Friday, November 19, 2010

Leaf Cookies

Today we went into the kitchen for a little dramatic play! We made some sugar cookies then used a cookie cutter to cut out leaf (and pumpkin) shapes.
Jake loves the kitchen! Come on, it is where we keep the food that he must constantly be feeding himself! :) 
He really likes to 'help' me cook and clean. I thought this would be a favorite activity for November. From the beginning Jake was right in the mix! Can you hear the "Brrrrr?" Jake loved listening to the motor of the mixer.
Although he still needed to stir the batter after it was mixed!
"Playing" in the kitchen is A LOT of work! It can be a joyous time and create memories of a lifetime but one must truly let some control go to allow this to happen! Case in point, above, I was rolling out the dough and trying to have Jake help me when he took over! He has never used a rolling pin and did not truly know how to use it but he HAD to have it and try! This is when you give-up control and let him experiment. It was really kind of cute! He used the rolling pin as a 'hammer' to hit the dough. Hitting the dough did cause some to break off and then consequently fall to the floor. But, I let him experiment until he was finished (about a whole minute!) then rerolled out the dough. As I did that he stirred the empty bowl! Such a good helper! ;)
He had never used cookie cutters either! I have tried play dough with him, let's just say he is not ready for that! So the cookie cutter experiment was a fun new activity. He really did not quite understand that the cookie cutter was a shape and that we were making leaves from the dough. (Learning experience!)
Notice in the picture above, he is putting the cookie cutter on top of the spot we already cut out. But the real lesson is that you can push down on the cutter to cut out a shape. I was really impressed with is first experience with the cookie cutters. This was NOT my first impression! While we were in the kitchen I was stressed and felt a sense of trying to rush to make 'it' happen and at the same time keep Jacob interested. But going back and reflecting I see that it was fun for both of us! He learned a new skill, learned not mastered! This reflection time is something I learned from teaching but so important in all areas of life! It is especially important while working with your children. If I had not gone back and reflected I might not want to have dramatic play time in the kitchen again. At the time it seems stressful and it IS messy but oh so worth it! 
I would say we got one sheet of cookies cut out before he lost interest and climbed down. Notice the flour all over his shirt? 
I was able to finish baking the rest of the cookies but we did not decorate them! That is probably best saved for another day! Our kitchen is small and the mess was big!

We had a great time and for our first cookie making activity it was a success. I will keep the cookie cutter and the rolling pin out to play for the rest of the month. I might even try play dough again! I can see that practicing the rolling pin, in particular, will be fun for Jake!
Get into the kitchen and have some fun!

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