Today’s feature article is written by the fabulous Maggy from Red Ted Art! Enjoy!
Hello! I am Maggy from over at Red Ted Art, were I regularly love to get crafty with my four and two year old children (Red Ted and Pip Squeak). I am so chuffed to be guest posting here today for the lovely Anna! The Imagination Tree is such a gorgeous blog full of original fun and learning, how can you not be pleased!
Over at Red Ted Art we love to combine our crafts with a good old story – so we usually read a book and then craft or vice versa. Today, I have the same principle for you, but a “Book & Cook”.
As a “non teacher”, this was a real parenting eye opening moment: make something fun and your children will want to learn and learn and learn. We decided to explore the Alphabet through making alphabet cookies… and I was suprised by by quite how much Red Ted took to letters that day! I totally believe in letting kids play, plenty of learning when they get to school. And I am not particularly into the “flashcard” concept and I do think that the little ones have plenty of time to learn their numbers and alphabet. However, if they are learning through play and the learning bit is incidental, then why not? Hand on heart – the day we made these cookies, Red Ted started learning the letters needed to make his name!
Granny has bought some wonderful books for Red Ted. In particularly a couple of lovely alphabet books. Red Ted (at the time 2.5yrs) was beginning to take an interest in letters and numbers.
Let’s begin with the book! Baby ABC (By Roger Priddy) is a very sweet Alphabet book – it has bold simple images set against a white background and every other one is “touchy feely” or sparkly. We particularly like the ball of wool (real wool) that “K is for kitten” is playing with. Also, the sentence rhyme and have a nice flow to it. A lovely alphabet book indeed!
When we read it, Red Ted was really “going for” the letters “Sssssssss”, pointing to them and repeating them and asking for letters that lead to his favourite family members (Granny, Baby, Nonni, Opapa, Daddy..).
After that we headed to the kitchen! We were going to bake some Alphabet Cookies.
I chose the kitchen, as we do like to bake and my website focuses on crafts doesn’t always allow me to show you this. Also, I thought eating letters would be more fun for a 2yrs old than just making them! I chose a VERY simple Shortbread recipe. I believe all children should and are able to learn some very basic recipes. And this is one of them. Simple and tasty!
I decided to focus on just a few letters. M for Mummy. D for Daddy. O for Opapa (granddad in German) and of course “R for Red Ted” (?! Ok ok we used the letters for his real name…).
This a real “family recipe” type recipe, we use it all the time! It is easy, versatile and many people like that it doesn’t contain eggs. We have made Rainbow Cookies (great for colour theory!) and Valentine’s Cookies and Traffic Light Cookies with this very same recipe!
Drop of Vanilla essence
Alphabet cookie cutters
(Cook for 10-15min at 160C)
- When cooking with Red Ted, I like to get all the measurements ready like they do on cooking shows. That means Red Ted can “help” by pouring in the ingredients. It also makes everything less messy. He does watch me measure it out, so he “gets” that there is an additional step
- At the time, aged 2, he was a little small for crumbling butter and dough kneading, but he did try and give it a good stir and pinch some dough for snacking. He is now 4 and can do this all by himself
- Roll dough (not too thin our thicker ones tasted better) and get cutting!!! As Red Ted cut, I emphasised the letters and reminded him what you could spell with it. He liked “M” and “O” best! If you run out of time (or steam), roll dough into a sausage and cut discs off – the children can help you with that!
- Place on tray not too close together and bake 10-20min @ 160 degrees C
- Cool on rack
- Enjoy! And keep talking letters!
The cookies lasted 2-3 days in our house and I was GENUINELY surprised by how much Red Ted enjoyed talking letters and how he kept going back to his alphabet book and liked to ponder over the cookie tin as to which letter to have next (Daddy was told to eat lots of “D”s). We will definitely be making some more!
Having revisited this Book & Cook craft for Anna, I am reminded, that Pip Squeak is now the same age as Red Ted was, when we first made Alphabet Cookies. And I now know what we will be doing tomorrow – yes! MORE COOKIES and this time we will focus on the letters needed to make Pip Squeak’s name! Hooray for baking with kids!
I do hope you liked our letter exploration and maybe we will see you over at Red Ted Art one day! Have a lovely day! Maggy
Thank You Maggy! If you haven’t discovered the wonderful array of crafts and activities over at Red Ted Art yet, you must pop over and follow today!