February is all about sweethearts and sweet treats, and lip-smacking delights! I've got some crazy concoctions for you to whip up with your little ones, that will have their sweet tooth more than satisfied.
Fizzy Sweet Treat: A Science Lesson For Young Students
Toss some "fizzies" in a plastic bag and dip a cherry or strawberry lollipop in it and you have one awesome treat for a little kid to experience. I never really knew what was in my "Sweet Treats" as a child, nor why it sparkled and made my tongue all tingly, but it was great fun. Your students/children can do this too and have a science lesson at the same time!
The basis of the sweet treat is confectioners' sugar. 50g will make enough for about 6 children. For that amount you will also need a scant teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda and citric acid. You can buy the latter, in the form of white powder, very cheaply, in small quantities, from the pharmacy. Children will also enjoy having a lollipop to dip into the powdery confection. I get the small "dum-dums" at The Dollar Store so that they don't last "forever".
- 50g icing sugar
- teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- teaspoon citric acid
Directions: Mix all the powders together thoroughly.
Why does it fizz? It's a reaction between the citric acid (the same acid as in lemons) and the bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali. In this case the chemical reaction happens on your tongue, as the two dry ingredients mix with water (saliva) they create a gas in the form of lots of tiny little bubbles. The bubbles provide the tingle in your mouth. You are creating the same chemical reaction when you drop a bath fizzy bomb into your bath water. The active dry ingredients-which again include bicarbonate of soda and citric acid-react when they meet the bath water. Try doing this with vinegar as the liquid and get a real fizzy, bubbling result. The reaction happens immediately because the vinegar is the liquid. Combining vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is actually an old-fashioned cleaning recipe, used to help remove suborn stains in the kitchen, I use this chemical reaction in September during my dinosaur unit and add red food coloring to the vinegar so that it looks like lava. I put all these ingredients in my students' baby food-jar volcanoes and they have fun watching them erupt! Keep your "Fizzy Sweet Treats" dry. Store in little re-sealable plastic bags ready to dip your lollipop in, or in a plastic food container. You could also add some red Kool-Aid for a splash of color for Valentine's Day.
Shake It & Make It - Ice Cream In A Bag
If you've got a few minutes, you can make another Sweet Treat with your students and have more science fun in the classroom.
- Tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup milk
- 6 tablespoons rock salt
- 1 gallon-sized Ziplock baggie
- 1 pint-sized Ziplock baggie
- 1 bag of ice
- plastic spoons
- Optional: Red, Pink & White sprinkles
- Fill the gallon-sized bag 1/2 full with ice.
- Add rock salt to the bag and seal.
- Pour sugar, milk, and vanilla into the small baggie and seal.
- Place the pint-sized bag into the large bag and seal.
- Shake the bag for 5-7 minutes.
- I put on a zippy dance CD and my students "shake it up" and dance with their bags.
- Take the small bag out of the large bag.
- Open the small zip bag and enjoy your ice cream with a spoon!
- Put the other students' small bags into the other large bags and repeat, 'til everyone has made a bag of ice cream.
- Because it's close to Valentine's Day when I'm doing this, I buy some sprinkles and we add this to our ice cream too.
Cinnamon Heart Ornaments:
- ¾ cup cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon all spice
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 1 cup applesauce
- 1 ½ tablespoons white glue
- 1 drop cinnamon oil added to the white glue to make them really fragrant.
- In a bowl, mix ¾ cup of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon all spice, and 1 tablespoon of nutmeg together.
- Slowly stir in 1 cup of applesauce.
- Pour in 1½ tablespoons of white glue.
- Mix well until mixture is stiff.
- Pour the mixture onto some wax paper.
- Press another sheet of wax paper over it and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness.
- Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter.
- (I use a mini copper heart cutter so that I can make more hearts with some to spare in case a child breaks one.
- How many you get out of a batch will entirely depend on how big your cookie cutter is.
- Use the scraps and roll out the "dough" to make more.
- Poke a hole near the top of each heart with a toothpick.
- If you are doing this with only one or two children, use a bigger heart cookie cutter, and poke a hole with a straw.
- Just an FYI don't do this on Valentine’s Day, because it takes about a week to dry (at room temperature).
- When dry, string with a ribbon. These make wonderful Valentine's Day gifts and your home or classroom will smell absolutely fantastic while you're making them!
Valentine Strawberry-Chocolate Swirl Half 'n Half's
A room mommy brought these cupcakes in for her daughter's February birthday treat. She got the recipe from the Internet and shared it with me. Makes 24 cupcakes
- 1 package strawberry cake mix (plus ingredients on the box to prepare mix)
- 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup strawberry frosting
- 1 cup chocolate frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease or use paper baking cups in a 24 muffin pan.
- Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds. Let child stir, and microwave for 10 second intervals until melted.
- Prepare cake mix according to directions, letting your child help with each step depending on age and skill level. Separate half the batter in a different bowl.
- Combine melted chocolate chips and cream cheese to one batter.
- Beat with mixer at medium speed until blended.
- Using chocolate batter first, spoon chocolate and strawberry batter’s side by side in muffin cups about two-thirds full.
- Bake for 16 minutes or until tooth pick that you insert, comes out clean.
- Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes before placing them individually on wire wracks to cool completely.
- Let your child pick which frosting he wants to be in charge of . They spread the frosting on one half of each cupcake.
- You spread the opposite frosting on the other half.
- If you want to get fancy, take a Popsicle stick and swirl the center, making a little peak in the middle.
I hope you enjoy these sweet treats with your little sweeties!
May you have a love-filled February!
Craft Recipe’s For Kids
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough Recipe
- 5 ½ cups of flour
- 8 teaspoons cream of tartar
- ¾ cups of oil
- 4 cups of water
- 1 ½ ounces of canned pumpkin pie spice
- 2 cups of salt
- orange food coloring
- Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan.
- Cook over medium heat ‘til the mixture separates from the sides of the pan and is the consistency of dough.
This recipe is 100% edible and can be eaten + it really smells good. Whatever the color of of the Kool Aid that you use, is the color of the Play-dough. I like to make this kind when I’m working with really little ones, as they often put the clay in their mouths, this way I don’t have to worry!
1 cup water
3 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
1 cup of flour
1 package of Kool-Aid Mix (any flavor of unsweetened)
1 tablespoon of cooking oil
1/2 cup of salt
Directions: Mix dry ingredients in a large/medium pan. Add water and oil. Stir over medium heat until it looks ligh dough. This takes about 8 minutes.No Cook Play Dough Recipe
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
- a half cup of salt
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- Mix all the ingredients together. It’s quite hot so use caution.
- 1 ½ cups salt
- 4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon alum (as a preservative)
- 1 ½ cups water
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl then add water.
- When dough forms a ball, knead the dough, add a bit more water if it is too crumbly.
- The clay can also be baked.
- Set oven to 300º and bake for 30-40 minutes or until hard.
- Mix 2 parts of liquid laundry starch with 1 part powdered tempera paint or a few drops of food coloring as you paint on the paper.
- Or you can mix flour and cold water into a paste.
- Add food coloring or powdered tempera paint on the paper as you paint.
- Add a pinch of powdered soap flakes (I like Ivory) to help paint glide over the paper.
- Clean up is a lot easier too.
Let’s trim the Christmas Cone! This is relatively inexpensive so that you could do it with your students at your Christmas party for a fun snack that they would create. Or do it during your Christmas Tree theme day.
- Sugar cones
- Green frosting (I bought a pre-colored tube. You could buy a can of white frosting and then color it with green food coloring.
- Green food coloring
- Sprinkles, I used two different kinds. (You could also use red hots)
- Popsicle sticks
- Waxed paper
- Make sure everyone has washed their hands.
- Give each child a sheet of waxed paper to place their cone on.
- Give each child a dollop of frosting, Popsicle stick and cone.
- Children frost their cone with the Popsicle stick.
- Give them some sprinkles, or red hots.
- Children decorate their tree by pushing the red hots into the frosting.
- If they are using little sprinkles they can roll their tree onto them.
- When they are done, take a group picture and then the children can eat their trees.
Rudolf the Snack Cracker Reindeer
You can keep this simple, or make it an even heartier snack by adding cheese spread between two crackers. Because I want to do this with my entire class I omit the cheese.
Every year my Y5’s make a Classroom Cook Book and give it to their mommies for Mother’s Day. I often thought it would be fun to make a Cookie Cook Book for Christmas. I had one mom submit her “grannie’s” “Red & White Chocolate Drop” cookie recipe from Ocean Spray®, also known as Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies They are 5-star delicious!
- 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® original dried cranberries
- 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, mixing well.
- Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl.
- Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
- Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
- Cool on wire rack.
- Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
My two favorite cookies to eat that my grama Lydia used to make were her oatmeal raisin cookies and her sugar cookies that we put our thumbs in and filled with a dollop of jelly. During December tho' the most fun cookie we made were her gingerbreaad cookies. She made them with black strap molasses which she believed was a cure-all for all sorts of ailments. I don't think our cookies tasted all that fine because of all the gobbledy gook we loaded them with, but oh what fun we had making them, licking our frosting spoons and then decorating them. I carried the tradition on with my children when they were really little, and plan to do it with my grandchildren too. Click here for grandma Lydia's gingerbread recipe from my heart to yours. There are two; one with molasses, and one without. Gingerbread Recipes
Gingerbread Play-dough Recipe: Now is a great time to mix up a batch of gingerbread play dough! Put it in your kitchen center or have a 15-minute whole-group gingerbread play dough center and give each child a cookie cutter and a small ball of gingerbread play dough to make their very own gingerbread play dough boy! Click on the link for this delicious smelling recipe. This is a fun activity to do after you've read the story. Gingerbread Play-dough recipe
Christmas Greetings-Christmas Blessings Snack
- Bugles® brand corn snacks
- Small pretzel twists
- Chex Mix
- Red and green M&Ms®
- Hershey's® chocolate kisses
- Use even amounts of all the ingredients.
- Mix together in a large bowl.
- Each ingredient in the snack symbolizes something associated with Christmas.
Bugles : Symbolize trumpets reminding us that the world is heralding the news that Jesus is born
Pretzels : Symbolize arms folded in prayer thanking God for the reason for the season; LOVE the greatest gift of all.
Chex Mix: Symbolize a blanket of warmth, comfort and joy
Craisens : Symbolize the holly berries that decorate our homes
Peanuts or cashews: Symbolize the planting of seeds of thanksgiving and peace on Earth.
M&Ms: Symbolize sweet Memories and the Magic of Christmas
Hershey Kisses: Symbolize the love of family and friends.
If you'd like to make this snack as a gift and put it in a tin along with a note, click on the link to print a copy.
To make this adorable Hershey Kiss Mouse click on the link. His tail is the stem from a cherry that's dipped in chocolate. His ears are almonds. MMMMM-MMMM delicious!
Are something fun you can do with your entire class. They make a nice gift that is relatively easy to make, incorporates math extensions, and is inexpensive. If you had parents sign up at your Open House to bring things in when needed, draw from that list for your ingredients, or tie it in with your snack time and ask that parent to donate bulk size jars of applesauce. A bonus of this activitiy is that your room smells fantastic!
- 1 cup cinnamon (The Dollar Store sells a large bottle. Wal-Mart has 2 for a dollar.)
- 1 tablespoon cloves
- 1 tablespoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons white glue
- 3/4 cup applesauce (Let drain in a strainer for several hours)
- Optional: cinnamon oil
- Mix cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg together
- Add applesauce & glue.
- Work mixture with hands until smooth and well mixed.
- Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness cut with cookies cutters. (I use small hearts )
- Use a coffee straw to make hole for hanging.
- Put on wire rack to dry at room temperature for several days.
- Turn twice daily so they don't curl.
- Use ribbon to hang.
- So they smell extra strong of cinnamon I spritz with cinnamon oil, and then let dry again.
- How many you get from one recipe depends on how big your cookie cutter is.
- Wrap gently in tissue to send home.
- Remind students that they will break if they are not careful.
The snow’s melting; look at all that mud! That’s what these no-bake cookies remind me off…little mud pies! And that’s just one of the reasons they are so much fun for kids to make.
No-Bake Oatmeal Mud Pie Cookies
- ½ cup milk
- 1 stick margarine
- ½ cup cocoa
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 cups oatmeal
- ½ cup peanut butter
- Blend cocoa, margarine, sugar, milk, and salt together in a pot.
- Put pot on low heat and cook ‘til blended and melted together.
- Remove from heat.
- Add vanilla, peanut butter and oatmeal.
- Mix well.
- Drop from spoon onto wax paper.
- Let cool.
- Mmm mmm delicious!
Build a Sweet Treat Snowman!
Ingredients per person:
- Hershey Chocolate Kiss
- 3 large marshmallows
- 1 piece of red licorice
- 2 thin stick pretzels or 2 shoestring potatoes
- 6 raisins
- 8” paper plate
- Popsicle stick
- Small tube of red gel
- 1 can of white frosting
- Cut raisins into 1/3rds so that students can use them for eyes, noses, and buttons.
- Cut licorice in ½ and then in ½ again and then slice it down the middle lengthwise. This is the snowman’s scarf.
- Pass supplies out to students.
- Have students design their snowman on their plate.
- The kiss is the snowman’s hat.
- Give each student a spoonful of frosting. They use their Popsicle stick to “glue” their marshmallows together and stick their accessories and facial parts on. The raisins might stick on by themselves if they pick at the inside with the toothpick.
- Children can poke a hole in the sides of the snowman with the toothpick and insert their potato sticks/pretzels for arms.
- Adult puts a red gel smile on each snowman.
Frosted Face Sugar Cookies
- Pre-made sugar cookie dough
- 2 cans white frosting
- Popsicle sticks
- Things to decorate the snowman face: Raisins, red hots, M&M's, Skittles, colored gum drops, Fruit Loops etc.
- Follow directions on cookie dough and make circular cookies.
- Set up the decorations on paper plates at a table. Children choose which things they want, putting them on their plate and then return to their seats to decorate.
- Give each child a spoonful of frosting and have them frost their cookie "face" with the Popsicle stick and then decorate their snowman.
- Take a group photo of all the frosty faces and then "crunch-nibble-munch!"
Snow Covered Logs
Ingredients per person:
- 1 banana
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter
- ¼ cup shredded coconut (There will be some leftovers.)
- Cut banana in half lengthwise
- Spread peanut butter on the halves.
- Press together like a sandwich.
- Sprinkle the coconut on a sheet of waxed paper.
- Roll the banana in the coconut until completely covered.
- Chill in fridge for 15 minutes.
Purple Sauce Slurpies
- 6 cups applesauce
- 3 cups grape juice
- 24 paper Dixie cups
- 24 Popsicle sticks
- Combine applesauce and grape juice in a large bowl.
- Stir until blended.
- Spoon equal amounts into Dixie cups.
- Freeze for 1 hour and then insert Popsicle sticks.
From a Liquid To a Solid
In January we study liquids turning into solids and then melting when they get hot.
A fun way that I demonstrate the liquid to a solid with my students is making Popsicles. As a behavior modification technique I write the word Popsicles on the board and circle a letter at the end of each portion of our day, if everyone has performed/behaved appropriately. It helps them clean up, line up, stay focused, get their work done etc. When all the letters are circled, we take the Popsicles out of the freezer and see that the liquid has turned into a solid! We also let one melt in the sun on our shelf to see a solid turn back into a liquid.
Popsicles with a Punch
- Red Hawaiian Punch or juice of your choice. This is my Y5’s favorite. The blue Hawaiian punch is also a fun color for winter.
- Tupperware molds or Dixie cups + Popsicle sticks.
- Pour liquid into molds.
- Put covers on
- Put in freezer
- Run under a bit of warm water to loosen the molds
- If you don't have molds, use Dixie cups, fill them 1/2 full and freeze for 1 hour. Insert Popsicle sticks.
- When ready to serve, remove paper.
Dirty Snow-Ball Cookies
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup walnuts
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 15 oz. package Hershey Kisses
- Powdered sugar
- Combine sugar, butter and vanilla in a large bowl and beat until fluffy.
- Add nuts and blend.
- Chill the dough.
- Shape dough around unwrapped individual chocolate kisses.
- Put on greased cookie sheet.
- Bake 12 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Set pan aside to cool
- Roll in powdered sugar ‘til completely covered and looking like a slightly dirty snowball.
Kool-Aid Cool-Snow Cones
- 2 Cups crushed ice
- 2 Cups sugar
- ¾ Cup water
- 1 package unsweetened Kool-Aid
- Combine sugar and water in a pot and bring to a full boil.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in the Kool-Aid
- Crush the ice cubes in a blender.
- Put the ice in a cup or cone and pour the Kool-Aid syrup over the ice.
- Eat with a sippy straw spoon.
- I’ve also used real “just-fallen” clean snow for that special touch of “winter wonderland magic!”
Yogurt “Snow” Fun Pops
- 2 cups vanilla yogurt
- 6 oz. frozen orange juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Mix ingredients in large bowl ‘til blended.
- Pour into ice cube trays.
- Freeze for 30 minutes and then insert Popsicle sticks.
Dreaming up frozen concoctions with a kid in the kitchen can be "snow" much fun, especially if your state is a bit on the warmer side! I hope you have a great time with yours.
These recipes were all rather on the "cool" side, but January is also National Soup Month so why not have a nice bowl of your favorite some frosty day, especially if your state is on the colder side like mine is in Michigan. MM-MMM-Good! And you won't be alone while enjoying this comfort food. According to Lifestyle Magazine approximately ten billion bowls of soup are consumed by Americans every year! Bon Appétit!
You will LOVE LOVE LOVE these adorable "Kids In The Kitchen" fun activities this month They are some of my favorite family traditions and recipes. They also make a nice food-craft for your students if you're looking for something fun to include for your Thanksgiving Feast Day Celebrations at school, or just a nice treat for your children the day before the big holiday weekend to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.
Grama Karis’ Gum Drop Apple Turkeys
- 5 tooth picks
- 1 apple (body)
- 10 multi-colored gumdrops (1 has to be red for the wattle.) (feathers)
- 1 raisin (eyes)
- 1 Hershey kiss (head)
Background: Every Thanksgiving the guys would go deer hunting and the women would putz in the kitchen getting dinner ready. One of the things we’d do with the children while we were “watching” the turkey was make these adorable Gumdrop Apple Turkeys. Grama Flohr would bring all the supplies and each child would design their own gumdrop feathers so they could have a darling turkey sitting next to their plate. At about the time we were getting finished with our creations the men would come home all red-faced, orange-clad and exuberant with tales of a near miss or a bull’s eye. After they’d shower it was time to eat, drink and be merry around a very thankful table. I sure miss Grama K and those special memories. I hope you can make a gumdrop turkey and start some memory making of your own. It’s a wonderful family tradition.
- Put two gumdrops on a tooth pick and put it in the back of the apple.
- I put 4 feathers on the turkey, but 5 also looks nice.
- You can make each feather have the same color gumdrops or you can have different colored gumdrops on each feather as shown in the picture.
- Put one gumdrop on a tooth pick (neck) + a Hershey kiss (head) and put this tooth pick on the front of the apple.
- Cut a red gumdrop in half and stick it tot eh kiss.
- Cut a raisin in half, and then in half again and stick these to the kiss for eyes.
Tootie Frootie Turkey
- If you’d like to make this affordable to do with your class, as well as a cool math extension, do it with cereal. Children can sort the Tootie Frootie’s and make their feathers and neck all one color, like mine in the photo, or they can make all sorts of color patterns AB ABC or even ABCDEF as there are 6 different colors of Tootie Frooties! Tootie Frooties are made by Malto Meal. They are only $1.99 a bag as opposed to a more expensive box of Fruit Loops. Send a note home asking parents to have their child bring in an apple. You could also ask 3 parents to donate a bag of Hershey kisses, Tootie Frooties, and candy corn.
Ingredients for ONE turkey.
- 6 tooth picks
- 34 Tootie Frooties (feathers & neck) (6 for each feather.)
- 1 apple (body)
- 1 raisin (or yellow frosting) (eyes)
- 1 red jelly bean or gum drop (wattle)
- 5 pieces of candy corn (To hold feathers on toothpicks)
- 1 Hershey kiss. (head)
- Optional: Yellow frosting in a tube (For eyes.)
- Stick 6 toothpicks in the back of the turkey a Tootie Frootie space apart from each other.
- Slide Tootie Frooties on the toothpicks.
- You can sort them and put one color on each toothpick, or choose to make a pattern.
- Put a toothpick in the front of the apple in the center.
- Put 4 Tootie Frooties on this toothpick.
- Slide a Hershey kiss on top of the Tootie Frooties.
- Cut a red gumdrop or red jelly bean in half and stick it to the kiss.
- Cut a raisin in half, and then in half again and stick these to the kiss for eyes.
- Or, using a toothpick, dot on two eyes with yellow frosting.
Pilgrim Hat Cookies
- 1 Round cookie ( I use the kind that are chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other and have frosting in the middle.)
- 1 Large marshmallow
- Chocolate frosting
- 1 Cheerio or 1 yellow Tootie Frootie (buckle)
- Popsicle sticks.
- Frost the chocolate side of the cookie with the chocolate frosting. I have my students use Popsicle sticks.
- Put some frosting on the bottom of the marshmallow.
- Press it down on the frosted cookie.
- Frost the marshmallow so it is completely covered.
- Press a Cheerio or Tootie Frootie into the bottom center of the Pilgrim hat, so it looks like a buckle.
Cornucopia Thanksgiving Snack Mix: Buy sugar cones (The kind you put ice cream in, and fill them with this mix. They make nice party favors at your Thanksgiving table, or you could ask several room moms to make them as a treat for your students.) I tie my cones with a sheer fall colored ribbon. You can buy a bolt for a Dollar at Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. I put the mix in a baggie then rubber band it shut and tie with curling ribbon.
- Sugar Cones
- Candy corn
- Chex Mix
- Sunflower seeds
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Goldfish Crackers
- Reese’s Pieces
Diane’s Indian Corn Cookies (My very own invention) If you want to do these as a class snack activity, ask parents to send in the ingredients.
- Cookies that are oval shaped. I used Keebler’s new Vienna Fingers. They are $2.99 for a package of 30.
- Yellow frosting. $1.69 a can
- A bag of Reese’s Pieces or Fall-colored M&M’s $2.59 a bag (on sale)
- A can of LaChoy rice noodles. $1.35 a can
- Students spread frosting on cookie with a Popsicle stick.
- Children press candy pieces into the frosting. Each child needs 10 pieces. (5 different colors).
- Students press rice noodles in the top to look like corn husks.
- 1 malted milk ball (head)
- 1 Rolo (body)
- 5 pieces of Candy Corn (feathers)
- 1 red jelly bean (wattle)
- chocolate frosting
- 1 raisin (beak)
- Yellow frosting in a tube
- Frost the bottom cookie, chocolate side up.
- Press the Rolo into the frosting so that it is towards the front of the cookie.
- Put a dab of frosting on top of the Rolo.
- Press the malted milk ball onto the frosting so that it sits on top of the Rolo.
- Cut the jelly bean in half and stick it to the malted milk ball.
- Cut the raisin (beak) in half and stick it above the jelly bean. (wattle)
- Using a toothpick dab on two yellow frosting eyes.
- Frost the bottom of the second cookie.
- Press the 5 candy corns on the outside edge of the cookie in a fan shape.
- The candy corn should have the pointed end pointing down.
- Press this cookie up against the Rolo and down into the frosted bottom cookie.
- An easier version of this is to skip the Rolo and the malted milk ball and use a Hershey Kiss instead. The Kiss is the head of the turkey. I like this version better.
Background: When I was an aide helping teach 2nd grade at Grand View school in Grandville, a room mom, Sheila, made these for tour students as a pre-Thanksgiving treat. They LOVED them!
Chocolate Pumpkin Guts Sounds awful tastes yummy!
Filling: Combine cream cheese, egg and sugar in a bowl. Blend in orange food coloring. Stir in choclate chips. Set filling aside.
Cupcakes: Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. I use a large bowl. Combine water, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla in another bowl.Combine both bowls and stir.Fill cupcake inner halves with batter, then place one teaspoon of the filling at center. As the cupcakes bake the batter will rise to surround the filling.. Preheat the oven to 350º.Bake for about 25 minutes.The orange “pumpkin guts” should ooze from the center to the top of the cupcake making a nice orangey contrast against the brown chocolate. Mmmm mmm good. These colors look lovely on a fall table. Wilton has some great autumn cupcake papers with fall leaves on them, as well as Happy Thanksgiving picks to poke in the top. Too cute, and just the finishing touch!
Turkey Hand Print Cookies
Turkey Leftovers: And if you're looking for something not quite so sweet, like what to do with the turkey left overs, these are somethings I do: Make panini’s on your George Foreman with the turkey leftovers. Add a slice of swiss cheese and their favorite "fixin's". My husband and I love them; or put the meat in a soft shell taco, spread on some cream cheese and sliced olives and mmm mmm you have a yummy turkey wrap. Or shred the turkey, add some barbecue sauce and serve on a croissant. I’ve also diced up the turkey and made it into a quiche.
Or how about something to go with your turkey:
Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows
This is my husband Daniel’s favorite. My daughter Kelli also requests that Mom Henderson bring it as her something to pass dish when we get together for the holiday.
Directions: .Heat oven to 350º Mash yams in a large bowl and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, and melted butter. Mix well. Place 1/2 mixture in baking dish. Top with a layer of marshmallows, then add remaining mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining marshmallows. Bake for another 10 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned. Yummy!
Whatever you're makin' or bakin' in the kitchen with your kids, I hope it's turkey-riffic and that these ideas will give you some wonderful memories to keep you warm through the holiday!
I’ve added something NEW to the column this month “Tips For The Table” . Besides a few recipes, I thought I’d throw in some helpful tips that I did with my own children when they were little. Things that preserved my sanity when my “kids were in the kitchen”. I Hope you find them useful!
Tips For the Table:
Are you tired of dreaming up dinner every night? Are you sick of hearing: “What’s for dinner?” the minute the children walk in the door? Do you need to teach some responsibility to your children? Why not let each child take a day of the week to plan dinner. It can be their “secret”.
The rules: The dinner must be nutritious, The dinner must be within X amount of money for the budget, etc. Design your rules around your family’s likes and dislikes, allergies etc. Haul out the cookbooks or hit the Internet for ideas. This is a great way for them to expand their reading skills as well as develop a new hobby “cooking!” Who knows you may have a budding chef in the family! Then it’s off to the grocery store. Choose one day when you all do the shopping for that week’s meals. No one knows who is making what. Now isn’t that fun instead of boring?
Having a budget will make them conscious of how difficult the real world is and planning and making dinner will give them an appreciation of all that you do!
A big bonus is that cooking provides an abundance of math skills for your child + mom gets a night or two off depending on how many children you have! If your children are young, they can still get in on the action with your help. It’s still a win-win proposition!
I’ll take mine in a cup to go… When I’m serving fishy crackers, pretzels, animal crackers etc at school for snack time I put them on an opened napkin. As a mom I put them in a Dixie cup so that my children didn’t spill things; they worked far better than bowls. They could also tote them outside. I’d write their name on the cup with a marker so I knew whose was whose when they’d leave them here and there to go play. This was great for car rides as well.
Pass the Popsicle stick please: I use tongue depressor - size Popsicle sticks in my classroom for my students to use instead of plastic knives for Play-doh play. You may think that those plastic knives aren’t sharp, but they are, especially in the hands of an excited 4-year-old. They also work great in the kitchen when a young child wants to butter their bread or spread peanut butter or jelly on a sandwich by themselves. If they want to cut up their own vegetables a pumpkin carving knife works great, but I still supervise. I also use a kitchen scissors to cut steak, pizza, French toast etc. because it’s so much faster when you have 3 kids than using a knife!
Washcloths to the rescue: I kept soft baby washcloths in my kitchen drawer along with my dishrags for dirty faces and hands. Each of my children had their own color.
Special cupboard and drawer: Instead of keeping all of the cleaning stuff that was dangerous under the kitchen sink, I kept the Tupperware there. I showed my children where the “Kid’s off limits stuff” was so that it would not be a tempting mystery cupboard that was up high and out of reach, and they helped me paste a “Mr. Yuk” and poison control sticker on that cupboard. I also gave them their own kitchen drawer with their plastic plates, sippie cups, special folks, spoons, washcloths, place mats, the baby’s bibs etc. in it. They could all reach that and it made them feel helpful when we set the table.
Pumpkin Pancake Cookies: My grandson Joshua is teething so he will love a tiny pumpkin pancake cookie just the right size for his little hands, and I hope you will too.
- Pancake Mix + any ingredients they require.
- Cookie sheet
- Cooking Spray
- Orange Food Coloring
- Make a batch of pancake batter according to the box directions.
- Add drops of orange food coloring til the batter is orange.
- Drop tablespoons of batter onto a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, I use Pam™.
- The amount of batter depends on how big you want your cookie. I like to make mine small, about 3”
- Bake at 250º for 15 minutes.
- Flip pancake cookie over and bake another 15 minutes.
- Set aside on paper towel to cool.
- They can be frozen too. Simply put them in a Ziploc baggy.
- If they are too moist when you thaw them out, put them back in the oven at 250º for about 10 minutes.
- Chocolate cake mix + any ingredients they require.
- Orange frosting
- Round cake pan
- Green decorator icing in a tube.
- Black decorator icing in a tube. (optional)
- Follow directions on cake mix box to make a single layer round chocolate cake.
- Frost with orange frosting
- Add green decorator icing to make pumpkin leaves
- Add black decorator icing to make a Jack-O-Lantern face
Painted Sugar Cookies
I enjoy making special cookies by painting them! Your children will have fun making an extra special cookie for someone they love too without a whole lot of fuss! Here’s how:
- Pre-made sugar cookie dough
- 1 egg
- Paint brushes
- Food coloring
- Mix paint out of 1 egg yolk and 1/4 teaspoon water + several drops of food coloring (the egg-yolk and water mixture can be divided before adding the food coloring to make lesser amounts of several colors.)
- Paint with a watercolor brush.
- The paint darkens when you bake the cookies. It also turns shiny! It’s fun to add a person’s name if you want.
- For October I add orange food coloring to the dough and then paint faces on my “Jack-o-lanterns”! You can also make green dough and make rectangular shaped cookies and paint on monster faces!
Mud Ball Crunchies:
- Smooth peanut butter
- Spoon 2 cups of peanut butter into a large bowl.
- Pour 2 cups of Cheerios into the bowl.
- Gently fold the Cheerios into the peanut butter being careful not to break the Cheerios.
- Spoon a large dollop of the mixture onto a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. They should look like a ball of mud.
- Refrigerate. MMMM MMMM good.
Pumpkin Chex Bread: One of my student’s mommies turned this in for our Classroom Cookbook. In her “About the recipe” section she wrote: “Grama’s fall favorite.”
- 2 ½ cups flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 medium eggs, beaten
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup finely chopped raisins
- 1 cup pureed cooked pumpkin
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cup Wheat Chex cereal
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
- In another medium sized bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, milk, sugar and oil; whisk until smooth.
- Add to flour mixture and stir. Mix well. Gently stir in cereal and raisins. Be careful not to break cereal.
- Lightly grease a bread pan and transfer mixture.
- Bake 60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from oven, cool 15 minutes, and remove from pan to cool completely.
Now that you’ve got some yummy treats, wash them down with these fragrant smelling ciders!
Apple Cranberry Cider:
- 1 quart apple cider or apple juice
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- In a large saucepan, combine the cider, cranberry juice and brown sugar. Place cloves and cinnamon sticks on a double thickness of cheesecloth; bring up corners of cloth and tie with kitchen string to form a bag. Add to pan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Discard spice bag before serving.
Apple Cider Wassail
- 2 quarts apple cider
- 1 1/2 cups orange juice
- 3/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
- 1 dash ground cloves
- 1 dash ground cinnamon
- In a large saucepan, combine all of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Toss out cinnamon sticks. Serve hot in mugs.
Does Pumpkin Custard with Peppery Pecans sound yummy? Click here for that recipe.
And if you’d like to whip up a batch of Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins then click here.
Finally, I thought what fall dinner would be complete for any child without a meal of Chunky Cat Barf. If you’d like to try this delectable delight click here! Too funny!
Whatever you’re cookin’ up in the kitchen I hope you have a fall-fun-tastic time with your little punkin(s)!
Welcome Back To School!
I know some of you have already started, but here in MI we start the Tuesday after Labor Day!
A big theme for many teachers is APPLES so I want to center my "kids in the kitchen & classroom" around that delicious and healthy fruit this month. Apples are also really big in this part of MI.
One of my favorite books to introduce the alphabet is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Story time is in the afternoon and is often followed by our snack, so sometimes it's fun if our snack also relates to what we are reading and/or studying.
Author: Bill Martin Jr.
Manufacturer: Little Simon
Amazon Price: $10.99
Offers - Buy New From: $5.24 Used From: $1.99
Sometimes I'll ask several parents to supply the ingredients to a snack-activity so that my Y5's can make or create their snack. Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom snack letters home.
Making a Chicka Boom alphabet tree is a fun fine motor skill for your students. I was hoping that all the letters of the alphabet were in a box of Alpha-Bits cereal, but to my dismay when I dumped out the box, I did not find a good enough representation of the alphabet to make it a worthwhile activity for my students to try and find the letters in their name.
In fact, the letters G, J, M, S, U, & W were entirely missing from my box!
Instead, give a cup of cereal to each child and have them pick out 8 letters.
Later, if you want, you can give your students a graphing sheet and have them sort and then count the letters in their cup and graph them, then make a class graph of the entire box. Did you find any letters that were missing too?
Click on the link to print an Alpha-Bit letter graphing sheet.
You can also compare your results to mine if you want to do some more math extensions. Click on the link to view/print my results. TeachWithMe.com's Alpha-Bit graphing results
My husband came into the kitchen and wondered what on earth I was doing, as I had cereal spilled out all over the counter. (Our puppy Chloe was anxious hoping for a mishap.)
When I told him I was sorting cereal, he then wondered if anyone besides me even cared? I thought sorting, counting and then graphing letters in a box of Alpha-Bits was a great math extension; besides I really wanted to know if every letter of the alphabet was in the box. (The answer could not be found online.)
As you can see by my photo the ratio of letters in the box is way off, and the largest plate is the one with broken letters. Perhaps that's where the missing letters ended up.
Could the Alpha-Bit missing letter mystery be because those letters are fragile and simply break up in the package? This could make for a great discussion or writing prompt! Anyway, my husband thinks I'm crazy. Are there any other creatively crazy teachers with me? I'd enjoy a comment or two for back up.
I made two different kinds of Chicka Boom trees. One with chocolate wafer cookies (palm trunk) and raisins (coconuts) and one with pretzel rods and red grapes.
You can have both sets of ingredients available, and let your students decide which kind of tree to make, or simply pick just a few ingredients. I find with my Y5's, that usually 1/2 of them do not like raisins.
If you do opt for raisins, you may want to soak them in water the night before. It was my grandma's "secret" for making the best oatmeal raisin cookies, as the raisins turned out really moist, plump and juicy instead of dried out.
Ingredients & Directions:
- Granny Smith apples. (Cut apple in 1/2 and then in 1/4ths. One apple will be enough for 2 children's palm leaves. Each child needs 4 apple slices. 4 palm leaves.)
- Large bunch of washed red grapes. Each child will need 3 grapes for their coconuts.
- Large box or bag of raisins. Each child will need 9 plump raisins, 3 for each bunch of coconuts.
- 1-2 bags of long pretzel rods (Chicka boom coconut tree trunk) depending on class size. (I use 2 for each student because they LOVE them, but you could cut it down to 1.)
- 1-2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies depending on class size. Each child will need 2 cookies for their Chicka boom coconut tree trunk.
- You could get a package of wafer cookies that has 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla and give your students a choice of flavors. I find that my students will usually pick chocolate 3 to 1.
- I try to include giving a choice in as many activities as I can, because I believe it is a wonderful life-skill my little ones need to learn; however, I almost always limit it to only 2, at most 3 choices, otherwise things get overwhelming for them and they can't make a decision, or waste too much time.
- 1 large box of Alpha-Bits cereal. Give each child a cup full so they can choose 8 letters to climb up the trunk. This is a nice counting activity for them. They can simply eat the rest, or do the sort, count and graph activity above with them.
- large paper plates
- Children arrange their Chicka Boom edible alphabet tree on their plate and then eat it.
Munch and crunch away at your Chicka Boom alphabet tree today!
Remember to take some pictures so you can post them in your newsletter.
Grapple Juice: If you've never mixed grapefruit juice and apple juice, give it a whirl for a yummy and healthy fall drink.Ingredients
- 2 large apples (My personal favorite is Honeycrisp, but Gala is a close second, and then of course Granny Smith for it's sweet sourness.)
- 1 grapefruit
- Wash the fruit.
- Core and slice the apples to fit your juicer.
- Peel and slice the grapefruit.
- Juice and Enjoy.
Grama Lydia's Apple Crisp and Ice Cream
My sister and I were allergic to so many things that my grama was constantly trying to dream up things my twin and I could have as a dessert.
Here's a delicious one that tastes wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Drizzle some caramel on the top for an extra special treat. The cinnamon baking in the oven makes the entire kitchen smell yummy, and is one of my favorite fall fragrances to this day!
- 2 large Honeycrisp or Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
- 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/4 Cup butter or margarine
- 1/3 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- Vanilla ice cream
- Caramel sauce
- Prepare apples by peeling, coring and slicing.
- Place in bottom of a small casserole dish.
- Add oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl
- Mix together until crumbly. Break up any clumps.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
- Serve hot out of the oven in small bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Drizzle with caramel sauce. MMM MMM delicious!
Apple Smiles With Marshmallow Teeth:
- White mini marshmallows
- Cream cheese
- Peanut butter
- Caramel sauce
- Red apples
- Plastic knives
- Small paper plates
- Cut a red apple in half, then in 1/4th's then into 1/8th's.
- Each child needs 2 pieces. (1 apple will make enough slices for 8 children.)
- These become the 2 lips.
- Give each child a small paper plate, a plastic knife, and a dollop of "glue" (either peanut butter, cream cheese or caramel sauce.)
- I used caramel sauce in the photo.
- Children could also have one side where they use one of the spreads, and the other half where they use the other kind of spread.
- Spread "glue" with a plastic knife.
- Place mini white marshmallows on top of the "glue" on the bottom slice so they look like teeth.
- Spread "glue" on the remaining slice.
- Gently press this top slice on the top of the bottom "tooth" slice so the "mouth" is now shut.
- Carefully eat. Mmmm Mmmm delicious!
Cinnamon Apple Rings:
For a yummy cinnamon apple recipe and adorable smile poem to go with it, click on the link. She made these for Valentine's Day, but I think her heart border still works for anytime.
I hope you enjoy these activities with your children/students. Remember... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!"
because they are such a healthy snack,
so eat up, and welcome back!
Happy September! I don’t know about you, but one of my big themes this month is APPLES so here are a few fun recipes that I think “KIDS in your KITCHEN” will enjoy! Have fun.
Apple Jell-O/Pudding Cut Outs:
Ingredients & Directions:
My room-helper Cheryl made these for my Y5’s. They LOVED them!
- 2 large RED boxes of Jell-O
- 2 ½ Cups boiling water
- Mix well
- Let set on counter 30 minutes.
- 1 Large INSTANT Vanilla pudding
- 1 Cup milk
- Whisk until blended.
- Pour into Jell-O
- Beat or Mix well.
- Pour into 9x13 greased pan.
- Let set.
- Cut into squares or with apple cookie cutter.
Apple Parfaits: Core, slice, and peel an apple. Let your child use a plastic knife to cut the apple slices into small pieces. Help them make Apple Parfaits by layering vanilla yogurt, the apple pieces, and granola in clear-plastic cups.
Apple Smiles: Cut apples into quarters. Let your child “frost” them with peanut butter and then push mini marshmallows into the peanut butter so that they look like “teeth”.
Core, slice, and peel 3-4 sweet apples. Let your child place the apple slices and ½ cup water in a sauce pan. Cover and simmer on low heat until the apples are tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. When the apples are cool, let them use a potato masher to mash the cooked apples into applesauce. Stir in sugar and cinnamon to taste.
Cider Splash: Add a scoop of cinnamon ice cream to some hot apple cider and stir with a stick candy.
Apple Gelatin Cups: Mix one packet of unsweetened gelatin with one cup of hot water. Let your child stir the mixture until the gelatin dissolves. Then have your child add one cup of apple juice concentrate and continue stirring. Pour gelatin into small cups and chill.
Apple Rings: Remove the core from an apple. Fill the hole with peanut butter. Chill, then slice the apple horizontally into rings.
(Craft Idea) Apple Crayons:
You will need:
- Broken RED, GREEN, YELLOW crayons
- Apple candy mold
- Heavy-Duty Paper Cups
- Pot holder
- Remove paper from crayons
- Put into a heavy paper cup
- Place one cup of crayons in a microwave oven for 30 seconds or more.
- Microwaves vary so start out with the seconds and go from there.
- Cover with a piece of paper towel.
- Using a pot holder carefully pour the melted wax into the apple candy mold.
- Place the candy mold in the freezer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the wax is hard.
- Pop the crayons out and let dry from condensation on a piece of paper towel.
- Since I teach my students that apples come in 3 different colors, you can make red, green and yellow crayon apples.
- Only melt ONE cup at a time. Make sure the glass tray in your microwave is cool before you melt another batch. Be careful not to burn yourself with the hot wax. Make sure your heavy paper cups are microwave safe.
These next yummy 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 STAR ranked recipes are from the site Eating Well . They advertise "Good Taste Meets Good Health."
Click here for a yummy Apple Muffin recipe.
Click here for an Apple Cupcake with Cinnamon Marshmallow Frosting recipe.
Click here for Baked Apple Cinnamon French Toast
Click here for Maple Cinnamon Applesauce.
This is a fun time to make CARAMELED Apples with your little one. Click on the link for a good recipe.
Make a batch of RED, GREEN, & YELLOW Play-Dough so they can make their own pretend apples and apple cookies. Here's how:
(Craft Idea) Dough Recipe:
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 Cup salt
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 red teaspoon food coloring
- ½ teaspoon alcohol
- 2 cups water
- Mix ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir continuously, until the dough leaves the sides of the pan.
- Take out of pan.
- When cool to the touch, knead for a few minutes.