A love of science starts early, and the kitchen is a fantastic place to foster it! Learn how to incorporate pizza dough science lessons as you let the kids help cook dinner. Find more household science activities for kids.
Homemade pizza turned into the perfect science lesson Saturday afternoon! Normally I throw the ingredients in the bread maker, but I decided to make it by hand. I’m so glad I did – it wasn’t that much extra work, and making pizza with the kids provided so many learning opportunities!
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Teaching Science While Making Pizza with Kids
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It turns out that there is an awful lot for kids to learn while making pizza! Weights and measures, kitchen chemistry, and a little biology thanks to the yeast.
Pizza Dough Biology
All three kids were fascinated by the texture of the dry yeast, and Lily especially was amazed at the way it sank into the sugar water solution. Johnny was very worried that the yeast would drown in the water. I explained that the sugar water was giving the yeast energy, instead of drowning it!
I wondered if the kids would worry about cooking an eating a living thing (the yeast is alive, and we had talked about that), but they were fine. I guess it’s not really much different from picking a plant to eat.
Pizza Dough Chemistry
Emma thought the foam created by the carbon dioxide that is released as the yeast metabolizes sugar was cool! Johnny found it very strange.
Practicing Weights and Measures While Making Pizza
The kids loved measuring out all of the ingredients for pizza dough making! We didn’t need a kitchen scale for this recipe, but I let them pour their cups of flour in anyway to see how much they weighed. A little extra learning!
Stirring the yeast solution into the flour was a very popular activity! I only got photos of Emma stirring, because Johnny and Lily require a little extra supervision, but they got plenty of turns!
Tasting dough was also very popular! Johnny was actually a bit disappointed when we turned it into pizza (a little more engineering), although that didn’t stop him from eating plenty of pizza!
Note: I have had a couple of requests for a pizza dough recipe. We use lots of different recipes depending on moods, but this pizza dough recipe is always a hit with the entire family!
Fun Pizza Dough Science Experiments
Are you looking to extend your learning? Try these simple pizza dough science experiments.
- Learn why it’s more accurate to weigh recipe ingredients than it is to measure them by weighing different cups of flour.
- Try growing yeast in different temperatures of water with different amounts of sugar.
- Make two pizzas. Let one raise longer than the other and see which one you prefer eating.
- Explore how heat makes dough rise faster by putting half of your dough in a warm spot and half in a cold spot.
Do you have a pizza dough science experiment to add to my list?
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