Still Playing School: July 2011

Sorting Shapes

By Devany LeDrew | Labels: , 1 Comment

Sorting shapes came about naturally when I dug out some felt shapes made for a felt board.  I thought we could try to sort by shapes, since sorting by colors (with plastic links) was not so successful yet.  And it was a good way for me to refresh my memory about what shapes I had in this pile for seasonal and story telling activities later on.  For example, I need to remember we have a tree with removable fall leaves!

I identified certain shapes, like hearts, and we made piles or rows of each.  E also liked signing the shapes she knew, such as rabbits and birds.

Oh, a match!  These felt shapes are easy to make and great for many math activities (patterns, graphing, sorting).  I think we will be using them a lot as E gets older.

E loves stars!  She can say their name and she also "signs" by pointing to the ceiling, because we used to make stars on the ceiling in her Kindermusik class.  That is one of several signs she adapted or made up on her own.  So she was very excited to find all the stars in our pile.


E's age: 18 months
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Baking Zucchini Muffins (and Bread)

We have a very generous friend who gave us two gigantic zucchini from her garden this week (Thanks!).  I steamed one and pureed it to freeze into cubes to add to pasta sauces and other recipes for added veggies.  But with the second one, we baked!  This was E's first experience baking with Momma in the kitchen.  We used Smitten Kitchen's recipe.

Just like when I taught kindergarten, I tackled this by planning, thinking ahead to what I anticipated the kiddo(s) to do, and prepping!  I shredded the zucchini while E was eating lunch.  When she got up from her nap, we began.  I put all the supplies on the table within reach so I could be assisting, taking pictures, and measuring!

I whisked the eggs, but let her do some of her own mixing at the end.  We added sugar, vanilla, the shredded zucchini, and oil, but instead of using a cup of oil, we used 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup oil to make the recipe more guilt free!  I buy the HUGE applesauce jars with no sugar added and freeze portions so it was really easy to thaw a bit in the microwave for the recipe (or a healthy snack).

I measured everything and let E do the dumping.  She was really concentrating, proud of her work, and successful at this!

Then we mixed the dry ingredients.  Flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  I found that if we needed 1 teaspoon of an ingredient, it was more fun to measure it into two 1/2 teaspoons so E got to dump in the ingredients often.  And it was a math work out for Momma, double and triple checking the recipe and dividing the portions!

We used 1/2 cup chopped walnuts after I gave E a piece at snack time to check for allergic reactions.  I think at this point she has had most nuts, but use your judgement and omit if you feel better doing so.  Oh, and you can use a food processor to do the chopping!

We added 1/2 cup raisins and 1/2 cup chocolate chips.

I did the folding of the wet and dry ingredients together with E supervising.  I also poured the batter into the baking pans.  There were tears of protest about this, but the leftover chocolate chips were a nice distraction.

The recipe makes 24 muffins or 2 loaves of bread.  We did a dozen muffins (20 minutes baking time) and one loaf (an hour).

I don't have pictures of the final product but Smitten Kitchen does.  E and I ate 2 muffins for a snack before dinner.  They are THAT good.


E's age: 18 months
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