Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kindergarten Cafe!

A new feature we introduced into our curriculum this year is called 'Kindergarten Cafe'. It is also affectionately known as 'fun with food'. And who doesn't love food?

The idea behind this is to incorporate elements of core knowledge and standards (measurement, following multi-step directions, how-to procedures, mathematical concepts, yadda, yadda, yadda) with the built in motivation that comes from getting to eat the product of our labors.

We have had K-Cafe four times. The first Friday we made instant pudding (vanilla, chocolate and cookies & cream). We have one student who is allergic to dairy so we tried to make hers with water instead of milk.

Note to self: Yuck! That does not work.

Our second Friday brought a mishmash of various ingredients together (graham crackers, honey, peanut butter, raisins and mini-marshmallows) for a surprisingly delicious, tasty treat. Who knew?

For our third K-Cafe we made Ants on a Log (thank you Nappi for the suggestion). The ants are raisins, the log is a celery stalk filled with peanut butter.

Note to self: Celery is not a popular food item with four-and-five-year-old children but they are mad for the peanut butter.

Yesterday we made Winnie-the-Pooh sundaes with soy ice cream (to avoid dairy), M&M's, Oreo cookies and shaved almonds.

Note to self: Delicious!

This tied in nicely with our shared reading of the Winnie-the-Pooh Song and our upcoming visit to the children's room of the New York City Public Library at Bryant Park (the one with the big lions outside). Did you know that there is a new Winnie-the-Pooh mural there and that an official sequel to the original books is coming out?

We have invited parents to participate in K-Cafe by contributing ideas or supplies as this is costing Lauren and I money. One inquiring parent was confused about the cafe idea because we cannot make anything that requires an oven or a refrigerator. She aptly identified the essence of this experience when she said "Oh, so it is putting things together". I loved that!

We would appreciate it if any of you out there in the blogosphere with simple recipes for 'putting things together' would share them.

Remember to avoid celery :).


Barbara said...

You might want to talk to the parents of the lactose-intolerant student about Lact-aid pills, which can be taken before consuming dairy. You can get the chewable variety. One pill usually suffices. I live with a lactose-intolerant person, so I know how limiting it can be to avoid dairy products.

Sounds like a great addition to your already exciting curriculum!

Arielle Lee Bair said...

I don't suppose you can use a microwave and make s'mores?

A simple kid friendly recipe is a "Breakfast Boat" or "Fruit Boat". Contrary to the name, it is actually a snack. Ingredients: one banana per child, seasonal fruit like strawberries, blueberries (cut up), cup of yogurt (or some cool whip if you think the kids wouldn't be too keen on yogurt).

On the concave side of each banana, you use a spoon make an indentation and scoop some of the banana away. This should just be a small indent along the length of the banana so that there is still an "edge" on either side of the banana forming a canoe like "boat." You then put the blueberries or little cut up pieces of fruit in the "boat" of the banana and pour a little yogurt on top (or top with some cool whip). For your student allergic to milk, you can "top" the boat with anything really... soy vanilla pudding, caramel sauce, whatever you think fitting!

Barbara said...

Try some of these sites..
You can set up a center for cooking with some of these picture sites...Enjoy:)

Great site for Picture recipes...

Click this one and scoll down for recipes..

THis one has pictures of the finished products..
Enjoy... Fondly, Barbara

Gary said...

Barbara - She is actually allergic to dairy which is different than being lactose intolerant. She can evidently break out, swell up and have difficulty breathing. I think it can be quite serious. There is talk that she can outgrow it. Let's hope.

Arielle - This is yummy! I have put it on the schedule for this coming Friday. Thank you so much! I look forward to giving it a go (especially as the kids already think I love bananas because of my association with Curious George).

Barbara - I thought you might have some resources at your fingertips. Have you done anything like this before with your kindergartners? Funny you should mention centers as we have been researching literacy center activities. There are some amazing, fun ways for children to interact with letters - from shaving cream to play-doh. Any tips regarding literacy centers would also be welcomed. Thank you so much!

I love my smart, helpful blog buddies!

Barbara said...

I forgot my favorite site for ALL THINGS KINDERGARTEN...hehehe
This is wonderful and I have used the recipes here for studying different letters of the alphabet...

After you are done looking at her cooking stuff..look around at the rest of the will get some great ideas..her "sight word" books are fantastic!!

Another one of my fav's is
Kelly's Kindergarten has great games for centers.

I copy stuff and laminate it and I put things in trays for the students to take to a table or to the floor..
Look for a post of this in the next few days on my site.

Oh yes and one more...great for story reenactments...
Puppets and magnet stories.
If you have a computer in the room the kids love this one...
OK I promise I will stop….There is so much out there that is FREE and fun..I love it! Have surfing through these sites.

Gary said...

Barbara - Thanks! Lots of fun stuff to check out. I already looked at the first three web sites and got some ideas.

The only one I am familiar with is Starfall. Everytime I hear that song "I am the little zigzag boy..." I can't stop myself from grooving. Catchy tune that one!

MarmiteToasty said...

Gary, I cant find your email anywhere on your blob... I wanted to ask you if you would trust me with your address so that I could every so often send you some childrens books (british of course lol) that your nippers might enjoy....

If ya cant, then no problem.... any change of dropping me an email?

I use to go into our village infant school and help with the cooking bits and bobs, and of course with my job the nippers enjoy cooking simple things and often as not we do 'put togethers' that dont involve baking..... great fun and a crafty way for nippers to be learning without realising it LOL


MarmiteToasty said...

change is daft type for chance lol


Kellyann Brown said...

I love Stone Soup days...

You bring a big pot of simmering broth and each student brings in a vegetable, you cut and simmer while reading the book "Stone Soup"....

I love the sequencing that goes into cooking, frequently use it with my kiddos who have sequencing needs.

If you make sandwiches or sushi, there are playsets from Melissa and Doug that can extend the experience.

Kellyann Brown said...

OH! One of my rsp partners used to do this thing with a marshmellow in a ice cream cone (the flat bottomed kind) in the microwave... try it.. I think it's 45 secs or a minute... really fun!

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Hey, you just gave me some ideas for the next cocktail party I host.

Anonymous said...

You're soooo good-lookin'!

Mickle in NZ said...

Ooo, lovely doing Pooh Bear, just not so happy with the Disney versions. E H Shepard's are so much nicer, truer to how a Winnie the Pooh and friends look.

Would the littlies in your class even recognize the drawings of Pooh Bear and friends that E H Shepard gave to us?

I'm off to huggle and cuddle my original teddy bear, first birthday present so with me since January 1966, that lives in my hot water cupboard - where she is snuggly warm and safe from my darling rescue cat. Cat - Zebbycat - gets the next lot of cuddles, so alll remains vaguely peaceful

xxx and peaceful times to you, dear Gary, Michelle and a snoozling Zebbycat (Hooray)

Gary said...

Toasty - Thank you! Wow, this here blog is truly a wonderful blessing in many unexpected ways. It is very darling of you to offer the children's books. I am sure they will be much appreciated by the students and are certainly appreciated by yours truly.

Kellyann - I will keep the Stone Soup idea in mind. Perhaps I can ask the children to bring in something that does not need to be cooked and we can mix them all together. Something like chex mix perhaps. That ice cream cone thing sounds like a good time all around. I want to give it a go for sure. Thanks!

Gregg - Try to schedule it around my next visit. BTW, I LOVE your response to this post.

Anon - Right back at ya! And you are right, the ice cream does look more like Mickey Mouse than Pooh but what can ya do?

Mickle - We just went today to the main brance of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street in Manhattan. They have the original stuffed animals that A.A. Milne's son used to play with that inspired the writings and drawings. I am a much bigger fan of the original artwork myself but actually do like the Disney incarnations as well. Did you know a new Pooh book was just released. See my sidebar.

Sebastien said...

Mmmmm, Winnie the Pooh sundaes sound good! the ants on a log, not so much, celery plus peanut butter :( I am not a fan of peanut butter, haha!

Sebastien said...

You could do some sort of ice cream sandwich, like graham crackers plus ice cream added and have chocolate bits sprinkled into the ice cream or on top of the top cracker...

Oh, here's one I used to do in college, but it involves a toaster so you can't do it I suppose. I would buy a baguette, and a bar of dark chocolate. Cut the baguette in half, put the bar of chocolate on the cut half baguette piece and lay it on top of the toaster. The chocolate melts into the baguette, so freakin' good!

Gary said...

Sebastien - Ice cream sandwiches sound like a yummy, easy to make idea. I'll add it to the plan. Thanks!


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