A bunch of kids sit at tables and make a huge mess out of various food items. Cookie decorating, pizza making, and fruit kabobs included. Slightly overpriced considering the seemingly unplanned activities and underprepared instructor. However, I think this program has been phased out and is now called “storytime cooking” which sounds more promising, and we will try it soon.
6 classes for 31
plus 12 for supplies
Whitney Ranch Recreation Center
1575 Galleria Dr
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
This is a class for 18 months to 3 years. Most of the kids were on the older end when we did the class, but it is totally doable for the little guys. The class is centered on food-related activities. The activities include frosting cookies, making kabobs, making pizzas, making butter, and other simple, quick food activities. Parents are heavily involved, the teacher provides materials and (a little bit of) instruction, but it is mostly the guardian’s responsibility to carry out the activities with the child.
WHAT TO TAKE
Cleanup supplies. I used a lot of wet wipes. Dress for a mess. Bring a drink, as they are not provided and who doesn’t need a drink after eating cookies?
You can easily take a stroller into Whitney Ranch Recreation Center. You will need your hands to help with the food activities, so you may want a baby carrier if you have a baby with you.
The additional 12 dollars (for supplies) is due the first day of class and should be cash. I would bring the exact amount, as the instructor collects it and often doesn’t have change. I didn’t bring cash and asked if I could write a check, she said yes and had me write it directly to her, not to the rec center or to the preschool program she works for – a little strange?
We did this class when Kyler was about 18 months. I had high hopes for this class, as he loves to cook, but is also a very picky eater. I hoped that he would try some new things if he got to make them and saw all the other kids eating them. He did really enjoy making the food items, but wouldn’t try most of them.
WHAT WE LIKED
We love the hands-on activities, so that was good. The variety was also good, it was something completely different each class.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
The setup usually involved two tables full of kids, with only one mixing bowl at each table. Try asking a bunch of kids under 2 to take turns stirring the cookie mix and not be upset when somebody else gets to dump the sugar in. Good to learn sharing skills – yes – BUT… there just weren’t enough “jobs” to go around and kids would lose interest quickly while it wasn’t their turn to participate.
Call me lazy, but I feel like for 43 dollars I should at least get out of cleanup duty. The moms still have to take care of dishes at the end.. while the kids are running around on a sugar high…
We often finished the project well before time was up for the class.
The teacher admitted that it was her first time teaching the class, which is fine, but she also mentioned that she had just looked these activities up on Pinterest the night before and had never tried them. So basically I was paying someone 43 dollars to do exactly what I would do at home. I wasn’t too worked up about it because we like excuses to get out of the house, and for the sessions in the future the teacher will probably be more prepared when it’s not the first go-around.
WILL WE GO AGAIN
Because it’s more expensive and I still had to clean up, we have not repeated this class and have been doing “toddlers in the kitchen” in our own kitchen at home. However, I believe this class has been revamped and has now become “Storytime Cooking” which seems like it has some real potential, so we will try that in the near future.