Friday, September 14, 2012

Preschool Kitchen Counter: Baking Cookies

My three year old loves to get messy. If you've had a preschooler, I'm sure s/he may well be able to relate. As long as it can be cleaned up I encourage him getting down and dirty when he plays. Splashing in puddles, pounding play dough, or getting coated with flour in the kitchen. All very important parts of childhood! Do you let your child run through puddles and play with playdough?

So he has his own apron (after all, messy has its limits, right?!). Whenever my husband or I start cooking in the kitchen he loves to run, grab his apron, slip it over his head, and pull up a stool declaring "I want to help". The apron I found at Williams-Sonoma one day. Of course I let him choose. Thought for sure he'd go for orange or yellow as he tends to prefer those colors. It's red. A red apron with cars on it. Oh, now the red makes more sense. 

A Learning With Books activity we did as part of Flowering Baby age 3 (and I think it was in the Sonlight P3/4 manual too, but would have to check) was read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie and bake cookies. We whipped up this recipe: It was pretty tasty. Mixing by hand may be a bit more work, but worth it when involving a little one. 

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and then the wet ingredients separately. Measuring practice is great number practice. There's also fine motor skills practice as you learn to pour into containers.

Then make a well in the center of the dry ingredients. Pour in the wet ingredients.
Time to mix!

And mix some more. Switching to a wood spoon may be useful here. A good skill to learn: keeping all the flour (or most) in the bowl! Slowly, T, slowly incorporate the flower from the edges into the liquid in the middle (yes, I used the word incorporate with a 3 year old. They like big words. Just ask Beatrix Potter).
The best part! Also the most challenging. How to add all those delicious chocolate chips without them all mysteriously disappearing in a preschooler's mouth before they can be mixed?
Making balls of dough and dropping them on a lined (Doughmakers!) cookie sheet is so messily fun. Are we still sure that adding the chips is the best part?

I ask again, is adding the chips the best part? Yum!

Does your child actively help you when you bake cookies?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: fractions for 3 year olds

Just as a three-year-old can be introduced to ordinal position (first, second) a three-year-old can be introduced to basic fractions.

Working on half. Two parts to a whole. Supplies: magazine or catalog pictures cut in half.