Cooking with Kids ~ DELECTABLE DIRT!

~ The Perfect Recipe for Teaching Small Children to Cook! ~

Jack’s Masterpiece: DELECTABLE DIRT

I’ve always loved cooking with children! Cooking with preschool children is not only a great way to spend time together,  it’s also a great way to help them develop their language, reasoning, reading, math and science skills. It also lets kids practice their fine and gross motor skills through chopping, mixing, measuring, etc. Cooking in general is a rich educational experience that can be lots of FUN!!

It’s been proven that picky eaters are more apt to try the foods they have helped prepare, and DELECTABLE DIRT is a perfect place to begin. I think between 2 and 3 years of age is a good age to start; just as soon as they begin to take an interest in cooking.

The other day it was Jack’s (2 1/2 years old) turn to start helping, and he was thrilled to be making  DIRT for dessert. His older sister, Olivia was also happy to lend a hand!

jack and Olivia making dirt 1

Adding the crushed cookies to the top.

Both really got into using their hands to crush up the cookie crust after we placed all the cookies in a strong zip-lock bag. They also helped to measure and add the different ingredients to the mixing bowl, but there were just too many pictures to choose from, and the real fun began when it was time to decorate! You also notice here that we chopped up about 1/2 cup of M & M’s as our gravel which the original recipe didn’t call for.

Chopping M & M’s

This definitely isn’t the most attractive dessert I’ve ever made, but to Jack it was! He did it with just a bit of help from his sister and me, and the family all made over how good it was at dinner time.

Jack adding worms

Jack adding the finishing touches.


Recipe taken from:


  • 1 (14 ounce) bag Oreo cookies
  • 2 (3 1/2 ounce) packages French vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter or  margarine
  • 1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip
  • 1/2 cup M&M’s chopped (optional)


  • Break up cookies, put 1/2 on bottom of preferred dish and save other 1/2 for topping.
  • Mix pudding and milk together, set aside.
  • Mix sugar, cream cheese and butter.
  • Add sugar mixture to pudding; fold in cool whip.
  • Pour onto cookies, top with remaining cookies.
  • Decorate
  • Let it cool in refrigerator.
  • Enjoy!
I thought Jack would really get into serving it up to the family after dinner, but he was much more interested in trying it out himself! 🙂 I’m sure he thinks his first attempt at cooking was a complete success!

Jack enjoying the fruits of his labor! 🙂

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