Welcome to Paula's Preschool and Kindergarten! My class blog is the place I share information about some of the fun learning activities we are doing at school. I hope to provide parents with insight into what we are doing, and why, and to share ideas with other early childhood educators. Please don't use the photos or text of this blog without permission, but please do use any ideas you find useful. Thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Mmmm-mmmm Muffins! A Cooking Story

If you've visited this blog before, or if your child has been to my preschool, you probably already know that I think it is important to cook with children.  Cooking is so much more than a necessary chore!  Talking about ingredients and recipes, developing vocabulary, practicing measurement skills and counting, participating in the making of food and developing an appreciation for the effort and products of cooking... this is a terrific activity to involve your kiddos in!

This week we're focusing on the letter Mm, so we have to make muffins!  As usual, we started with a literacy connection, by reading If You Give A Moose A Muffin, by Laura Numeroff.  We also read a class book from a previous year, a variation on The Muffin Man nursery rhyme that the children illustrated.  We found pages created by some of our older siblings, from when they were little!  The children love having that family connection in our classroom, and sometimes kiss the pages their siblings made.

Then of course, we washed hands and started cooking!  I called the children 4 at a time, and each child put in an ingredient, and helped to stir.

 When it was time to add spices, we smelled each one first... mmmm... they said the spices smelled like pumpkin.  I think perhaps what they mean is, the spices smell like my pumpkin muffins, which they've enjoyed many times before!  If you'd like to make our yummy muffins, I have the recipe posted on my preschool website, at paulaspreschoolandkindergarten.webs.com.
 The kiddos don't always understand smelling. When I suggest smelling something, they usually blow out instead.  (Why is it that when we want them to blow their noses, they tend to sniff, but blow in the spice jar to "smell"?!).  To solve that problem, I had them "blow pretend bubbles onto their tummy", then slipped the spice under their nose as they breathed in afterwards.
 Look at all the different colors in our bowl!  Orange pumpkin, light brown flax and ginger, dark nutmeg, and lighter cloves and cinnamon. 
 It is important that I remind the children to stir slowly each time we cook, because they all want to go fast, which sloshes out of our very full bowl!  Each time, I tell them this story:

When I was a little girl, my mother could mix very fast, and I would watch her, and think that I would never be able to do it like that!  She told me that when I grew up, I would be able to, that I just needed lots of practice, like she had when she was little.   Still, her hands could do a really good job, and mine didn't work like that.  Now that I am grown, and have practiced so many times, I'm the mommy helping the children to cook, and telling them that one day their hands will be big, and fast, and clever.  One day, a long time from now, they will be the mommies and daddies, and it will be their job to teach their children how to cook.
 My mother just happens to be visiting us.  When we were all done, I caught her having a look at the muffin mix, and doing one more little stir.
What family traditions and skills and stories are meaningful to you?  What memories do you want your children to pass on?

In this holiday season, I hope you'll make time to cook up some memories with your children!  Enjoy!

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