This is my place for writing down ideas for teaching kids. You'll find things I have tried, things I am thinking about trying, and reviews of educational products. My own kids are young so most of the information is for preschool age children. I hope you find it useful.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Cookie Decorating

I like decorating cookies with thing-one and thing-two. We have done it a few times now and it has always been a good experience-- albeit a messy one. But making messes is good for kids. It means they are able to be carefree and creative without having to worry about getting a little dirty. Making sugar cookies is a fun and easily cleaned way to let them express themselves.

Here is my sugar cookie recipe-- I don't remember where we got it from, but it works fine so if you don't have one... Here you go.

1/2 cup butter
1cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp vanilla

Blend together cream and sugar until creamy. Blend in egg. Add dry ingredients and vanilla.

Roll out on lightly floured surface and cut to desired shapes

Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes on un-greased cookie sheet. (I generally cook it slightly less time than this. Watch them)

You can let your little cookie monsters help pour in the ingredients, stir, and help you cut out the shapes and then help decorate them. What they can do depends on their age and coordination, as well as how much mess you are willing to deal with. Just remember this is not about making something beautiful, or even appetizing. It's all about letting them help you and be creative.

I usually just buy my frosting from the store and then use a couple of drops of food coloring to make it fun for whatever holiday we're coming up on. If your kids can spread the frosting on that's great. If they can't you can always let them stick little candies on afterwards. Try green frosting and red candies on a Christmas tree shape, or orange on a circle and then a variety of candies to make jack-o-lantern faces. 

For St. Patrick's day we did green cookies with sprinkles. Thing-one piled the frosting about 2 inches high and had almost the same amount of sprinkles before she declared her cookie ready to be eaten. Thing-two was in a hurry to take bites out of all the cookies she could. I showed her how to spread the frosting and helped her to try it out along with shaking on some sprinkles. It was fun for all of us.

Also, I have never done this, but it would be a fun way to teach colors and shapes. just a thought. I'll have to try it out sometime.

Now go have some fun with your kids.

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