Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Fun Day Sunday!

YAY! It's time to start gathering our materials for another fun weekend learning activity for you and your little one to do together!

This week, we'll be reading an old favorite:

I just can't say enough good things about P.D. Eastman's book Are You My Mother? ! The story of the frantic lost baby bird who is returned to his nest by the big "SNORT" just in time to meet his mom never fails to draw the little ones in. Heck, that story draws ME in! It's a classic and it should be readily available at your public library.

However, in case it's checked out, here's P.D.'s backup plan:

The illustrations may be dated, but both of these stories are just excellent! If you can't find locate one of these classics, choose any fiction (or nonfiction!) bird-themed book that seems interesting.

Step One is always the same: find a comfy place to snuggle up with your little one on your lap, so he/she can see both the pictures and the words as you read. Read the book, stopping at key places and asking your easy comprehension question, "Oooooh, what do you think is going to happen NEXT?!" You probably remember that this simple question encourages your child to make predictions, which is an important comprehension strategy. Step One always ends with you and your child discussing the book...what's your child's favorite part AND WHY, or how would the story have been different if the main character had been a different animal (don't be afraid to introduce story vocabulary, such as 'character') or how could the story have ended differently...or even take turns with your little one, retelling the events in the story in order.

Step Two is always something active, like an art activity or a cooking activity. In this case, it's a cooking activity. This week, we are making
Bird's Nest Cookies!
You may be familiar with them...some people call them 'Haystacks'. They are usually made with a combination of chocolate and butterscotch chips, which is a great recipe, but pretty sweet. For my (somewhat healthier) version, you will need:

1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of chocolate chips, approximately 1/3 cup chow mein noodles and a few jellybeans (which were somehow left out of the picture.) I used speckled jellybeans that kind of look like eggs.

Zap the peanut butter and chocolate chips in a bowl in the microwave to melt the chips. Zap one minute at a time and stir, because the chips tend to hold their shape and if you're waiting for them to look melted, they will taste burnt. When the mixture is combined, stir in the chow mein noodles and drop onto wax paper on top of a cookie sheet. Use a spoon to make a little depression and press a couple of jellybeans into it. Put the cookie sheet with the cookies into the refrigerator till they cool and harden up.

This recipe made the three cookies pictured below; of course, you can double (or triple or quadruple, LOL) the recipe. If peanuts present an allergy issue or if peanut butter is just not going to work for you, you can make these cookies using the traditional recipe of equal parts butterscotch chips and chocolate chips. Or you can even just use all chocolate chips.

Allow your child to do as much of the cooking as he/she him or her with the measuring, stirring, etc, but definitely let him/her push in those jellybeans. Be aware that whether you use my recipe or the traditional one, these cookies MELT RAPIDLY WHEN CLUTCHED IN HOT LITTLE HANDS. This is definitely a snack to be enjoyed at a table with plenty of napkins/wet paper towels/wipes at the ready!

Here are the 'recipe' cards I made. Be kind about the picture on card #2. As usual, email me if you'd like a pdf of the cards.

I hope you and your child enjoy your UNPLUGGED fun bird-y activity! Check back each week for our Fun Day Sunday activity!

No comments:

Post a Comment