Thank you Cerys, for the invitation to participate in Story Book Summer! I’m Betsy, a photographer and mom of two boys. You can find me at BPhotoArt.com, where I blog about photography and parenthood.
Stone Soup is a classic tale about making something from “nothing” and learning to share. My toddler and I have read several takes on the classic, including one that uses a cactus thorn instead of a stone. But for this activity, we went back to Marcia Brown’s 1947 adaptation: Stone Soup (a Caldecott Honor Book). Stone Soup is about three soldiers who are hungry, a village of peasants who pretend they have nothing to eat. The soldiers trick the peasants into sharing their food by offering to make stone soup. As they cook the mysterious soup, the peasants retrieve their hidden food, adding it to the pot to make the soup “even better.”
Our stone soup activity was exciting for my toddler, but pretty simple. We made our own version of stone soup in the crockpot!
Look no further than your refrigerator for the materials you will need!
Simple Ingredients for Making Simple Soup with Kids
While the version of stone soup in the book calls for carrots, cabbage, barley, meat, milk, etc — we ultimately just used what we had on hand:
- cabbage, shredded
- carrots, sliced into rounds
- onion, diced
- celery, chopped
- pumpkin puree
- salt and pepper, to taste
- poultry seasoning
- one redskin potato, whole (our stone)
- water or broth
In addition to the food items, you’ll want a crockpot, cutting board, and knives. My son regularly uses a plastic lettuce knife to help prep food in our kitchen.
I assembled our ingredients on the counter, and invited my toddler to help me make stone soup for lunch. He was very excited to help cut and chop things.
Then we put in the stone — our redskin potato. I got the idea to use a potato instead of an actual stone from a stone soup post at TheNourishingHome.com.
After that, I let my son pick which ingredients to add next. He chose to put in the shredded cabbage…
And then added the onion…
After all the ingredients had been put into the pot, we filled it with enough water to cover the vegetables. I turned the crockpot on high, and we left it to cook for several hours (2-3 hours minimum, depending on the crockpot).
When lunchtime arrived, my son was really excited! The soup looked delicious…
And he was thrilled that we would be reading a book during lunch. As we ate, we read Marcia Brown’s stone soup…
My son loved eating the ingredients that correlated to those in the story (namely carrots and cabbage). While we didn’t read the story before preparing the soup, I think an additional reading prior to preparation would have been well-received.
When my husband arrived home in the evening, our son was thrilled to tell daddy all about our cool lunch that we’d made. I love it when practical life skills like cooking can be integrated with reading and stories!
You might also enjoy these activities that I’ve blogged about at BPhotoArt.com:
- Planting a Rainbow – Book Activity
- How to Plan an Outdoor Photo Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Sew Together, Grow Together – Sewing Activity
- Kids In the Garden: Growing Romaine
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Betsy Finn is an award-winning portrait and fine art photographer. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two boys, and two cats (Betsy’s story). On her blog, Betsy covers topics of interest for families, including thoughts on parenting, craft ideas, capturing memories, and fine art and portrait photography. You can find Betsy on Facebook,Twitter,Google+,Pinterest,and Instagram.