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Saturday, February 11, 2012

Need some quick hearts? Easy Valentine's Decorations

Need a bunch of Valentine's decorations? These pipe cleaner hearts are about 5 seconds to make...

Take a pipe cleaner and fold it in half.

Twist the ends together carefully and fold the twist into itself toward the folded edge.

If needed, adjust to get that perfect heart shape. This is one my four year old made, so it's a fun craft even for little ones!

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Measuring and estimating with cookie dough - YUM!

For those of us who homeschool or want to supplement our child's learning, the idea of adding one more thing to our already busy family life can seem daunting. In order to maximize our learning and make the best use of our time, I try and integrate learning into our daily activities as much as possible. Opportunities to introduce new concepts and practice problem solving are everywhere!

Today we were baking rainbow sparkle cookies (otherwise known as my fake out snickerdoodles) and took the time to discuss how to divide the cookie dough evenly, so that all the cookies would cook correctly. Sweetpea is still a bit young to fully grasp fractions, but this was a good introduction. We cut the chilled dough in half, then half again. We counted how many dough balls we had. Everything went into half again, more counting...and so on until we had the sized dough balls that we wanted.

After we started rolling dough balls and covering them with colored sugar and cinnamon we talked about how the balls had to be two inches apart. How do we estimate two inches, and what does that look like anyway? We got out a ruler and thought about it a bit. We decided to measure Sweetpea's fingers, to see how many together made two inches. It turned out we needed three fingers between cookie balls.

Our cookies came out colorful and evenly spaced. Sweetpea is obsessed with estimating now, and the idea of how big something is. She thinks it is hilarious that a foot used to be determined by the size of the kings actual foot.

What have you been learning lately? Do you teach in the kitchen?

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