Creating your own potato chips: cooking

Time Allocation: 30 – 40 minutes*

Activity Level: Moderate


Growing food for your own table is very satisfying. In this activity we are taking the concept of growing food one step further, to turn it into a product.

Children will use the potatoes they have grown to create their own potato chips. For simplicity, we are focusing on the ‘hot chip’ style of potato chip, rather than ‘crisps’.

The intention of this activity is to provide children with knowledge about food production, the timelines and other inputs involved in producing a crop. Ideally the potatoes that the children grow themselves should be used for this activity, however if this cannot occur store-bought potatoes can be substituted.

We suggest that you run this activity as part of a kitchen garden cooking activity.

* Time allocation reflects the time suggested for harvesting, cutting and preparing the chips. Cooking time may be additional depending on availability of oven space and temperature.


  • Printable activity sheet
  • Empty frozen potato chip packets
  • Potatoes/Sweet potatoes from the garden (or store bought, if required)
  • Pencils and paper
  • Background research information
  • Hats, sunscreen and insect repellent
  • First aid kit and allergy plans
  • Protective footwear and weather appropriate attire
  • Kitchen garden cutting and cooking protocols
  • Additional volunteers or staff support
  • Potatoes (1 per child)
  • Potato cutters or child-safe cutting tools
  • Seasonings, including finely chopped fresh/dried herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, oregano), salt and olive oil
  • Baking paper
  • Grey-lead (graphite) pencil.
  • Oven trays
  • Oven(s)
  • Device for taking photos
  • Instructions

    Step 1


    In an earlier class, harvest the potatoes/sweet potatoes from the garden and wash them. 

    Run through your plan with your volunteers or assisting staff.

    Print the activity sheet out for the children.

    Gather empty frozen chip packets from many different brands and suppliers (you can ask for donations from your community).

    Preheat ovens and assemble the seasonings and oil.

    Tell the children to imagine that they are going to start their own potato chip company. 

    In small groups, ask the children to discuss their favourite style and flavouring of chip

    Step 2


    Ask the children: ‘If you were going to cook your own chips, what would you need to know?”

    Distribute the empty chip packets and ask the children to see if they can find the ingredient lists and country of origin.  Compare the types of ingredients that are used in commercial hot chips.

    As a class, discuss the ingredients for making oven baked potato chips:


    • Potatoes
    • Olive oil for drizzling
    • Pepper
    • Salt
    • Herbs (fresh or dried), including: parsley, thyme, rosemary, others, as preferred
    Step 3


    Explain the procedure for cooking the potato chips:

    STEP 1

    Heat oven to its highest setting, ideally 250C/fan 230C/gas 9. Cut each potato into 1cm-wide slices, then into 1cm-thick sticks.

    STEP 2

    Shake the potatoes out onto a roasting pan, drizzle with oil, ensuring each chip is evenly coated, then season well. Bake for about 15-20 mins, turning the potatoes at least twice, until golden brown and crisp.

    Distribute the activity sheet and model how to write the procedural text.

    Ask the children to make decisions about the additives they use, for example, will they attempt to make their chip ‘healthy’ by using less oil and salt, or will they aim for a particular flavour combination? Record this on the activity sheet.

    Whilst children are working on the activity sheet, use the volunteers or additional staff to work with small groups of children to prepare and season their potato chips. 

    Use a digital recording device to take photographs of the children preparing or cooking their chips, as this will be used in part 3 of this activity sequence.

    Write their name on a piece of baking paper with the pencil and put the chips on this, and then in the oven.

    Step 4


    Ask the children to reflect on the cooking process.

    Discuss what worked well and what could be improved for next time.

    Reflect on the flavour combinations and ask for suggestions about what could be changed or done differently.

    Model how to write a review.

    Use the activity sheet to write the review of their product and give the chips a star rating.

    Extension Activity

    Write your recipe as a procedural text.

    Conduct an investigation to research how potato chips have grown in popularity over time.