Crunchy Garden Gates: I wanted to name these something May-like, so when I looked at the pretzels I thought that would work. I whipped these up over Easter as I had all of my kids and grandchildren over and I wanted them to taste test and let me know which ones they liked the best.
It was a tie between the teddy bears and the double pretzels, so I guess you'll have to make a variety too and let your little ones have a choice. Anyway, they were fun and easy to make and tasted yummy.
I love the taste of something salty and sweet together and the textures of creamy marshmallow, gooey caramel along with smooth chocolate with a crunchy pretzel are a real treat for your mouth. I hope you enjoy making and eating them as much as I did!
- a bag of square pretzels
- 5-10 rolls of Rollo chocolate-caramel candies (You can buy them by the box at Sams Club if you're a member.)
- a bag of small marshmallows,
- a small bag of whole roasted almonds,
- a box of honey Teddy Grahams
- large cookie sheet
- waxed paper
- pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.
- put as many pretzels on your cookie sheet as you can, or that you have Rollo's for.
- cut just a tiny bit of marshmallow off one end so that it will stick to the Rollo. You may have better luck, but when I simply placed them on top of the Rollo's and popped them in the oven, some of them fell off! I guess you could also insert a toothpick, but then you'd have the tricky job of trying to get those off.
- Pop in the oven for just 3 minutes.
- Set timer.
- Carefully remove pan with potholders and gently place on a pretzel, teddy graham or almond so that you squish down the marshmallow-Rollo. The Rollo is not that "melty" so that it won't spill over, but will pat down nicely into a blob of chocolate and the puffy marshmallow will deflate.
- Set aside to cool and then put on a square of waxed paper and serve. Yummy yummy for your tum-tummy.
- Children can make these with daddy and put them in a box for a sweet treat for mommy for Mother's Day!
Nursery Rhyme Time: Chocolate Mice
I like to do Nursery Rhymes as a theme during May. If you do that too, why not make up a batch of these chocolate mice as a fun surprise treat for your students. After their snack teach them the nursery rhymes Hickory Dickory Dock and Three Blind Mice! This treat is also fun for Halloween, just call them chocolate rats, and make them out of white chocolate. (Eek!)
- 1 bag of Hershey chocolate kisses
- 2 jars of Marishino cherries with stems ON.
- paper towel
- frosting in a tube (for eyes).
- waxed paper
- cookie sheet
- microwave-safe bowl
- 1 tbs. Crisco
- 2 cups Nestles milk chocolate morsels
- Ears: Cocoa puff cereal, Wheat nuts, (You could also use Rice Krispies or slivered almonds.)
- Drain juice from the cherries and rinse cherries.
- Lay on paper towel to dry completely.
- Lay a sheet of waxed paper on a cookie sheet.
- Spill some cereal/wheat nuts on a paper plate so that everything is handy for you to use.
- Unwrap as many kisses as you want to have mice heads for.
- Melt chocolate morsels and Crisco in bowl in the microwave.
- Hold on to the stem of the cherry and dip into the melted chocolate 2-3 times.
- Press on a Hershey kiss to the front of the cherry.
- Lay the mouse on the waxed paper.
- Press 2 ears between the head and cherry for the ears. I used Cocoa puff cereal in the left picture, and wheat nuts on the right. The wheat nuts gave the candy a salty crunchy taste.
- Because the melted chocolate will start to harden in the bowl, it's nice to have a helper to put the ears on, while you continue to dip cherries. The helper could also press on the heads.
- Continue 'til you have made as many mice as you want.
- Let harden and then squirt some colored frosting onto a paper plate and apply dots for eyes. I had yellow handy, but pink or red would look cute too.
Zingy Spring Tropical Punch for Mom:
I wanted to make a pretty looking punch that children would have fun blending together to make their mommies as a special drink to "toast" all they do. I experimented with my family for Easter and they loved it. The concoction made a pretty salmon color. Put all of the liquids in the refrigerator to get cold, and then on Mother's day spill into a punch bowl, add your ice ring and sprinkle your pansies on the top. You can freeze the leftovers and make slushies.
- 1 liter Rudy-Red Squirt
- 1 carton of real lemonade
- 1 carton of pineapple juice
- 1 carton strawberry-papaya juice
- 1 bottle sparkling white grape juice
- 1 jar marishino cherries without stems
- 10 strawberries sliced up.
- 1 metal cake ring with hole in the center (for ice ring)
- real pansies
- punch bowl
- Cut the stems off the pansies. (Pansie flowers are edible!)
- Wash them and dip face down into a plate of sugar. Set aside to dry.
- Spill liquids into a punch bowl and stir.
- Gently add the ice ring and sprinkle in the pansies in and around it so they float face-up on top.
- Make ice ring 1 to 2 days before.
- Pour in the bottle of cherry juice, add the cherries and strawberry slices. (You could also add some pineapple tidbits if you wanted to.)
- Add any of the above juices to fill up the rest of the ring and then put in the freezer.
Flower Box Cookies: I was allergic to wheat as a child. Wafer cookies were the first cookie my mom let my twin sister and I try that we weren't allergic to and they have been a favorite ever since. I could eat 1/2 the package!
I wanted to dream up a special treat little ones would have fun making for their moms that would involve some sort of flower. Originally I thought of using real flowers like violets, as they are edible, and then dusting them with sugar.
I was still wracking my brain going up and down the isles when I went grocery shopping for the ingredients for the recipes on this page, when I came across Honey Comb cereal; thus the Flower Box Cookies were born.
They are a mini-mouthful of the "dirt cake" from April, so I know you'll enjoy the added crunch of the wafers! Don't they look cute? One is definitely satisfying.
- 1 package vanilla wafer cookies
- 1 can of chocolate pudding
- 1 box of cereal
- 1 package of Oreo cookies
- 1 can of vanilla frosting
- green & orange sprinkles
- tube of yellow frosting
- paper plate
- waxed paper
- cookie sheet
- plastic knife
- Lay waxed paper on cookie sheet.
- Make garden box by putting vanilla frosting on the edges of one vanilla wafer and pressing a wafer on either side.
- Cut another wafer in half and put one 1/2 on each end.
- Lay the cookie box on the cookie sheet that's been covered with waxed paper.
- Fill with a teaspoon of chocolate pudding.
- Crush up an Oreo cookie.
- Spoon it into the cookie box.
- Spill some cereal onto a paper plate and choose 2 small flowers and one large one.
- Put a dollop of frosting on the back of each one.
- Place the large flower in the middle and the two smaller ones on either side.
- Squirt some yellow frosting onto the paper plate. Use a toothpick and put a dot in the center of each flower.
- Spill out some colored Sprinkles. Insert an orange "stamen" into the center of each yellow circle.
- Sprinkle some green "grass" sprinkles onto the Oreo "ground dirt".
- Make as many flower boxes as you want.
- Serve one to mom on her breakfast-in-bed tray, or have a tea party with her and serve these special cookies with a cup of tea.
Making Dirt Cake:
April Showers Bring…..Mud!
- A fun thing to make during spring time is Dirt Cake! A favorite with my own children, this makes a great Girl or Boy Scout snack. My sons Jason and Steven are both Eagle Scouts.
- Line terra cotta pots with Saran wrap and put layers of dirt cake inside. Stick Gummi worms around the top and then stick a realistic-looking red silk geranium in the pot. You not only have your table decorations but the snack as well!
- When someone asks: “Where’s the snack?” You can reply: “It’s on the tables. We’re eating dirt tonight!” Have a helper scoop out their dessert onto a small paper plate and then plop a worm in the middle. Kids gobble it up with a plastic spoon.
- When I make it with my Y5’s I use clear plastic cups so that they can see the layers.
- This recipe will make enough to fill 25 - 9 0z. clear plastic Solo cups ½ full.
- You don’t want to eat more than that because it’s a sweet treat! Enjoy!
- A large plastic bowl + another bowl or empty ice cream bucket to dump “dirt” in as it is made.
- Masher. (This can be the big wooden kind or a metal potato masher)
- 2-3 packages of Double-Stuff Oreo Cookies. I like to have that extra package to allow for spillage + sometimes parents come to help and bring siblings.
- If I have leftovers, I make extra cups for the principal, secretaries and librarian and include a little thank you note for all they do. They enjoy this snack as much as the children.
- 25 - 9 0z CLEAR plastic cups (Solo makes them)
- 4 cans of ready-made chocolate pudding. (If you can find dark and light pudding that would be awesome to show the various shades in your layers. You need 2 cans of each.)
- 25 spoons
- I serve it for snack so the beverage I have is a gallon of white milk.
- If your students are chocolate milk lovers you can substitute chocolate milk and call it mud puddle drink, but I find that drinking chocolate milk is a bit much with the sweetness of the snack.
- I ask for a gallon because this is a “thirsty snack” and my students sometimes drink 3 small Dixie cups of milk when they eat dirt cake. Since this is a special snack and milk is healthy for them I allow refills.
- Small Dixie cups for the milk
- 24 Gummi worms.
I have a different child that provides snack each day so I ask that mom if she can bring milk for the beverage and one package of cookies.
During Open House in the summer parents sign up to volunteer to be called upon to bring in items for special events.
I send a note home explaining Dirt Cake and ask these parents to provide the other items. I ask a week in advance so they have plenty of time to get the things in before Dirt Cake Day.
- I call 6 students up at a time to watch and participate. They mash up 2 cookies at a time with the masher in the bowl.
- Head’s Up: Tell them to go slow and keep the cookies inside the bowl. Things tend to fly if they get a bit wild mashing.
- You want them to mash them up, but not too fine, so you still have chunks., but look like the consistency of dirt.
- I empty the bowl into an ice cream bucket as each child mashes their cookies so things don’t fly out of the bowl. The chunks of cookies look just like topsoil.
- When all of the cookies have been crushed, you are ready to begin layering the cups.
- You can do this or you can call your students up to do this.
- Put a layer of dirt in the bottom.
- Then spoon in a layer of chocolate pudding.
- Then another layer of dirt.
- Then a layer of pudding. ( Alternate light and dark chocolate pudding if it was available.)
- You will have just enough dirt left to sprinkle some on each of the cups.
- Stick a Gummie worm in the middle and tuck in a spoon.
- Children take their cups to their desk along with a napkin!
- I’m not sure how, but quite a few get chocolate on their faces.
- I pour the milk and bring it to them while they chomp away. Yum Yum!
Click on the link for my dirt cake letter home.
Bunny Head Cupcakes:
Hop on down to the grocery store and buy a box of white cake mix and follow the directions to make cupcakes. Get a can of white frosting and a package of white coconut. After you have frosted the cupcakes have your child sprinkle on the coconut. This will be the bunnies fur. Cut a black jelly bean in half for the eyes, push in a pink jelly bean for the nose, cut a thin piece of black licorice into 6 small pieces for 3 whiskers on each side, cut a red jelly bean in half for his mouth.
We painted tiny Popsicle sticks white and inserted those for the bunny ears and then re-used them each year, but if you want your entire cup cake edible you could snip off the side tips of wafer cookies, frost the tops and gently insert them, or for very short ears tuck in two white Good 'n Plenty pieces.
RAINBOW Play Dough
This recipe helps teach children that primary colors make secondary colors. I feel “seeing is really believing.” This is a fun way for students to do that. During April we’re reviewing all of the secondary colors. Knowing our colors is a report card standard. We study rainbows in March and continue that study through April so this “experiment” also relates to that bit of science.
- 1 cup cornstarch
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 4 cups of water
- Red, yellow, and blue food coloring
- 1 medium sauce pan
- 1 mixing spoon
- Sandwich-size Ziploc Baggies
- Mix cornstarch, water and sugar in saucepan until thick.
- Remove from heat and wait for it to cool
- Put the mixture into the Baggies.
- Add one drop of each of the primary colors
- Have children gently squish the Baggies to make the different colors
You can also use your regular Play dough recipe. Tell your students to keep the bags closed so that they don’t get the food coloring on their hands. If you add a few drops of alcohol this is supposed to keep the dye transfer down.
Our rainbow song: To the tune of All Around the Mulberry Bush: There’s red and orange and yellow-green and blue and purple too! Look I made a rainbow!
We review that red + yellow makes orange; yellow + blue makes green and that blue + red makes purple. I write these out as equations (red + yellow = orange) on our white board and follow this up with a change bag magic trick using colored scarves which go in and then I produce the new colored scarf! They LOVE it! Check out the magic videos by clicking on the link. The color trick is the 8th one down.
We study storms during April. I have a hand-held "tornado maker" that I bought at a science store. I also bought the gizmo that you attach to two plastic pop bottles so that you can invert the bottles, twirl and swirl and make a tornado.
With a little bit of experimenting, I've discovered that you can make a pretty good tornado of your own. You can do this as a science-art extension with your students/children and have everyone bring in a clean clear 16 oz plastic soda bottle with a cap. The rounder the botter the better the tornado will work. Here's how to make one:
- A 16 oz clean clear soda bottle for each student. Make sure that it has a cap.
- CLEAR liquid dish washing soap.
- Silver glitter
- Blue food coloring.
- My city panorama border
- Glue stick
- Elmer's glue
- Black permanent marker
- Write students' names on the bottom of their bottles with a black permanent marker.
- Fill up the students' bottles with water 'til they are almost to the top.
- Leave about 3-4 inches not filled.
- And 2-3 drops of clear liquid dish soap to each bottle.
- Add one teaspoon of silver glitter to each bottle.
- Put Elmer's glue on the cap's threads and screw it to the top of the bottle so that it will be glued shut.
- Students rub a layer of glue with their glue stick on the bottom of their city skyline and then wrap it around the bottom of their bottle. (You can omit this part if you want.)
- Students should hold their bottles by the neck and turn them upside down. Instruct them to rotate their wrist a few times in a CLOCKWISE motion.
- When they stop rotating (twirling) a tiny tornado should form inside the bottle!
Click on the link to view/print a city skyline strip to make with your soda bottle tornado. I've made two different kinds for your students to choose from. They'll need 1 1/2 strips to go entirely around their bottle.
- Bag of twisted pretzels
- Jar of cheddar cheese spread
- Jar of peanut butter
- Jar of cream cheese
- Stalk of celery
- Sunflower seeds
- Raisins and/or craisins or dried apricots
- Thin pretzel sticks
- Wax paper
- Plastic knives
- Paper towel
- Pitted black olives.
- Cut celery into 3 inch sticks and wash well.
- Dry celery on a paper towel.
- Using a plastic knife have child fill celery to overflowing with their choice of peanut butter, cream cheese or cheddar cheese.
- It's great to make an assortment of butterflies, because they will all taste and look different.
- Have them gently squish the celery (thorax) face down on top of the middle of the pretzel (butterfly wings).
- Using a dollop of whatever "glue" (peanut butter, cream cheese, cheddar cheese) that they want they can decorate their butterflies with raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, or cut up pieces of apricots.
- Cut an olive in half. Add some filling to use as "glue" and put the olive (butterfly "head") on top of the celery end.
- Use two sunflower seeds dabbed in cream cheese for eyes.
- Carefully insert two thin pretzel sticks in the head of the butterfly for antennae.
- As children finish making the butterflies they can lay them on wax paper.
- These are so yummy they are hard not to eat as you make them. Snitching the ingredients is also delicious.