About Picture Us Cooking™

Picture Us Cooking was developed by Liza Breno, Educational Technology Specialist, and Mady Kenny, Occupational Therapist, through their shared commitment to fostering the ability of individuals, irrespective of age, to attain their own maximum level of independence.

Though outcome is considered important, emphasis is placed more on the process itself. The use of sequential pictures affords a readily available, easily produced teaching tool and organizational model as well as provides an easily individualized strategy to foster independence.

All ingredients and tools used can be found in local stores making them readily available and affordable. You will also see implements used in unique ways such as pastry blenders for chopping eggs.

The use of food preparation as our primary focus was selected for some of the reasons listed below.

  • Generally food is motivating
  • Nutrition instruction
    • Trying to use healthy ingredients
  • Educational Implications
    • Measuring
    • Numbers/fractions
  • Social implications
    • Sharing a meal
    • Participation in the preparation
  • Sense of personal accomplishment
    • Pride in making something
  • Use of fine motor skills in functional activities
    • Use of appropriate grasp patterns
    • Graded/controlled grasp and release
  • Sensory implications
    • Smell
    • Taste
    • Touch
  • The ability to vary the level of complexity and adaptability
    • Use a bag of chicken in place of a bag of tuna
    • Use a different bread
    • Vary the ingredients for similar activity


In addition, one of our primary goals is to receive feedback from users to improve and expand what is on the web site. If you do use the sequences, please send us your thoughts. There is a review form on the bottom of each sequence page. Your input will help us to improve our materials. We would truly appreciate your feedback, suggestions for additional sequences, and new ways you have found to use the material. Any new activities you create and choose to share would be posted so others can benefit.

Please note that there are many safety considerations which vary dependent on individual abilities. To help, we have developed a page of safety tips. While listing different sequences, it may be helpful to read through all the tips in case you can use some in other activities. It is up to you to determine if the activity is safe for your child and whether further adaptations are required.