Oatmeal Apple Crisp: A Recipe for Kids | Liz's Early Learning Spot (2024)

This oatmeal apple crisp recipe for kids is really great because there’s plenty even young children can do to help. Sometimes I give up when looking for recipes to make with my little ones because there’s more for the adult to do than the kids! So I’ve made up a kid-friendly recipe you can print off, with a checklist to help with the process.

Why cook with kids?

Besides wanting to end up with a yummy dessert there are lots of educationally sound reasons to cook with young children.

(You can download this recipe at the bottom of this post.)

Language development

This is one of my favourite reasons. Research has shown that the verbal interactions between children and adults, whether they’re family members or carers / educators, is hugely important for a) developing speaking skills, b) developing listening skills and c) developing a wide vocabulary. Over time, this adds up to a huge advantage for a child.

One of the reasons cooking helps is because it encourages us to use different words with our kids. If we think about our conversations with our children it can be really easy to use very similar vocabulary every day. That’s why we read stories – to make sure we’re exposing our kids to a bigger variety of ideas and words.

When we cook together we’re doing something different, so we automatically use different words. It gives us more things to talk about as we go through the recipe, and while it gives our kids the opportunity to ask more why, why, why questions, it also lets US ask more questions. Which means our kids get to formulate and speak out their opinions and ideas on something new they might not have thought about before.

Mathematical development

Cooking is a fun, hands-on way to learn about measurement. Not just HOW to measure, for example, 1 cup of flour, but then to say ‘OK, what might happen if we accidentally add 2 cups of flour instead?’ If my half cup and whole cup have to be exact, do my 2 mixing bowls need to be an exact size, too? In other words, when does measurement have to be exact, and when can we just be approximate?

Celsius versus fahrenheit?

There are 2 versions of this recipe – the one shown above has the temp at 350 degrees whereas the other recipe shows 180 degrees. You might not want to go into this math concept with your kids at the moment!!


In line with the comment above, when we read through a recipe how careful do we have to be? Are there some parts of a recipe that we have to read very carefully and other parts we can skim past? What about the order? What happens if we skip a paragraph in a recipe? How is reading a recipe different from reading a story book?


Cooking is also great for kids to:

  • spend time interacting with adults and building relationships
  • learn about organisation
  • learn practical skills
  • feel they’re contributing
  • gain confidence with preparing food

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (+1/2 cup more sugar)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 4 cups of apples (peeled and diced)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • whipped cream (if you like)

Using this oatmeal apple crisp recipe

The day before

  • Print off the recipe you’d like to use plus the checklist. If you think you’ll be using the recipe again laminate it first!
  • Read through the recipe with your child a day or so before you cook. Chat about the ingredients and what utensils you’ll need. Do you have something to peel your apples with? How will you grease the tray?
  • Write up a shopping list if needed. Can you go shopping together?
  • What parts of the recipe are great for kids, and what parts should be done by an adult?

Cooking day

  • Children can tick the checklist as you work together to prepare for cooking. There’s a written and visual checklist so even very young children can follow along and participate. (I forgot to list the measuring cups and spoons – sorry!)
  • Try and free up enough time so there’s no rush to get through the process. This way children can take their time measuring and mixing without the adult pitching in to speed things up!
  • CHAT while you’re cooking. Why do we mix up the ingredients? Why do we melt the butter first? Could we use pears or peaches instead of apples? What happens if we make the oven hotter than the recipe states? Do we have to add cream when we serve it? Could we use ice cream instead, or just enjoy it without anything on top?
  • ENJOY sharing the food with others.
  • RECOUNT: While eating together, encourage your child to talk about how they helped prepare it. What do they remember, what did they enjoy most, what could they improve on next time?

Here’s the recipe!

Click on the following highlighted link for your Oatmeal Apple Crisp Recipe for Kids and it will be immediately sent to your downloads folder or other device equivalent.

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Oatmeal Apple Crisp: A Recipe for Kids | Liz's Early Learning Spot (5)

Oatmeal Apple Crisp: A Recipe for Kids | Liz's Early Learning Spot (2024)
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