Tuesday, June 19, 2012

An Alternate to Ice Cream, on a Hot Summer Day!

With the summer temperatures rising, I am always looking for ways for the kiddos and myself to cool off! Today's activity is a healthy alternative to ice cream, that is simple to make. I made two different versions, so Reece could enjoy it as well!

To make this delicious frozen treat, you will need the following items:

  • a Blender
  • Frozen banana Slices
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Ice Cubes
  • Peanut Butter
  • Milk(optional)

 As stated above, I made two batches, so Reece could have his own dairy, peanut butter, and chocolate free ice cream! :) For the first batch, I had Conrad dump in the bananas(one and a half bananas per batch).

Next, I had Conrad sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the bananas. (I did have to stop him, because he was ready to dump the whole container in, He LOVES cinnamon! )

Next, I had Conrad add about a teaspoon of vanilla, and then we threw about five ice cubes in.
For Plain Cinnamon banana "ice cream", you are ready to blend. If you want to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream, Continue with the next couple of steps! :)

Next, I had Conrad dump in three tablespoons of cocoa Powder. I thought this was the perfect amount, but you can adjust it to your liking.

And finally, two tablespoons of peanut butter. When all was added, I attempted to blend it together. The problem was, there wasn't enough liquid in the blender, and the bananas were still frozen, so I ended up adding a bit of water to the plain mixture, and about a tablespoon of milk to the chocolate mixture. Once that was finished, I blended it all together, until it was a creamy mixture, that had the look and texture of soft serve ice cream.  Put the mixture into the freezer for a couple of hours, and when it is frozen, it is ready to Eat! :)

Here is what the plain Mixture should look like before you put it in the freezer.

Here is a picture of Reece enjoying his ice cream! :)
He wouldn't take it from his spoon, so I ended up putting it on his tray to eat/explore.

Here is the Chocolate Peanut butter version once it was blended.. because of the milk, this mixture was a little bit creamier.

This is the final result. As you can see, it looks like regular ice cream. The texture is pretty close to the ice cream you would buy in the store as well! I will most definitely be making this again during the summer! :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cloud Dough, and Alpha-bingo

This week's project was messy and fun!

Cloud Dough

here are the supplies needed to make cloud dough:

  • 8 parts Flour
  • 1 part Baby Oil (you can use any cooking oil, but baby oil smells nicer)
  • Large Container or Sensory Tub

 Dump the flour into the large container, and pour the oil over the top.

( Note: I used two cups of flour, and a quarter cup of oil, as I was  only making enough dough for one child. If you are making dough for more than one child, you may want to play with amounts. The original recipe I found, used 8 cups of flour and one cup of baby oil )

Next mix the oil and flour together using your hands. Conrad wanted to help with this part, so I started mixing, and then let him get his hands into it to finish the process. This was a lot of fun for both of us, and as a bonus, made our hands extremely soft!

I gave Conrad some different small containers, small cups, measuring spoons, and hollow shapes from a shape sorter to mold and build with. The following pictures are some of the results of his free play in the cloud dough.

This dough is a lot of fun to play with and run your fingers through. It molds well, but is also pretty soft. If you add enough oil, you may be able to gently pick up the shapes you make to stack them, or make a pattern. It also stores well (I filled six babyfood containers with ours)


The next activity is something I created to help Conrad learn his alphabet by sight. I found it useful, and I hope you can as well!

To make the game of Alpha-bingo, you will need the following items:

  • Construction paper(whatever colors you choose)
  • A marker (I used a black marker)
  • Tape or glue
  • Some sort of alphabet markers (we used alphabet magnets)
  • place markers (we usually use stones from Mancala)
Instead of Telling you how to make your own bingo cards, I decided to post pictures of ours.

Our Alpha-bingo game
A game in the process of being played

 The Game is played just like bingo, you call out the letter, and the child(ren) find them on the bingo cards, and place a marker over them. When I play with Conrad, I don't show him the letters, so he has to know what they are by sight in order to mark them. We play like a blackout game of Bingo, where the whole card must be filled to win.

As you can see, I used six colors to make our cards, and each card has a different colored back. When we play, I let Conrad choose which color card he wants to play on. After each game, I give him the option of switching cards.