How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Inside: How to make delicious pumpkin muffins with toddlers and preschoolers – with some tips on making the process easier!

I will never forget the first time I did a cooking activity with my 2 and 3 year old students. I found the recipe and hauled all the ingredients to my classroom. I placed everything out on the table. I was so excited!

I opened my classroom door, greeting my sweet little friends, and invited them to join me at the table.

I fumbled to find the recipe I printed out. Then I gathered my measuring cups and spoons. I kept glancing at the recipe, making sure I would have the right amount.

My sweet friends tried to stay connected. They really did. But when I had to keep stopping to read the recipe and measure each ingredient, and then I had to stop and go soften the butter, and I forgot to grab a bowl for the dry ingredients…..

Well, I lost the attention of my little friends.

Several simply left the table to become engaged in something else. Some fidgeted and tried opening some of the ingredients that were at the table.

And then I realized I didn’t allow enough time for preparation, baking, cooling, AND eating in our mere 3 hours of class time.

It was not a pleasant experience and I decided that cooking with a classroom of kids was a lot of work.

Can you relate? 

But here’s the good news. I didn’t give up. I kept on creating those cooking activities, each time noting what did and did not work.

Fast forward 18 years. I think I’ve got this cooking thing down, my friends! And I’m going to share it with you. With this absolutely delicious pumpkin mix that I’ve been using with my own family. By scratch. Don’t be scared of that. It really is easy!

Hold my hand as I show you.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

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How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Watch the video on my You Tube channel:

 

Okay, first let me share some of my secrets. Ready?

  • Pre-measure the dry ingredients. I measure everything ahead of time and pour them into a sealable plastic bag.
  • Have small cups handy. At least 2 per child.
  • Have your wet ingredients measured out just before you start the cooking activity. Also, make sure the butter is softened and the eggs are ready.

Make sure the pan(s) you will be using are prepped and ready to go as well. You want as much done beforehand as possible so you can focus on the cooking experience itself.

Note: If you are doing this at home where it’s 1:1 with an adult, they can help you with the measuring. My pre-measuring is meant for groups of children in a toddler and young 3 year olds’ classroom setting, where we have limited adult help and perhaps not as much time.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

So, you might be curious what pumpkin muffin recipe was used. It’s actually a pumpkin bread recipe, but it worked just as well making muffins. Here is the recipe: Pumpkin Bread.

Go ahead and download or print the recipe. I will wait. Then make sure to come back here to see how I used this recipe with my toddlers and preschoolers!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

I have this 22 year old KitchenAide stand mixer that I adore. It handles anything! And while I could have easily used a hand mixer, or even mixed it by hand, I decided to haul that baby into the classroom because I knew my students would love it! (I was right, in case you were wondering.)

I poured all of my pre-measured ingredients into a bowl and then dipped the small plastic cups into the bowl to collect the ingredients. I gave 1 cup to each child and invited them to pour the ingredients from their cups into the mixing bowl.

They were fascinated on how this process worked. Especially every time I turned on the mixer.

Then, we added the wet ingredients and butter.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here’s another tip: use disposable muffin tins. I love that these come with liners! But, you can easily use your own muffin tins and either spray them with oil or use cupcake liners.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

I really wanted our little friends to see the baking process, so we walked to the kitchen and had a short lesson on how hot an oven is, and that we need to be very careful.

My co-teacher, Mari, placed the muffin tins into the oven. We set the timer for 30 minutes and went to the gym to for some indoor large motor play.

We then returned to the kitchen, 30 minutes later, and pulled our pumpkin muffins from the oven. Mmmm…. they smelled so good!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

 

We let the muffins cool while we had circle time.

When we gathered for snack time, we included half of a muffin for each child.

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Every single muffin was eaten.

Success!

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

How to Make Delicious Pumpkin Muffins with Toddlers and Preschoolers

Here are some more favorite recipes to use with toddlers and preschoolers:

Making Delicious Blueberry Cake with Kids

Quick and Easy Applesauce to Make in the Classroom

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




No-Cook Snack Ideas

You are a teacher with a classroom that doesn’t easily have access to a kitchen. Or, you don’t have the time to wait for the food to cook or bake. Or, you just want simplicity. These are times when you are searching for no-cook snack ideas.

While we do have access to a kitchen in our preschool, it is on a different level of the building. There have been times where we couldn’t have a teacher leave the room to put the food in the oven because it would have taken us out of ratio. We also have to consider the time it takes to prepare a fun snack because our program is only 3 hours long.

This is why I am always on the hunt for no-cook snack ideas. Preschool-aged children would love to help make these!

No-Cook Snacks for Kids

 

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

No-Cook Snack Ideas

No-Cook Kids Snacks

Rainbow Fruit Salad

Crunch Apple Boats (Childhood 101)

Healthy Breakfast Cookies (The Big Man’s World)

Froyo Bites (Super Healthy Kids)

No-Cook Snacks for Kids

Fish in a River (Food.com)

Easy Fruit and Cracker Pizzas (Sunshine and Hurricanes)

Ham and Cheese Roll Ups (The Gracious Wife)

Nutella Banana Sushi (Paging Fun Mums)

No-Cook Snacks for Kids

Oatmeal Energy Bites (Hip 2 Save)

Frozen Fruity Yogurt Snacks (Tablespoon)

Banana Peanut Butter Bites (Sugar Bee Crafts)

Chewy Granola Bars (I Heart Nap Time)

no-cook snacks for kids

Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi Rolls (Eating on a Dime)

Strawberry Shortcake Cups (Creative Kids Snacks)

Banana Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Bites (The Baker Mama)

Peanut Butter Dip and Fruit (Self Proclaimed Foodie)

 

Your turn! What are your favorite no-cook snacks for kids? Drop me a line in the comments section!

 

 

More ideas for preschoolers:

Learning the Alphabet - Activities for Preschoolers - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds      Best Books for Kids to Sing With      Preschool Math Activities

 

no-cook fun snacks for kids

 

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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




17 Winter Snacks for Kids

It’s cold outside and you are looking for more indoor activities to do with your children. Well, how about getting together in the kitchen? I’ve found 17 winter snacks for kids that you can do in your home’s kitchen or in the classroom. They’d even be fun to do during a play date or for a holiday party! Or how about during winter break?

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

There are many benefits when young children help with a cooking activity. Cooking builds language skills, self-confidence, and strengthens basic math concepts. Cooking invites children to explore with their senses. They might even be willing to try new foods! And, most importantly, young children love cooking because they get to do it with their favorite grown-ups.

Ready? Here you go!

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Easy Snowman Snack (Sunny Day Family)

Healthy Snowman Snack (Red Ted Art)

Cinnamon Sugar French Toast Mittens (Happy Hooligans)

No-Bake Snowflake Cookies  (Sunny Day Family)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Banana Snowman (Pre-K Pages)

Kid-Made Snowman Treat (Fantastic Fun and Learning)

Chocolate-Covered Reindeer Cookies (Natural Beach Living)

Polar Bear Hot Chocolate (Mom Endeavors)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

White Chocolate Snowman Lolly (Kids Craft Room)

Cinnamon Sugar Snowflakes Snack (Happy Hooligans)

Homemade Edible Snowman (Kids Creative Chaos)

Best Ever Homemade Hot Chocolate (The Realistic Mama)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

 

Creamy Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate (Tiny Tummy Tales)

Hot Cocoa Crispy Squares (Three Different Directions)

Snowman on a Stick (Dukes and Duchesses)

Kids Winter Morning Glory Muffins (Tiny Tummy Tales)

2-Minute Cinnamon Swirl Mug Muffins (Wholesome Yum)

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

17 Winter Snacks for Kids

Cooking is fun all year long! Check out my cooking with kids inboard for more fun ideas!

Related posts:

how to cook with kids      no-cook fun snacks for kids     20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




An Awesome Way to Teach Counting While Making Spider Snacks

Inside: An Awesome Way to Teach Counting While Making Spider Snacks – With a Free Printable Number Sheet!

We just wrapped up our spider unit and had a blast!

We made spin art spiders, sang spider songs, read spider books, and loved having pretend spiders in our water table.

But the highlight (and grand finale) was making edible spiders. I wanted to add some counting to all the other fun spider activities we were enjoying. So I put together a fun spider snack with free printable activity sheet.

I love adding math where ever I can to strengthen number recognition and counting skills. But I also want to keep it hands-on and playful. So I put together a printable that our preschoolers used while building their edible spiders. They had to put a lot of thought into how many of each ingredient they were using, counting along the way.

The end result was getting to taste their yummy creations. Our question of the day was “What was your favorite part of the spider snack?” and almost everyone’s answer was “All of it!”

I’ve included a free copy of the same printable we used in this activity. You can find it at the end of this post.

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

An Awesome Way to Teach Counting While Making Spider Snacks

If you are interested in making this spider snack with your preschoolers, you don’t have to use the exact ingredients that we used. Just be mindful of the shapes that are on the printable.

What we used:

  • Vanilla wafer cookies
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • A tube of squeezable icing

All week we’ve been talking about how many legs and eyes spiders have, so our preschoolers were excited to add them to this snack.

We started with the body.

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

And then we placed one pretzel rod on each long line. (Great 1 to 1 correspondence activity!)

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

While doing this, we noticed that some of the pretzels were a bit taller than the others. That was an unexpected addition to this activity!

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

After placing 8 mini-chocolate chips on the dots for eyes, it was time to assemble our spider. We squirted icing around the cooking and on top.

We counted the pretzel rods as we placed them around the cookie.

We then added the eyes.

You can see a short video of this on my Instagram account.

Making spider snacks! A fun counting activity. . #igteachers #instateacher #iteachtoo #kidsactivities #teaching2and3yearolds #preschool #preschoolteacher #kidsactivities #blogcreate

A post shared by Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds (@teaching2and3yearolds) on


Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

And there they are!

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

 

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

Ready to try this with your preschoolers?

Free Download: Fun Spider Snack With Free Printable Activity Sheet

Preschool Math Activity Making Spider Snacks

More cooking activities to try:

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids      how to cook with kids     20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds


 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

Toddlers can picky eaters, right? You are wondering how to get all those good foods into their little (very busy) bodies. I know with my own toddler children, they did love their snacks. I wish I had this collection of healthy snacks for toddlers back when they were little, but am happy to pass it along to you parents now.

Do you have a picky eater? What has worked for you? I’d love to know. Leave me a comment!

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

 

You only need 4 main ingredients for these gluten-free sweet potato banana bites.

Frozen yogurt-covered blueberries would be so refreshing on a warm day!

If you are looking for a high-protein, quick and easy snack idea, have these carrot stars available.

Hide the veggies in these refreshing DIY “Go Gurts“.

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

 

Fruit and vegetable pieces have the consistency of thick jello and would make an easy snack for the road.

Make your own granola bars using your favorite fruit. Much healthier than store-bought bars.

Boost your child’s fiber intake with this broccoli smoothie recipe.

Do your kids like frozen snacks? Try making watermelon ice – just 2 ingredients!

healthy snacks for toddlers

Ditch the preservatives and make your own goldfish crackers. Easier to make than you probably think!

Toddlers will love chewing on these apple rings.

Banana and oat bites are the perfect size for toddler hands.

These apple oatmeal breakfast cookies certainly could be for any time of the day!

healthy snacks for toddlers

If your child has a nut allergy, try these healthy animal crackers.

Serve this apple-beet applesauce as a snack or a side dish.

Sweet potato waffles are another breakfast idea that can also be a snack since they are small enough to fit in toddler hands.

Avoid sugar with these pear oatmeal bars that are sweetened with 100% fruit.

Healthy Toddler Snacks

More food ideas:

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids      cooking with kids recipes    no-cook fun snacks for kids


 

Healthy Snacks that Toddlers Love!

You can see even MORE ideas on my cooking with kids pin board!

 

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Bonus! Looking for creative ways to keep toddlers busy? Here are 100 fun and easy activities toddlers will love. If you are a parent, grandparent, or caregiver to toddlers, THIS is the book for you. Click on the photo below for more information:

 

 

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love

As I flip through Pinterest to get ideas for Christmas, I am amazed at all the fun Christmas snacks out there! I got side-tracked from planning (I do that well), and started pinning the snacks. Well, why not create a blog post with a collection? So, I chose 20 Christmas snacks kids will love.

They are (mostly) healthy snacks that would be fun for class parties, home parties, and even tucked into lunch boxes.

20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love

 

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

20 Christmas Snacks Kids will Love

 

  1. Cheese Reindeer from Cute Food for Kids
  2. Mint Chocolate Chip Energy Bites from My Recipe Magic
  3. Mickey’s Strawberry Santa Hats from Disney Family
  4. Window Star Sandwiches from Laughing Kids Learn

Kids Christmas Snacks - Fun for Playgroups and Class Parties! Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

5.  Healthy Carrot Cake Truffles from The Big Man’s World

6.  Banana Snowmen from One Handed Cooks

7.  Healthy Reindeer Holiday Treats from Hello Splendid

8.  Snowman Popcorn Cups from Creative Kids Snacks

 

Kids Christmas Snacks - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

9. Red and Green Dipped Apple Slices from Party City

10.  Raw Gingerbread Cookies from Raw Amanda

11.  String Cheese Snowmen from No Biggie

12.  Rudolph Applesauce from The Melrose Family

Kids Christmas Snacks - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

13.  Popcorn Snowballs from Study at Home Mama

14.  Reindeer Sandwiches from A Spotted Pony

15.  Reindeer Pretzels from Lil Luna

16.  Gingerbread House Cookies from Nurture Store

Kids Christmas Snacks - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

17.  Santa Claus Crackers from Martha Stewart

18. Reindeer Granola Snack from Clean and Scentsible

19. Crescent Pizza Christmas Stockings from Pillsbury

20. Graham Cracker Reindeer from Mom Inspired Life

Fun Kids Christmas Snacks - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

20 Christmas Snacks Kids Will Love - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

 

More Christmas ideas for young children:

 

Christmas art with DIY Stamps made from large cookie containers. Great for toddlers and preschoolers!    Preschool Christmas Fine Motor Fun with Jingle Bells - Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds     easy christmas activity for preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Cooking with Kids Recipes

Cooking with kids might seem a bit overwhelming, but truly, there are a lot of fun and simple recipes out there! One of my fondest memories as a young mother was cooking with my own children. They loved being beside me at the kitchen counter, measuring, stirring, and pouring. They are grown now, but I am lucky to have the opportunities to cook with my students in my preschool classroom.

Are you ready to cook with your kids? Try one of these!

 

cooking with kids - easy recipes

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

 

Benefits of cooking with children:

  • Builds language and math skills.
  • Lays the foundation for healthy eating habits.
  • Encourages them to explore with their 5 senses.
  • Boosts confidence.

 

Cooking with Kids Recipes:

  • Vegetable Soup: Enjoy some simple math while making this tasty soup.
  • Fruit Salad: Learn about the colors of different fruit while putting together a healthy fruit salad.
  • Family Cake: Get the entire family involved in painting a cake. (Adventure in a Box)
  • Honey Peanut Butter Rice Krispy Treats: Combine honey and peanut butter for some sweet and salty goodness. (Sugar Aunts)
  • Homemade Alphabet Soup: The perfect soup to make after reading Chicka ,Chicka ,Boom, Boom. (Homegrown Friends)
  • Chicka Coconut Banana Booms: Here’s another fun snack to make after reading Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom. (Growing Book by Book)
  • Hot Dog Chip Dog Cookies: Get the kids involved in making treats for their dogs. (Sunny Day Family)
  • English Muffin Pizza: After reading Little Red Hen, have fun making this pizza. (Pre-K Pages)
  • Cinnamon Chips: All you need are flour tortillas, salt, and a cinnamon-sugar mixture. (Cutting Tiny Bites)
  • Rainbow Cupcakes: Learn the colors of the rainbow while making these tasty cupcakes. (Craftulate)
  • Banana Bread: Put those ripe bananas to good use while making a yummy bread with your children. (Play to Learn Preschool)

how to cook with kids

 

More activities to try:

preschool color activities     Preschool Math Activities      Shape Activities for Preschoolers

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Favorite Breakfasts for Kids

Recently I asked my Facebook readers what their favorite breakfasts for kids were. I loved all the varieties of food that were mentioned, from many parts of the world!  Breakfast is so important for young children. It is the fuel to help them have a good start to their day. As a teacher, I can usually tell when a child  doesn’t eat much for breakfast. It’s hard for them to concentrate and they are irritable. (You can read more about the importance of breakfast here.) However, I also know that it can be a challenge to get them to want to eat a healthy meal first thing in the morning, especially if you have to be somewhere. I searched for recipes that are healthy and tasty. Some can even be made in advance, making a rushed morning a bit easier.

Kids Breakfast Ideas

 

  • fruit

frozen fruit yogurt rollups

four fruit compote

fruit bars

  • toast

banana toast

cinnamon toast

happy toast

  • yogurt

Yogurt Parfait with Fruit and Granola

fruit and yogurt parfait

fruit and yogurt breakfast popsicles

  • waffles

blueberry yogurt waffles

flower waffles

banana quinoa waffles

waffle sandwiches

  • granola

maple nut granola

granola breakfast cookies

  • oatmeal/porridge

strawberry oatmeal breakfast

blueberry breakfast cookies

homemade instant oatmeal packets

baked peach almond oatmeal

  • bacon

bacon from the oven

bacon pancakes

  • muffins

zucchini, banana, and flaxseed muffins

banana, carrot and Greek yogurt muffins

the best toddler muffins

blueberry, oatmeal and flaxseed muffins

  • eggs

sunshine eggs and toast

sausage, egg and cheese casserole

egg and sweet potato casserole

scrambled egg muffins

egg and cheese mini muffins

  • muesli

homemade muesli bars

banana muesli

blueberry muesli

easy homemade apple and oat muesli

  • croissants

croissants with egg wash

  • cereal

cereal with yogurt

homemade cinnamon toast crunch

  • sausage

sausage and egg grilled cheese

sausage pancake bites

breakfast corn dogs

  • bagel

bagel and cream cheese with tomato and cucumber

bagel fruit flower

breakfast bagel pizzas

  • pancakes

orange-vanilla Greek pancakes

oatmeal cookie pancakes

easy whole-grain pancakes

pancake bites

  • French toast/eggy bread

eggy bread/French toast recipe

strawberry French toast casserole

French toast roll-ups

French toast strips

  • smoothies

healthy breakfast smoothies

berry green smoothies

blueberry kale smoothies

Berry Brainy Blizzard 

 

What are your child’s favorite breakfasts? Let me know in the comments section!

50+ easy breakfast ideas for kids


Related posts:

how to cook with kids      Healthy Snacks for Toddlers     no-cook fun snacks for kids

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Vegetable Soup for Kids

Vegetable soup for kids is so easy to make, especially when you have a cute picture book to go along with it! When I was asked to review Garden Safari Vegetable Soup by the Kitchen Club Kids, I couldn’t wait to try the recipe with our preschoolers. You might recall when we made our own fruit salad when reading “End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad, by the same publishers. Both books tell a story about the kitchen club kids as they gather their ingredients and create delicious food. I love that we can read the story as we make the food, and use our color and counting skills, too!

 

kids cooking

Full Disclosure: I was provided a copy of Garden Safari Vegetable Soup. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

As with many of our cooking activities, we asked our preschoolers to bring some of the ingredients from home. I like doing this because it makes them feel more part of the process. They love knowing they have contributed.

kids cooking

 

As the children brought the supplies to class, we set them on the cooking table. They love showing each other what they brought. We even got a beautiful basil plant to keep!

 

kids cooking

 

The book tells us to use:

 

1 cooking pot

2 yellow onions

3 blue potatoes (we were given red)

4 stalks of green celery

5 orange carrots

6 plump red tomatoes

7 cups of  golden chicken broth

8 scoops of brown rice

9 green basil leaves

 

cooking with kids

 

We got to work preparing the vegetables.

 

cooking with kids

 

I brought out our foam numbers to add some number recognition while counting the food.

 

cooking with kids

 

As we counted, we found the correct number and placed it beside the vegetables.

 

cooking with kids

 

We read the book and matched the numbers.

 

cooking with kids

 

 

cooking with kids

 

We tore the basil…

 

kids cooking

 

…peeled and sliced the carrots and potatoes.

 

cooking with kids

 

We measured and placed all the ingredients in a bowl.

 

cooking with kids

 

As a final counting activity, we passed the bowl around during circle time and counted together as we transferred from one bowl to another.

 

Because our preschool is only a few hours long, we did this in two steps. I added the chicken broth and put the soup in the crockpot and served it the following day. We all loved this delicious soup! The children proudly pointed out what they brought as we ate. You know it’s good when they ask for seconds!

 

cooking with kids

 

 

If you are interested in cooking healthy foods with your children, I highly recommend these books (available from Amazon):

 

              

 

cooking with kids

More cooking activities:

Thumbprint Cookies (Allergy Aware)

Fire Truck Snack

Strawberry Santas

Pumpkin Bread

Cooking with Kids Pinterest Board

 

 

 

 

 




End of the Rainbow Activities

End of the Rainbow Activities that are Perfect for Preschoolers:

Preschoolers can have picky appetites, so we like to focus on healthy eating throughout the year, encouraging them to try new foods. When I received a copy of “End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad” from author Eluka Moore, I decided to create 3 circle time activities to go along with it. I love to put together activities from picture books, such as our 10 Rubber Ducks sensory table and our Penguin and Pine Cone winter activity. These activities bring more life to the books, making them very meaningful with the children.
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End of the Rainbow Activities

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Full disclosure: I was provided a copy of End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad for review. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

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End of the Rainbow Activities
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On the first day, we focused on the colors of each fruit.
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End of the Rainbow Activities
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I gave each child a color card.
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End of the Rainbow Activities
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Each time we turned the page and saw a new fruit, the children called out the color of that fruit. The children who had that color card placed it in the center of the circle.
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End of the Rainbow Activities
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I love using our circle times to teach concepts, and the children enjoyed matching their cards together.

On the second day, we focused on counting 1-10, just as they do in the book.

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End of the Rainbow Activities
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I found basic clip art for each fruit that is featured in the book, creating the same amount of each fruit: 1 pineapple, 2 papayas, 3 bananas, 4 raspberries, 5 kiwi, 6 clusters of grapes, 7 spoonfuls of cherries, 8 spoonfuls of blueberries and 9 strawberries. I also printed a picture of a bowl.
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End of the Rainbow Activities
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I placed the bowl in the middle of the circle and gave each child pictures of the fruit. As I read the story, the children placed the pictures of fruit into the bowl.

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End of the Rainbow Activities
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On the third and final day, we made a real fruit salad. I sent a note home asking each child to bring specific fruit to preschool. As it arrived, we sorted them.
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 End of the Rainbow Activities

 

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The preschoolers love showing me the fruit that they brought! This is one of the reasons I often ask for the children to contribute to our cooking activities. I’ve found it to be much more meaningful when they get to bring something from home.
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 End of the Rainbow Activities
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We assembled this salad during our circle time. I was able to read the story again as we took turns placing our fruit into a big bowl.
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 End of the Rainbow Activities
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We mixed all our fruit together.
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End of the Rainbow Activities
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I divided the fruit salad so that each of them had a bowl. I have to say that this is the very first healthy snack that we’ve made where almost every child not only ate the entire bowl, but asked for more. (Only one child declined.) As they ate it, they proudly told everyone what fruit they brought.

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End of the Rainbow Activities

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More about the book “End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad”:

Authors: Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak and Marianne Welsh
Illustrated by Kristen Gau
Website: Kitchen Club Kids
Concepts taught: Basic counting skills, color recognition, rhymes

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Books by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak and Marianne Welsh:

  

I’ve also reviewed their book Garden Safari Vegetable Soup.

 
 
 

 

More literacy ideas for young children:

literacy games for preschoolers        preschool literacy

 

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Acts of Kindness for Young Children

There are many simple ways for young children to participate in acts of kindness. From the very first day of preschool, we talk about being kind and loving to each other. In September and October, we read a lot of books about feelings and friendship. In November, we read books and talked about what we are thankful for. In December, we will make gifts for special people in our lives…

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Acts of Kindness for Young Children

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Each morning our 3 year olds meet on our gathering rug to say good morning, listen to a story, and learn about the day’s activities. On this particular morning, we listened to a book on being thankful. Our preschool resides in a church, and the church’s groundskeeper, Nam, has always been so kind to the children. He has done a lot for our preschool, and we wanted to give him a little something to show our appreciation.
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We decided to make Nam a loaf of pumpkin bread.
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We each took a turn adding and mixing the ingredients and pouring it into a bread pan.
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While the bread was baking, the children gave their touches to a thank you card that would accompany the bread.
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After cooling, we wrapped the bread and attached the card.
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When it was time to deliver the bread, we discovered that it was Nam’s week off. Just as I was thinking how we could save the bread for another week, there was Nam. Being the dedicated person that he is, he was checking on things at the church even though it was his vacation week.
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Small hands carefully handed the bread to bigger hands.
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I don’t know whose smile was larger, the children’s or Nam’s. What a special lesson this was for our young preschoolers. During this season of Santa and toy store advertising, we are focusing on the the joy of giving. The act of kindness towards each other.
I am joining a group of bloggers in a series called Random Acts of Kindness for Toddlers and Preschoolers. When Chelsea from Moments a Day organized this group, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it. Chelsea’s ebook, 52 Acts of Kindness, inspired me to make this be the focus not only in December, but throughout the year.
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This post is part of the series “Acts of Kindness for Toddlers and Preschoolers”. You can read about four other acts of kindness here:
A Letter for the Postman from Learn with Play at Home
Kindness Elves from The Imagination Tree
Bringing a Meal to a Family from Moments a Day
Burying Treasure from Pennies of Time
Happy giving!
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More activities for young children:

Learning Letters with Play Dough long      Preschool Color Game Using Legos      Art Activities for Busy Kids header

 

 





Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

The apple theme is one of my favorites for fall. We explore them in science and math, create apple art, sing apple songs, read apple books … well, you get the picture! After all that, we make applesauce. Because our class is only 3 hours long, we needed an easy applesauce recipe for kids.

No time for a crockpot, and we don’t have a stovetop in our classroom.

So, I decided to try a rice maker and it works like a charm! We assemble the ingredients early in our morning and enjoy it before we go home.

Oh wow, and our classroom smells so good!
Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

We started our apple theme by having each preschooler bring an apple from home. We sorted them by color and created a graph. You can read more about that in our apple graph activity post.

We cut one of each color into slices so we could have a taste test. We learned which ones were tart and which were sweet. We also compared their sizes.

preschool apple sorting free printable

We read fun apple books and learned the lifecycle of an apple.

Then, we got to slice our apples to make applesauce!

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

Each preschooler had a plate with some thin apple chunks and they sliced them into smaller pieces.

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

We placed them in the steamer basket of our rice cooker and added a bit of sugar and cinnamon. We let them steam until very soft, about 60 minutes.

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

When they were soft, I mashed them up with a fork and served in individual cups. When the applesauce had cooled, we enjoyed eating it at the snack table. We tried to see if we could taste each apple we brought from home. A fun 5 senses activity!

Super easy and delicious applesauce!

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

Easy Applesauce Recipe for Kids

You can find lots more fall activities on our fall pin board!

More cooking activities for children:

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids      Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids     no-cook fun snacks for kids

 

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Preschoolers love to help in the kitchen. Have you noticed that? They want to do what we do! So, we love to add cooking activities with our little friends. I look for recipes that are easy and tasty, and that is why I chose this easy chocolate chip banana muffins recipe.

I’ve found that with a bit of preparation ahead of time, cooking with kids can be quite fun! Yes, even with a class of 16. Over the years I’ve found ways to keep the activity from becoming overwhelming. I will share them in this post.

What have you made with your preschoolers lately?

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

What you will need:

  • Chocolate chip banana muffin recipe
  • Fork for mashing banana
  • Large spoon for mixing
  • Plate for mashing bananas
  • Bowl large enough to fit all the ingredients
  • Mini muffin tins
  • Non-stick spray for tins

Setting it up:

  • Place all ingredients on the counter or table.
  • Slice the bananas so that they will be easy to mash with fork.
  • Have plate and fork ready for mashing bananas.

Making the muffin batter:

First place the dry ingredients into the bowl. Add egg and applesauce.

Now for the bananas:

Place a few slices of banana on the plate and show your preschoolers how to press the fork on top to mash it.

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Tip the plate over mixing bowl and scrape mashed bananas into it.

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

OR, scoop the mashed banana using a spoon and transfer it to the bowl.

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Add the chocolate chips.

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

And start stirring until everything is mixed. Our preschoolers worked in teams of 2. They even stirred together!

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Bake according to directions. Let cool and remove from pan.

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Oh, our classroom smelled delicious. The entire building we reside in smelled delicious! We went the gym for large motor play and when we returned, it was time to taste our scrumptious easy chocolate chip banana muffins along with the rest of our snack.

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Success!

All 16 preschoolers LOVED them.

Especially the chocolate.

But of course!

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

Tips for cooking in the classroom:

  • Prepare as much as you can before the children are involved.
  • If you have a short amount of time, as we do, pre-measure ingredients. The children can still count how many spoonfuls they put into the bowl.
  • Have a garbage can close by.
  • Work near the sink, if you can.
  • If each child gets a disposable cup or bowl for stirring, label with names beforehand. This makes it really easy to keep track of who has not yet participated.
  • Work in small groups. We usually have 4 children at a time working on a cooking activity. Otherwise… well, it would be crazy, chaotic, and I might not ever want to do it again. I think as a younger teacher I might have. I’ve just blocked it out of my memory.
  • Make sure you allow enough time for baking and cooling. Since our program is only 3 hours long, we do our cooking activity first thing after our morning meeting. This way, the food has baked and cooled by the time we have snack.

 

Easy Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins - Cooking with Kids

 


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Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds




Recipe for Blueberry Cake

In our 3 year old class we love using parent helpers to help with cooking activities, so I found an easy recipe for blueberry cake. Easy recipes such as this work well with young children because they can gather around and help add ingredients and it’s not overwhelming. We put together our cooking activity during centers time and place it in the oven immediately afterwards. We let it cool and enjoy it with our snack.

 

 

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. 

Recipe for Blueberry Cake

What you will need:

 

How I changed it to work with a group of preschoolers:

 

Instead of using a loaf pan, I opted for a bundt pan. But a loaf pan would also work just fine.

I love cooking activities because they help develop many motor skills:
  • Stirring
  • Patting
  • Pressing
  • Dipping
  • Scrubbing
  • Cleaning
You can read more about this here

How to involve the children:

 

We have 16 preschoolers, and we divide them into color groups for small group time. We use these same groups when doing a cooking activity. I call each group to the cooking table so that there are only 4 at a time.

 

The first group helped me wash the berries and pat them dry.

 

 
 
Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids 
They then helped measure and pour the dry ingredients into a large bow. Often 2 preschoolers would work together.

 

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

The second group sifted the dry ingredients, trying to keep everything in the bowl. (Notice the trying part.)

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

The third group added the wet ingredients. This is such a good activity for hand-eye coordination, concentrating while transporting and then pouring the liquid.

 

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

They then had to carefully mix the wet and dry ingredients together.

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

The fourth group added the blueberries and gently folded them into the cake batter.

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

I sprayed the bundt pan with oil and they distributed it with a paper towel.

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

The batter was poured into the pan and placed in the oven.

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

We do our cooking activities first thing in the morning so that there is time for baking and cooling. We can then enjoy what we made during snack time.

What do you like to make with your preschoolers?

Blueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids

More ideas for young children:

cooking with kids recipes     no-cook fun snacks for kids      Healthy Snacks for ToddlersBlueberry Cake - Cooking with Kids


Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds