Home Economics Classroom Activities

Plan hands-on activities for your home economics class.

Students in home economics classes study fundamental life management skills such as budgeting and food preparation. As a home economics teacher, plan practical activities with hands-on applications. Students should be able to apply the information they learn, enabling them to make good choices and become productive family members and citizens.

1 Sewing

Knowing how to sew will help students save money, whether sewing their own clothes or home accessories such as curtains. Teach students to sew a straight line by following lines printed on paper. Students will learn to follow curves as they turn corners. Students can then sew a simple project, such as a pillow or apron. Allow students some creativity and flexibility in what they sew. For example, instead of a traditional pillow, one student may want to make a heart-shaped one, while another student may want to fill her pillow with rice to make a hot-cold pack.

2 Cooking

Cooking is an essential skill. Cook different types of food and show students how to follow a recipe and measure ingredients correctly. Divide students into groups and have them create different courses for a meal. Or, take one food item, such as cake, and have each group prepare a different store-bought brand. After each group completes the task, taste them to see which brand is the best.

3 Budgeting

Budgeting teaches students to manage their money properly and avoid debt. Ask students to track their families' expenses for a month or to create a family budget. Challenge students to create a budget for living on a minimum wage salary.

4 Child Development

Students can learn about the development and care of children. Have students become "parents" for a week. Traditionally, students have had to take care of an egg. However, there's now a doll that simulates a real-life baby by crying at random times. Students must "feed" the baby at regular intervals and take care of the baby whenever she cries. You may also want to take a field trip to a day care center to give students some hands-on experience with children.

5 Nutrition

Studying nutrition helps students understand how to plan meals including necessary nutrients. Challenge students to plan a meal based on different factors—the meals should include a protein, healthy carbohydrate, dairy product and vegetable or fruit. For example, have students plan a meal for a vegetarian, for a child or within a certain calorie range. Give students a list of items available in an imaginary home and challenge them to create a meal based on these ingredients.

Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.