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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL The portable table became a multipurpose learning center in my classroom. It was a cen- ter for cooking activities to do with a group as well as individually. I kept basic playdough sup- plies available so the children were able to make playdough as needed. Of course the children needed supervision, but it did not require me to be next to them during the entire process. The problem-solving exchanges were delightful to observe. In the afternoons, it became our snack center. Children were able to help themselves to a snack when they were ready. There were picture recipe cards showing the children how much of each item they could take to start with. Stopping play to eat snack was no longer necessary; it was there for them when they were ready. Children playing as a group would clean up and go to the snack area together. I loved it, and they loved it! The children had the independence to eat when they were ready. Getting supplies was easier than I imag- ined. I sent out invitations to the parents for a “Kitchen Shower” listing the basic equipment we would need for cooking, such as mixing bowls and mixing spoons, and the parents provided them. Most items can be found at dollar stores, so the cost is reduced! I also kept basic staples on hand such as flour, salt, sugar, and food coloring. No longer did I need to bring my kitchen from home to cook with my class! The cooking center was our kitchen! COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Introduction 3