Sunday, February 22, 2009


Making these totally non-authentic pretzels are a fun activity for preschoolers. We made some this morning.

Makes 6 large pretzels

1 teaspoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2-3 cups all-purpose unbleached or bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup warm milk (approximately 1 minute in the microwave)

I doubled the recipe, but didn't need to.

A grown up should do the first part. Put the milk, yeast and sugar in a mixer bowl. Let it sit a few minutes until bubbly. I spent the five minutes washing little girl hands. Preheat oven to 425.

Add in 2 cups of the flour which has been premixed with the salt to avoid killing the yeast.

Mix until it forms a stretchy dough adding flour as necessary. Let the mixer knead it (or knead by hand) for five minutes.

Then it's time for fun and help.

Divide dough into six portions. Lightly flour a table or cutting board and make dough snakes. Ours somehow came out to different lengths, but that is OK. This blog is about real life preschool fun, not pretty food.

Let the snakes sleep for 5 minutes. Lightly oil a cookie sheet.

After five minutes curl the snakes up into pretzel (or other) shapes. Sprinkle with water. Sprinkle with salt. If you want to get fancy and you don't have a toddler testing ingredients, try an egg wash.

Bake for about 15 minutes. They are done when golden brown.

Yummy. Pretzels! Eat as soon as they are cool enough to touch.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wishing for spring

It's been a long winter, but the snow is melting and the birds are coming back. We're seeing the first signs that winter is not eternal.

"I want to do a spring art project." said Arielle. Hmm....

Here's an easy one. Every spring we have an abundance of sticks in our yard from winter storms. I just grabbed a few.

You can either stick the end in a glob of old play dough (the brown kind made from all the colors mixing together is perfect) or put it in a vase or cup.

Cut out a bunch of leaves from green tissue paper (cellophane of kite paper could also look nice. Let your child rub glue stick on the sticks and stick on the leaves. Talk about how the trees are bare now, but soon they will grow buds and then leaves. Maybe even flowers - for flowers, you could add a few crumpled little bits of pink tissue paper.

It's so easy even a two year old can do it :0) And they came out beautifully.

The blue bird was another easy project. Trace both of your child's hands on a sheet of construction paper. Cut out. Let them glue the thumbs together. Fold down the joined thumbs and add a scrap paper beak. Heave your child draw eyes and what ever else they feel is necessary to make it their bird.

Warm thoughts to you all.