I have always felt a little anxious bringing my students straight from measuring with their Monster Cookie Math and Measuring lab into knife skills. Teaching knife skills is my #1 soapbox speech. Kids have to learn knife skills to prepare healthy, whole, foods! But I was searching for an easier transition.
Many FACS teachers have students practice their knife skills with playdough. What a great idea! They can practice the motion of the knife and safe hand placement without anxiety.
Even better, why not have kids mix their own playdough? My students loved this activity and it is one I will definitely repeat in the future. I worried it was too basic for them, but it turned out to be a great transition. We had a sugar/salt mixup and a lot of reminders on how to measure with spoons. (Big t or little T? Level or heaped?) Our monster cookie recipe has only 2 T of flour, so it was good to practice with a dry measuring cup. This was also the first time for the students using the range, and a few groups ran the gas without lighting the burner.
We used this koolaid recipe from Kraft foods. I ran low on cream of tartar so my second block class cut it back to only 1 t with fine results. It is inexpensive, makes a great transition lab, and makes your classroom smell fantastic!