Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots - The Lorax Snack

We are looking forward to seeing The Lorax soon.  I hope it's good, and I really hope it stays true to the book.  I LOVE that Danny Devito does the voice of the Lorax - how perfect!!!!

We have been reading The Lorax on the iPad this week because we couldn't get our hands on the book.  Honestly, we are loving the convenience of having the book on the iPad!!!

To make our book themed snack, I used:

  • watermelon sherbet
  • orange sherbet
  • chocolate wafer cookies, and
  • Teddy Grahams
I placed one scoop of each flavor of sherbet on a plate and made swirls in the ice cream using a fork.  The wafer cookies became trunks, and the Teddy Grahams are the obvious choice for the Brown Bar-ba-loots!

Do you plan on seeing the movie?  I read Teacher Tom's concerns about the movie today, and he really made me think; he has many valid points!  Little Wonders' Days posted a great craft and educational activity to go along with the book/movie.  Finally, click here for directions on how to make your own Lorax mustache.

Linking to:  Happy Birthday Author, Dr.Seuss Linky Party, and Wow Me Wednesday

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cat in the Hat Snack Caprese Style

This was delicious.  It is slices of mozzarella and tomato layered to look like the famous Dr. Seuss hat.  I drizzled a little balsamic vinaigrette on the plate and put some basil on the side.

Linking to:  Happy Birthday Author

Shamrock Cupcakes

It's super easy to make a cute shamrock design to top your cupcakes or cookies.  Three green m&m candies and a tiny green frosting stem make a simple shamrock.  You can use a tiny bit of frosting to stick the candies on top of cookies without frosting the whole cookie.

Check out St. Patrick's Day Countdown by Salina Yoon.  This rhyming book is a good introduction  to St. Patrick's Day for the youngest leprechauns in your house.  I recommend this book for toddlers and preschoolers.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Rainbow Toast

The sun was shining bright today and then it started to rain.  We looked for rainbows, but could not find any, so we made our own.

I poured a tiny bit of milk into three small bowls and added food coloring to make one bowl each of red milk, yellow milk, and blue milk.

The kids used new paint brushes to paint rainbows on their bread.  The yellow mixed with red to make orange, the blue mixed with the yellow to make green, and they painted a little red over the blue to make purple.

I toasted the bread and added a little butter and cinnamon sugar for flavor.

We read A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman about a boy who imagines what it would be like to have his own rainbow.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cat in the Hat Snack

Dr. Seuss makes regular appearances in our bedtime story hour.  My kids enjoy listening to me read his books and I have found the books to be great easy readers.  R (age 5) is currently reading The Cat in the Hat.  That, coupled with the fact that we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd, made me realize that I just had to put together a Seuss-worthy snack.

It doesn't get much simpler.

  • Place a Nilla wafer on a plate
  • alternate layers of whipped cream and slices of strawberries
  • Enjoy!

  • We are very excited about the opening of the movie, The Lorax.  We'll have to think of some special treats for that too!

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Sun Bread

    I love Elisa Kleven.  For us, it started with The Paper Princess series and because we enjoyed those books so much, we borrowed everything we could find by her from the library.  We have enjoyed every single book!

    Sun Bread begins on a cold and dreary day.  Everyone misses the sun, and the baker decides to bake a sun bread.  As the bread bakes, everyone (including the sun) comes out to share in its goodness.  C and R both loved reading this book.  The illustrations are colorful and they enjoyed finding some of the characters from other Elisa Kleven books.  At the end of the book, there is a recipe for sun bread.  This is the first time I have ever made bread from scratch without using a bread machine.  Click here for the sun bread recipe posted on Elisa Kleven's website.  The recipe is easy, and C and R enjoyed making and eating the bread.

    C and R mixed all of the ingredients.  We had to knead the dough for eight minutes and C did it the entire time!  He really enjoyed kneading.

    The dough had to rise for an hour.  Then we shaped it to look like a sun.  C and R enjoyed using their fingers to make the eyes and mouth, and they really liked forming the sun's corona.  To do this we made long snakes of dough, curled them into snail shapes and attached them to the sun.

    Once the sun was formed, we let it rise for another hour and then baked it in the oven for twenty minutes.

    There is nothing tastier than warm bread right out of the oven, especially when it is smothered in homemade butter also made by C and R.

    The book is fantastic and so is the bread recipe.  I recommend both!

    This was originally posted on my other blog, Superheroes and Princesses.  I am slowly moving some of my posts over here to share with everyone.

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Shamrock Snack

    This was originally posted on my other blog, Superheroes and Princesses.  I made these last year and plan on making them again this year as a special St. Patrick's Day snack.  To make them, I used:

    • yogurt covered pretzels,
    • green Wilton candy melts,
    • green icing (missing from the picture - oops!), and
    • green decorating sugar

    First, I melted the candy melts and used the melted green candy to attach the pretzels to form shamrocks.

    Then, I outlined the shamrock shapes with green icing and sprinkled on the decorating sugar.

    Our favorite St. Patrick's Day book is The Night Before St. Patrick's Day by Natasha Wing.  It's a fun book about a brother and sister making leprechaun traps to catch a leprechaun.  Since first reading this book a few years ago, we have made our own leprechaun traps each year.  We are already brainstorming for new and improved traps; maybe this will be our lucky year!

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Valentine Snack Mix

    I love to throw together snack mixes, and I especially love a sweet and salty mix.  I know my kids will pick out the things they like, but I like a handful of everything mixed together.

    This snack mix is a combination of:

    1 cup Quaker Whole Hearts cereal (just found this at Target last week - yummy and perfect for Valentine's Day )
    1 cup Annie's Bunny Graham crackers
    1 cup Valentine m&m candies
    1 cup dried cranberries
    1 cup Snyder's Butter Snap pretzels

    In The Biggest Valentine Ever by Steven Kroll, Clayton and Desmond work together to make a Valentine for their teacher, but they end up arguing about it and decide to work alone.  After trying to make their own Valentines, they decide to work together again to make the biggest Valentine ever.  This book has a nice message for preschoolers and early elementary aged children.

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    Pretzel Rolo Valentine Treats

    We make these little treats for just about every holiday; it's so easy to make them holiday specific by changing the colors of the m&m candies.

    I used Snyder's Butter Snaps square pretzels, Rolo candies, and Valentine m&m candies.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the square pretzels on a baking sheet, place one Rolo on each pretzel, and put them in the oven for approximately two minutes (when the Rolo candies are soft and squishy).  Remove from the oven and immediately place one m&m candy on each Rolo.

    The Story of Valentine's Day by Nancy J. Skarmeas explains why we celebrate Valentine's Day.  We own this book and read it every year.  It's perfect for children of all ages.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Spoonfuls of Sugary Love

    I saw these sweet spoon treats in Family Fun magazine and figured they would be a nice after school treat for C and R.

    To make them, I began by melting white chocolate according to the package directions.  Then I spooned the melted chocolate into a resealable bag, snipped the corner, and piped it onto the spoons.  You could just spoon it on, but piping made the whole process and the final result a lot neater.  I added Valentine sprinkles and let it harden.

    They were perfectly delicious stirred into hot cocoa.

    We LOVE Curious George, absolutely adore him.  We love all of the books, the television show, the movie, all of it!  Happy Valentine's Day, Curious George! by N. Di Angelo is one of our favorite Valentine's Day books.  If you think George's mischief is funny, then you will enjoy this book too.

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Molasses Flood

    Molasses Flood by Blair Lent takes place on a warm January day in Boston.  It is so warm that a huge molasses storage tank explodes, flooding the streets and bumping the houses around.  Young Charley Owen Muldoon actually rides his house like a boat from one part of the city to another.  We all enjoyed this book - the story is amusing and the illustrations are sweet and brown (just like molasses).

    Believe it or not, this book is loosely based on a real event.  In 1919, a molasses tank did explode and flood a small part of the Boston waterfront.  Here is the information I found on Wikipedia:  The Boston Molasses Disaster, also known as the Great Molasses Flood and the Great Boston Molasses Tragedy, occurred on January 15, 1919, in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts in the United States. A large molasses storage tank burst, and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets at an estimated 35 mph (56 km/h), killing 21 and injuring 150. The event has entered local folklore, and residents claim that on hot summer days, the area still smells of molasses.

    Lent exaggerated this event and created his own tall tale.  

    The best treat to go along with this book is our favorite recipe for molasses cookies:

    3/4 cup butter softened
    1/2 cup white sugar plus more for rolling cookies in before baking
    1/2 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 egg
    2 cups all purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp ground cinnamon
    1/2 tsp ground cloves
    1/2 tsp ground ginger

    Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl. Beat in molasses and egg.
    Combine dry ingredients; add gradually to creamed mixture.
    Chill for 1 hour or until firm.
    Shape into 1 inch balls. Roll the balls in sugar.

    Place balls on cookie sheet and keep in ball form for best results.
    Bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

    Cool on wire rack.

    We love these cookies; they are a regular treat in our house.

    Friday, February 3, 2012

    Fluffernutter Footballs

    We are all excited about the Super Bowl this weekend.  Go Pats!  Honestly, I am not really a football fan, but I still want the Patriots to win, and I always enjoy the commercials.

    Most of the football snacks I have seen are not appealing to my little ones, but they LOVE peanut butter and fluff, and the colors work!

    I used a football cookie cutter, but it's easy enough to freehand a football shape.

    Spread peanut butter on your football shape.  Then add a tablespoon of Fluff to a Ziplock bag, seal the bag, and snip off a corner (tiny snips allow for more controlled piping).

    Pipe lines on your football.

    I piped those lines while holding the baby who was trying to grab the Fluff bag
    out of my hand the whole time, so they are a  little messy!


    My Football Book by Gail Gibbons is the perfect book for a child who wants to learn about the game.  I learned a lot from this book!

    Thursday, February 2, 2012

    Valentine's Day Breakfast

    This is a very easy breakfast that still manages to wow the kids.

    Begin by lightly buttering both sides of a piece of bread.  Then use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut a heart out of the middle of the bread (keep that heart piece though!).

    Place the bread (both pieces) in a skillet, and crack an egg into the heart shaped hole.  Add a little salt and pepper if you like.

    Once the egg is firm, flip the bread/egg over and cook until the egg is however you like to eat it.  Don't forget to flip the heart bread too.  

    Spread strawberry jelly on the heart.  YUM!

    Check out the heart shaped eggs made with a mold over at Little Wonders' Days too!

    Enjoy while reading Queen of Hearts by Mary Engelbreit.  Ann Estelle makes the most beautiful box to hold her Valentines, but she spends so much time on the box that she forgets to make Valentines for her classmates.  Her creative solution to this problem is very sweet and heartfelt.

    Wednesday, February 1, 2012

    All You Need for a Snowman

    is mashed potatoes, green beans (2 whole and one sliced for eyes and buttons), and a piece of carrot!

    Who said it's bad to play with your food?

    All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle is about a group of children coming together to build snowmen.  We are particularly fond of the very large snowman that requires the reader to turn the book sideways to view it properly.  The watercolor illustrations are perfect for creating the snowy scenes and the simple text is great for young children.