Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Perfect Pumpkin Cookies

First, I gave the girls their own "tasting plate" of the ingredients we would be using to bake our cookies. 

Kelsey drew the first smiley face (chocolate chips) but quickly tired so I made the rest of the circles and she added the facial features to express if she liked (all but 2) or disliked (vanilla & cinnamon) the taste of the ingredients. 

I drew recipe cards and wrote out each ingredient needed to make Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies (recipe from our friend Anita Grafe, must give credit where credit is due).

1 1/2 c softened butter, 2 c brown sugar, 1 c sugar (cream with hand mixer or in blender)
Add a 15 ounce can pumpkin which is almost 2 cups, so i just add 2 cups since i buy a GIANT can and couldnt figure out exact ounces, 1 egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla. (mixer) In a very large bowl (we just used our biggest cooking pot for more space) 4 c flour, 2 cup oats, 2 teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon salt (stir well) Add the creamed mixture to the bowl of dry mixture. Mix. Add in 2 c chocolate chips. BAKE 350 for 12 minutes (light brown). Cool for about a minute on baking sheet then transfer to rack. This batch made about 100 DELICIOUS cookies.
The girls read the recipe cards, counted, and scooped ingredients with little assistance.

The girls worked together to bake...As supervisor I reminded them that they got to try all the ingredients on their tasting plates and they should try to wait until we were done, instead of sticking their fingers in the batter & to put the cookies in and out of the oven.

Yummy or Yucky Yogurt?

 The kids picked yogurt flavors on a trip to Aldi. (Boo, they didn't want to taste Greek.)
 Kelsey surprised herself & liked the cherry.  Neither of them liked whipped chocolate mousse, nor did I. (The flavor name is so deceiving!)
Adding smile & frown stickers to the flavor list.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gooooooooey Gooooop

Of all the years doing this activity with my students, this was the first time I did this with my own kids.  I think it was due to fearful flashbacks of single-handedly cleaning up after a classroom of toddlers...even after lining the sensory table with trashbags! That being said, I HIGHLY suggest doing this outdoors with a nearby water source!  You will need cornstarch, water, and a container (or two or three or four...). Optional items include food coloring, measuring scoops, plastic frogs/bathtub toys, paintbrushes. Clean-up: garden hose.
Combine a ratio 1:2 of water:cornstarch.  Add color.  Explore.

Zig-zag Zebras

Kelsey must be hearing all the hub bub of school going on these days because every day she asks for schoolwork.  I was never one for worksheets but she absolutely LOVES them.  Sydney, too, has been asking for homework. (How endearing!)  For a while now, I've been submitting teaching ideas to The Mailbox and have been lucky enough to receive $20 towards their catalog per each accepted idea...recently I decided to use $80 of my credits to get resource activity books. (Of course, they're loaded with worksheets)  So, long story...short...I traced the zebra and instead of the suggested "drawing the letter z with black crayons" I decided to have Kelsey pick 2 colors to paint with Q-tips.
Have you ever seen a zebra with orange and pink Z-stripes?
 She then made her own picture.  She said, "I want to make an illustration."


After our cheese taste test, we moved on to milk...
 The milk set-up
 Our milk list...yes, ice cream IS a milk!   ; )
 Kelsey loves her milk, too.  She tasted the almond milks and drank ALL of the 1% and 2% milk (Gotta love the tiny Tupperware kiddie "shot glasses").  They both scarfed down the ice cream (My kids may not look like me but they sure do eat like me!)

Pass Some Cheese, Please!

 Prepare a plate of all the cheeses in the fridge (oh extra sharp cheddar, how I miss thee... avoiding it b/c of my high cholestrol and it's too tempting)!
 List all of the cheeses, like so.
 Lovin' Monterey Jack
 Sydney does NOT like goat cheese!
 Washing it down with some apple juice.
 What a cheese ball!
Put smile stickers next to the cheese if you like it and a frown if you don't (Kelsey loves all cheeses).  Put a star sticker next to your favorite cheese.  *I was surprised that Kelsey chose mozzerella.  Since we replaced Cheddar with Monterey Jack, that's all she asks for.  Although she keeps forgetting what it's called and has been calling it "Breinigsville Cheese" & "Barnes & Noble Cheese?" (lol)

Super Sticky Shapes

 I cut out various shapes and colors from our sheets of sticky-backed foam.
 Sydney works her fine motor skills...peeling all the stickers on her own!  Such persistence!

 Taking some time for silliness!
 Syd's #1
 Syd's #2
Kelsey's "Daddy"
*I personally never thought my husband looked so stunning ;)

A Colorful Nature Hunt

Hurricane Irene swept through quickly and thankfully we only lost power for 6.5 hours.  Although we had two days of extreme winds and rain, today was the most gorgreous of days. We went on two, one-hour walks.  The first turned into a "take away" nature color hunt.  I forgot the camera so we only took things that were on the ground.  (Next time we'll take some photos as we find things...the stroller basket was getting very full!)  When we made it back home, I set out white cardstock and the kids sorted the colors, picking out the items of the color I called out:

 Kelsey's FAVORITE find; she made me take a photo of her holding it!
 Sydney's TOP PICK...berries... she wouldnt let the cluster go, all day! (They're resting at the bottom of the staircase as she sleeps.)

The second walk was actually because Kelsey had misplaced a dramatic play spoon and insisted it was dropped on our walk.  We retraced our steps and still no such luck...
Thankfully this uprooted tree didn't land on our house but it did on TWO nearby houses... unreal!