Location: indoor and outdoor
Materials: large pot or bowl, stones, water, nature items that children collect, the book "Stone Soup"
Begin this activity in the classroom with a reading of the book, Stone Soup. There are a variety of versions available from the library or to purchase from the internet. You might choose to modify the book for younger children
Extend the learning outside, by inviting your children to help you gather a variety of materials (stones, sticks, leaves, grass, etc.) to add to your stone soup.
Invite children to add ingredients one at a time and take a turn stirring the pot. Can they stir quickly? Can they stir slowly? Help them label the items that they find to place in the pot. Pretend to smell the soup cooking. Ask open ended questions such as “what will this soup taste like?” and “how many bowls of soup will this make?” to encourage deeper thinking about the process. You can provide observations of prosocial behaviors such as, “You’re taking a turn with the spoon. I wonder who will stir next?” or “Who could you share a cup of this soup with?”
This is a great activity to repeat over the course of a few days. Re-read the book and invite children to make stone soup outside. You might find that for many weeks after this activity, your children will want to make stone soup when outside.
- Create stone soup inside in the play kitchen. Children can use a mix of play food and blocks and other materials.
- This could turn into an ongoing mud kitchen activity
What We're Learning:
- turn taking
- fine motor and hand muscle development
- exploring the natural world
- vocabulary development
- symbolic thinking (ie: using objects for pretend, like a stick can be a spoon)