Pizza Pizzazz

Words You Can Use: Italian Sausage, Pepperoni, Sausage Balls

What You Need:

  • Italian sausage balls
  • mini cheese pizzas
  • napkins
  • paper plates
  • pepperoni slices

What You Do:

  1. Prepare mini pizzas ahead of time or buy mini cheese pizzas.
  2. Bake them completely in an oven or microwave and let them cool.
  3. Cook the Italian sausage balls until they are done.
  4. Have the children wash their hands, then gather them together into a group.
  5. Pass out pizza to each child. Remind the children not to eat thir pizza at this time. Provide several small bowls with sausage balls and several with pepperoni slices.
  6. Have the children predict how many sausage balls and/or how many pepperoni slices it will take to fully cover up their pizzas. Demonstrate for the children what “fully” means. Encourage children to discuss their predictions.
  7. Then have the children fill their pizzas with the sausage or pepperoni slices.
  8. Ask the children to count how many pieces were actually needed to full the pizza.
  9. Discuss the results of the experiment.
  10. After the activity, invite the children to have a Pizza Pizzazz Party and eat their pizzas.

Questions You Can Ask

  • How many sausage balls and/or pepperoni slices did it take to fill up your cheese pizza?
  • Was your prediction close to the actual amount needed? Why or why not?
Pizza

Pizza

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Three Bears Porridge

Porridge

Porridge

This activity involves discovering hot and cold and how that affects the taste and texture of food. In addition to doing this activity I recommend reading Goldilocks and the Three Bears and listening to/watching Goldilocks on Speekaboos.com (the song and be found under nursery).

Words You Can Use: Cold, Divide, Hot, Predict

What You Need:

  • One or more books listed in the Reading Experience below
  • individual packets of instant oatmeal and instant Cream of Wheat
  • brown sugar
  • raisins
  • finely chopped apples
  • warm water
  • small pitcher
  • individual foam cups or bowls
  • plastic spoons
  • paper towels

What You Do: Use Sound Play to gin children’s interest and introduce sounds and words. Explore the vocabulary and topic futher by reading one or more of the Reading Experience books. Then use the story to move into the Science Activity.

Sound Play:

Peas Porridge Hot

Peas porridge hot.

Peas porridge cold.

Peas porridge in the pot

Nine days old.

Some like it hot.

Some like it cold.

Some like it in the pot

Nine days old!

Porridge is Bubbling

Porridge is bubbling, bubbling hot. 

Stir it round and round in the pot.

The bubbles plip.

The bubbles plop.

It’s ready to eat all bubbling hot.

Wake up, baby.

Wake up soon.

We’ll eat the porridge with a spoon.

Reading Experience

The Three Bears by Paul Galdone

Somebody and the Three Blairs by Marilyn Tolhurst and Simone Abel

Deep in the Forest by Briton Turkle

Science Activity

  1. Be sure to follow all safety measures
  2. Explain that porridge is like oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. Ask children to share their experiences with these foods.
  3. Have children work with a partner. Divide a packet of oatmeal into two cups and divide a packet of Cream of Wheat into two cups for each pair of children. Each child should receive two cups, one of each mixture.
  4. Have children stir the dry mixtures as they add warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixtures are the proper consistency.
  5. Have children taste the unsweetened mixtures. Then invite them to add one teaspoon of brown sugar, two or three raisins, and/or a teaspoon of finely chopped apples. Note: Some children may have to taste these ingredients in advance to be sure they want to add them.
  6. Ask the children to compare, eat, and enjoy!

Questions You Can Ask

  • What was our rhyme about? What words or sounds do you remember from the rhyme?
  • What do you remember about the book(s) we read?
  • How did you make your porridge? What else could you put in porridge?
  • Have children predict which porridge they might like best – oatmeal or Cream of Wheat. Record their predictions on a piece of chart paper.
  • When the activity is completed, ask children to share which porridge they liked best. Add their responses to the chart paper. Compare their answers with their predictions/ How many liked oatmeal? How many liked Cream of Wheat?
  • How did adding raisins, brown sugar, or apples change the flavor of the porridge?

More You Can Try

  • Prepare the oatmeal and cream of wheat in advance.
  • Provide the children with spoons, cups, sand, and water an unstructured materials center and pretend to make more porridge.

No Bake Play-Doh

Play-Doh

Play-Doh

Play dough is a fun, clay – like substance that kids love! It is very easy to make, and provides hours of fun! It can be expensive to buy at stores, but it’s very easy and costs nothing to make it at home! The only materials you will need are:
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
1 cup flour
food dye (any color, be creative!)
newspaper to cover the surface you’re working on

It only takes about 10 minutes to make

 

Recommendations to Reach a Balance

  • Give kids ample, unscheduled time to be creative, to reflect, and to decompress
  • Encourage your children to engage in active play (running around or playing tag) in lieu of passive entertainment (video games or television)
  • Buy your children “true” toys, such as blocks or dolls, that encourage imagination and creativity
  • Spend unscheduled, unstructured time together with your kids
  • Ask your child regularly whether he feels overly tired, burned out, or overscheduled
  • Allow your children to have a say in which extracurricular activities they are involved in
  • Get involved in your child’s school and take an active role in ensuring that all kids are getting ample free time

    Children playing tag

    Children playing tag

Introduction

This blog is here to encourage parents to let their children play. According to Maria Montessori, “Play is the work of the child.” Be it social cooperation or gross and fine motor skills, play helps children grow. Inside you will find activities that I encourage your family to do together such as Incredible Edible Science activities, recipes for finger paint, and much more. So don’t be afraid to take time out of the day and play with your child. If you would like to know more about how play benefits your child, please feel free to explore the Want to Know More? section. 

Food for Thought

“The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.”  – Erik H. Erikson

Quote

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