We read Fast Food! Gulp! Gulp! by Bernard Waber (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2001). Welcome to fast food town, where meals can be eaten in under 30 seconds and the menu reads like a rhyming list of dreams for fast food fanatics. The book cavorts at a mad dash until…the cook up and quits. She heads to a health food place to enjoy life at a slower pace.
Here’s a bird’s-eye view of the whole shebang:
Before we get started, it’s important to note that we made two of everything food-related. 2 burgers with all the toppings, 2 servings of fries, 2 pickles, 2 shakes, 2 straws, and 2 bags for your customers to take their orders home!
For the restaurant part, you’ll need:
- 1 large box (mine was 16.5″ x 12″ x 6″)
- 1 smaller box (mine was 9” x 4 ½” X 4 ½”)
- 1, 6 – 8oz plastic cup
- A selection of colored masking tape
- Strips of yellow and red cellophane
- 4 jumbo craft sticks
- 1 large strip of silver poster board (approximately 8″ x 1.25″)
- A menu and sign template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ card stock
- 1 paper visor (I bought mine online at Discount School Supply)
- 2 white paper bags
- 1 small strip of silver poster board (approximately 7.75″ x 1″)
- 1 sparkle stem
- 1 square of silver poster board (approximately 2.5″ x 2.5″)
- Scissors, tape, hot glue for construction
- Markers for decorating
For the food, you’ll need:
- Felt for various “burger” colors: tan for buns, brown for patty, yellow for cheese, red for tomato, and green for lettuce
- Multiple strips of yellow construction paper (approximately 0.5″ X 3.25″)
- 2 pieces of green craft foam for pickles
- 2, 6 – 8 oz. paper cups
- A selection of dot stickers
- 2 straws
- 2 handfuls of polyester fill
- 2 pipe cleaners, 1 brown & 1 pink
The first step is to decorate the large box and the small box with the colored tape (I went for a single red line around the boxes). Then, you’ll want to hot glue the smaller box to the surface of the large box, right in a corner. Finish by hot gluing the plastic cup inside it.
Directly behind the box goes the “grill.” First, tape your strips of yellow and red cellophane to the box’s surface. I had great success with twisting the strips of cellophane to add a little “flame” texture.
Then I wrapped the craft sticks in black masking tape, and hot glued them on top of the cellophane. Some kids decided to leave the craft sticks brown, or just colored them with markers. It all looked great!
Since you’re already in a coloring frenzy, this is a good time to decorate your visor and your paper bags. To make the bags easier to open and close, I cut off the tops, resulting in a bag that was 6.5″ high.
Now for cooking implements! To make the french fry tongs, simply fold the small strip of silver poster board in half. To make the spatula, fold the sparkle stem in half and tape to the back of the silver poster board square. Flip it over, then bend the sparkle stem slightly upwards to finish. This spatula is kid-tested. It does flip the burgers!
To make crinkle fries, accordion-fold the strips of yellow construction paper and drop them in the plastic cup to “cook.” You’ll definitely want to “crinkle” the fries, otherwise the tongs won’t pick them up. And don’t forget the pickle (a pickle-shaped piece of green craft foam, with lines drawn in with markers).
Finally, milkshakes. Start by decorating the paper cups with dot stickers. Then, shorten the drinking straws so they fit better in the cups. I cut 0.75″ off the top, and 1.25″ off the bottom of each straw. To create a flavored shake, roll the polyester foam between your palms (like you’re making a clay snake). Then wrap the pipe cleaner around it in a loose spiral, and drop it in the cup.