Cooking and Kitchen Tools

By Activity Bank on Sep 04, 2013

This activity has been revised and was originally created by Mary Jane Clark and published in the Perkins Activity and Resource Guide (1st edition, 1992).  The second edition is available for purchase.

Cooking is an important life skill. Learning to navigate around a kitchen, become familiar with the tools, and understand the basics of following a recipe is a great start toward mastering this skill. This hands-on activity familiarizes students with measuring, reading/listening, sequencing, time and motor skills. Lessons include Independent Living and Career Development.


A working kitchen with a variety of kitchen utensils


Familiarize students with the kitchen. Allow students to explore the room. Encourage them to open drawers and cupboards and identify the objects in them. Be sure to cover safety issues, such as the appropriate handling of sharp knives.


  • Familiarize students with various measuring devices used in cooking, such as measuring cups and spoons.
  • Using graduated measuring cups, have the student arrange the cups from big to little, and practice nesting them. This activity can also be done with nesting measuring spoons.
  • Involve the student in measuring activities during the cooking process.
  • Introduce one cup, one-half cup, one-third cup and one-fourth cup.
    • Give each student the same size measuring cup.
    • Using a dry ingredient (such as sugar or beans), have students take turns emptying their measuring cups into a one-cup measuring cup to learn how many students are needed to fill up a one-cup measure.
  • Begin measuring activities by having students use the appropriate measuring cup to scoop flour or other dry ingredients out of a larger container.


  • Have students follow simple one-step verbal or written directions, and then increase the number of steps as students’ skills increase.
  • Have students follow simple direction cards, using braille, large print, pictures, tactile symbols or audio files.


  • Using sequential picture cards of the cooking project, have students arrange the pictures in the correct order. This could be adapted for the totally blind by attaching objects to cards, such as a sponge, which would indicate when cleanup should begin.
  • After a simple cooking activity, give students the steps of the procedure in a random order. Have students number the steps in the correct order.


Use a timer for baking, and have the students set it. If a timer is not available, use a braille or large print clock to determine when the item should be removed from the oven or stove.


  • Have students assist in getting items for the cooking lesson, such as bowls or spoons.
  • Practice opening and closing cabinets and drawers, reaching up, down, above and below.
  • Learn how to use movable items found in the kitchen, such as tongs, ice cream scoop, flour sifter, manual can opener, flip-top lids on spice containers, pop-up lids on detergent, manual juicers, and pump dispensers used for ketchup, mustard, lotion and hand soaps.
  • Practice opening and closing a variety of containers such as screw-top jars, snap-on plastic lids, milk cartons, etc.
  • Practice stirring a variety of substances, such as dough, pudding, cake mix, punch, etc. Discuss if these items are easy or difficult to stir.


Begin by simulating cooking skills, using water and flour to try out the different tools.  Work up to simple recipes requiring just a few ingredients, and eventually to recipes requiring more steps, as the students gain skills.


Collage of kitchen prep activities for students who are blind or visually impaired