With schools closed and instructions to stay inside, active young children need things to do and ways to understand what is going on. It's as though the whole world is hibernating, like bears do in winter. What better time to study bears?
This post includes:
Advantages of cooking with children
Tips for cooking with children
A recipe for Bear Paw biscuits/cookies
Suggested Bear Books
Advantages of cooking with children as a family activity
*Children of all ages can work together.
*Even very young children can carry ingredients to the table and pour them into the mixing bowl once measured, with supervision from an adult or older child.
*Young children learn math skills from counting and measuring to fractions.
*Young children begin to learn reading skills; older children practice them.
*Children practice sequencing (following the steps in order).
*Children practice co-operation and older children working with younger siblings practice leadership skills.
*Science: Children observe the action of baking powder and the change in physical state of the dough as it cooks.
*Parents are a child's first teacher. There's so much you can teach your children through this activity! Besides, It's so much fun!
*Best of all: you get to eat the result, together!
Tips for cooking with young children
* Even a very young child can help by carrying the ingredients to the table, pouring measured ingredients into the bowl, and shaping the cookies.
* Children as young as age 3 can measure, and read the pictures in the recipe. As they count the number of cups or teaspoons of each ingredient, they begin to understand number concept, while 4 and up can recognize letters and begin to guess at the words, while they gain an understanding of fractions.
* Adults do the cutting and dealing with heat.
* Almost all children enjoy creating and eating of their own bear paws!
*Cooking with children gets children of all ages working together. It's ideal for families with children of different ages.
Ingredients for Bear Paw Biscuits/Cookies:
peanut butter (or other nut butter)
hot cocoa mix
slivered almonds for the claws (or use toothpicks)
1.Steal and print out above recipe.
2.Mix ingredients together into a dough.
3.Form dough into balls about 2" thick.
4.Flatten balls on a cookie sheet.
5.Add slivered almonds for bear's claws.
6.Bake at 350 degrees about 10-15 minutes, until toothpick inserted in cookie comes out clean.
7. Serve with milk. Yum--and nutritious!
Hint: these if these are not sweet enough for your kids, ask them to brainstorm how to make them sweeter. I added 1/2 Cup sugar and they were just right for me!
Hint: If the dough is too sticky, add flour. If too dry, add a little more milk. Even wheat flour varies in moisture content.
Hint: Don't be surprised if your youngest loses track of how many claws to add and ends up with more of a porcupine!
My family has given up wheat, so I used oat flour. Well, oat flour is more moist, so the dough was too sticky to make into balls! I had to use a spoon to splot the dough onto the cookie sheet, then patted the splotches into shape with oiled fingers.