat with a 2nd and 3rd layer. This will take a few days. When it is completely dry, pop the balloon. Using your color photo of the earth (or a globe) as a reference, draw and color the following on your "globe."

  • Draw a line around the middle of the balloon for the equator
  • Draw the seven continents and label.
  • Label the north and south poles.
  • Label the oceans. major rivers, and lakes.
  • Paint the continents green. Let dry.
  • Paint the oceans, seas, and lakes blue. Let dry.
  • Label where you live.


You'll need: cookie sheet, pop bottle (large), dirt, 1 tablespoon baking soda, 1 cup vinegar colored with red food coloring.

Place the cookie sheet on the ground and set the pop bottle in the middle. Pack the dirt around the bottle (moisten the dirt, if needed) until it forms a mountain - all way up to the opening of the bottle. (Don't get dirt in the bottle!) Add 1 Tablespoon of baking soda to the bottle. Pour the colored vinegar into the bottle and watch out for the lava explosion!

Edible Glacier

You'll need: 6 oz. package blueberry flavored gelatin, oreos, cool whip.

Make the jello according to package directions and pour into glass pan. Refrigerate until set. Crush oreos and mix with one container of Cool Whip. Pile on gelatin creating an icy blue glacier with silty snow on top.

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Edible Spiders

Cut sandwich bread into circles. Fill two circles between with cream cheese or peanut butter. Insert eight, short pretzel sticks into filling. Top with chocolate chips for eyes. Yummy!

Gummy Worm Recipe:

    • 3 small pkg. unflavored gelatin
    • 2 small pkgs jello (with or without sugar)
    • 1 pkg Kool-aid (sweet or not)
    • 1 cup boiling water

Mix all in bowl. Pour into loaf pans about 1/2" deep. Refrigerate until set. Cut into strips to make "gummy worms."

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Edible Rock Recipes (on a separate page)

Mud Pudding

Spoon 1 pkg instant chocolate pudding mixed according to recipe into bowls. Crumble chocolate cookies into pieces. Spoon pudding into bowls and sprinkle cookie crumbs on top. Voila! Instant mud pudding!

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Pinecone Bird Feeder.

You'll need: pinecones, peanut butter, popsicle stick, bird seed, and a piece of strong string or rope (this will be used to hang the cone on a tree).

Tie the string or rope on top of pinecone. Using the popsicle stick, spread peanut butter all over the pinecone. Roll pinecone into bird seed until it is covered with seeds. Take it out to the yard and tie it onto a tree. Watch for the birds that will visit!

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Miscellaneous Recipes:


    • 1 cup of whipping cream
    • salt
    • jar
    • crackers

Pour whipping cream and salt into jar. Close tightly shake until butter forms. Pour off the liquid. Spread on crackers and enjoy!

Cafe Zoom recipes:

Art lessons -

Living on a Dime Recipes for Kids:

Be sure to use The Checklist to plan and keep track of your lessons!



Copyright © 2004 - by Cindy Downes