Wednesdays with Whitney
Summer is a wonderful time, but with it comes the “Summer Slide.” Learning slips and even basic knowledge takes a vacation. This is especially true with preschoolers and kindergartners who are just learning their letters, counting, and the like. Making alphabet cookies is a sweet way to keep learning in the home and make the best kind of craft: one you can eat!
To make the alphabet cookies, simply mix up your favorite recipe of sugar cookies with the little ones and finish them off with some alphabet cookie cutters! But don’t leave it at just that. There is so much learning that comes with baking these cookies, so make sure you cover all your bases!
Calculating amounts of ingredients is a great way to introduce fractions to even the youngest of children. Instead of using a 1 cup measuring cup, use two 1/2 cups or four ¼ cups. Or for an even trickier math problem, cut the recipe in half, or in fourths! For younger ones, simply focus on the counting – how many eggs do you need? How many cookies are on the cookie sheet?
Fine Motor Skills
Scooping out flour, pouring vanilla, and even dumping out sugar are all great practice for refining fine motor skills. Even the act of positioning the cookie cutters and moving the cookies from the pastry board to the cookie sheet are great practice for the little ones.
For the youngest of children, making alphabet cookies is great for letter recognition. Simply ask for the kids to find certain letters. For older children, spell out a word with the cookie cutters and have them try to read it. For even more advanced children, give them a mixture of alphabet cookie cutters and ask them to spell a word with the letters you gave them. Kids will also love spelling out their names in the cookies, so make sure you have enough cookie cutters to go around!
Reference: This project and photos are by Whitney Tang. Don’t forget to stop by next Wednesday for another fun project by Whitney. Whitney is also co-founder and editor of Nanny Magazine. Take her survey for nannies at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/BZYJVMB