March is Reading Month: read and cook with your kids

Little House on the PrairieWhen our kids are little we read stories to them almost every night. However, as they learn to read, we stop doing this shared family activity. It’s a shame since reading and discussing stories are a great way to keep the lines of communication open and active.

One way to recapture this is to plan family cooking activities around the stories your kids are reading. How do you do this? Well, sometimes the books do it for you and all you have to do is follow along and get a little creative.

For example, in many Core Knowledge based schools like the one my children attend, Little House on the Prairie is assigned reading in fourth or fifth grade. Luckily, the Little House books come with a companion cookbook, The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder's Classic Stories. It’s a great reference and family activity tool since much of the Little House stories center on the gathering, hunting, growing, cooking, preserving, and eating of food.

Little House on the Prairie family activities

Discussion points:

  1. The Little House books show how hard it was to be a pioneer. Unlike today, there were no supermarkets, no fast food restaurant, or take out. If you didn’t work hard, you didn’t eat. What were some of the ways people gathered food then? How do we get food now?
  2. If you lived back then, what kind of things would you be doing to help your parents around the farm and house?
  3. Could you imagine living miles away from your nearest neighbor or town without a car? How long would it take you to get to your best friend’s home on foot?

Activities:

  1. Make one of the recipes from the The Little House Cookbook or from the list below.
  2. Visit a pioneer museum.
  3. Pick vegetables, fruit or berries at a farm.
  4. Plant a garden.
  5. Go fishing, hunting, or camping.
  6. Cook outdoors in a park or in your back yard.
  7. Visit a working dairy or farm.
  8. Forage for edible plants in your area.

See how easy that is? It’s all about fitting books into your life and finding time to spend with your kids cooking and reading.

Little House on the Prairie recipes

Literary companion cookbooks for kids

Don’t stop at Little House. There are many children’s cookbooks based on fairy tales and books by authors like Dr. Suess and Roald Dahl.


More March is Reading Month Resources

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14 thoughts on “March is Reading Month: read and cook with your kids

  1. bonggamom

    I had no idea there was a Little House cookbook! When I was young, I really enjoyed the food and cooking passages in the Little House series, so I’ll have to look this up. I think my daughter and I would really enjoy it.

    Reply
  2. Anne-Marie

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    Yes there is! And it’s really cute. I didn’t
    discover the books until I was an adult and am waiting for my daughter to get a
    little bit older so we can read them together.

    Reply
  3. Becky

    I didn’t know about the Little House cookbook. How cool! Thanks for this! (I just linked to you in a post. This is great info!)

    Reply
  4. Jeanne

    I love the idea of literary companion cookbooks. I can’t wait bring the stories to life by bringing the experience into the kitchen. Thanks for the great post and list of cookbooks!

    Reply
  5. Tory

    Thanks for all the childrens cookbook idea’s! I hadn’t thought of this before. Not only is it a good way to help your child read and a chance to spend quality time with them, but it’s a great opportunity to teach them healthy eating habits. Good stuff Anne-Marie!

    Reply
  6. Anne-Marie

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    Exactly! If you model good eating habits in front of your kids, they’ll
    learn to eat in a healthy way.  Thanks for stopping by Tory!

    Reply
  7. Lori

    Little House on the Prairie is a huge family favorite in this home. We have seen every episod of Little House with the exception of 2 that I thought were not appropriate for my daughter who was 8 at the time. We have every book and the cook books too. Thanks for all of the GREAT resources for March is Reading Month. I Stumbled this post. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  8. Anne-Marie

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    Lori, thanks for the Stumble!! I loved the Little House on a Prairie
    show as a kid and never missed an episode. It was a Monday night tradition with
    my family.

    Reply
  9. Michelle

    My 7yo can read but he still loves for me to read to him at night. I hope to continue this for as long as I can (or should I say he’ll let me). We’re about half way through Farmer Boy right now. Love these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  10. Zoe @ Playing by the book

    Oh my goodness I am so glad I stumbled across you – via the kids lit carnival – this post is just fantastic. Not only do we love to cook as a family (we recently posted about it here: link to playingbythebook.net ) I’ve just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to my 5 year old and we’ve had such a great time with it. Now I’m itching to get my hands on the cookery book!

    Reply

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