Making A Recipe Book

Em has always loved to help in the kitchen and lately she has felt confident enough to try recipes on her own. I thought it would be nice for her to make a recipe book where she could write down the recipes she enjoys. I was wanting a recipe book for myself too - to hold all those delicious dishes that take my fancy in the hundreds of food magazines I buy. I thought it would be a nice idea to sit down and make our books together.

I collected up a couple of exercise books, some scissors, glue and some catalogues and food magazines.

We looked through the magazines together, cutting out pictures of food and ingredients we liked and then organised them to cover the books.

I needed to show Em how to think about where to put the pictures once they were cut out, but she soon got the hang of it. She actually took off the pictures we'd laid out together and started again on her own.

Here's the finished products:

To protect our books, we covered them in clear contact.

This was a great activity because it:

  • Worked on fine motor skills and eye-hand co-ordination
  • Helped with spatial awareness
  • Built on creative expression
  • Enabled Em to practice her planning skills
  • Gave us a lovely opportunity to spend some quality time together, sharing something we both enjoy.

Ed wanted to have a go too, but he didn't see his book through to the end. As with most 4 year olds, he was just happy to sit alongside us cutting and gluing, exploring and experimenting until he had had enough. Unlike his 7 year old sister who was quite focused on her outcome, Ed was more interested in the process.

It's so important to not discount the experience of this type of activity for younger children, just because a tangible outcome isn't produced. It was still a valuable experience for him as he:
  • Spent time with his Mum and Sister
  • Practiced gluing and cutting
  • Talked about all the things he saw in the magazines
  • Discussed what he likes and doesn't like
  • Shared his knowledge and learnt more about food groups and nutrition.
It's great how one activity can have such wonderful benefits for 2 children at completely different stages of development.


  1. every one loves cutting and gluing don't you think? we did this on one sheet of card with playgroup and laminated it to make it a table mat - my favourite fruit and veges. the good thing was the parent involvement. Thanks.

  2. Cutting and gluing is lots of fun ... and so important for development. I always love hearing about new ideas for pasting, so thanks for sharing yours. Belinda x