Archives for January 2017

In the kitchen, we can build a snowman

Powdered Doughnut Snowmen

Doesn’t this face make you smile?  As soon as I saw this idea on Pinterest,

I knew I needed to make these with my little men.  One look at that little chocolate dotted face and knew that our family needed this snowy man in our life….and that he needed to have rosy cheeks.  If you were standing outside all day long and make of snow, I’m 100 percent positive that YOU would have rosy cheeks as well.

Look at them all clustered together on a pretty pedestal. Personally, I can’t help but giggle when I see them.  On a side note, for that snowman hat in the middle of the pedestal, I used the same chocolate dipped marshmallow on an Oreo idea that I shared in Thanksgiving post, just leave off the buckle for a plain top hat.

The base ingredients for this food project are these little guys:

One bag of powdered doughnuts was more than enough to make my boys their own snowmen and a little igloo (not shown – long story).
Other ingredients you need are:

  • White chocolate
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Shish kebab sticks
  • An orange candy of some sort.  I used an orange dot on the snowman above just cut one end into a tip and worked the cut end into a smooth point by rubbing it between my fingers.  Master Chef Noah opted to just plop an orange Skittle in there.
  • Optional: Candies for “buttons” (as shown in the above snowmen) and petal dust if you too think that rosy cheeks are a must.
  • A dull knife
 Melt your white chocolate candy coating according to the directions on the package until a smooth consistency is achieved.

Joining us today for our foodie project is my oldest chef, Noah who will be instructing you all today on the fine art of making a powdered sugar doughnut snowman.

As you see, Chef Noah has cleaned his hands and has gathered his ingredients on a sheet of wax paper so any mess will be contained.

The first thing Noah needs to do is pick out the three best powdered sugar doughnuts from the pile.  He doesn’t approve of any cracked doughnuts for this project.

Noah does a trial run of what his snowman will look like by laying them vertically on his workspace.  He wants to be sure that these doughnuts are up to par.

After they have undergone his scrutiny and passed his final testing, Noah then slides each doughnut onto the shish kebab stick.

You will be using the white chocolate candy coating as glue, so get a tiny bit on the end of your dull knife and fill the top doughnut hole with white chocolate.  Before it sets up, place the orange candy into the white chocolate.

Continue adding small amounts of white chocolate where the eyes and mouth will be placed or as Chef Noah has illustrated, just dump a bunch of white chocolate all over the top doughnut.  Place two mini chips for the eyes above the orange nose and form a smile with the mini chips under his nose.

Such concentration displayed by my little chef during this delicate procedure.

Continue to add buttons down the “snowman’s” front, let it set up and there you have it!

Banana Snowman

My little overachiever decided to make up his own snowman project to be included in this month’s post.

The ingredients list:

  • Banana
  • Raisins
  • Pretzel Rods (though sticks would have been easier to use and would have been a better size)

First step:  Peel the banana and immediately start acting like a monkey.

After Mom finally calms you down and gets you back in your seat again, use your dull knife to cut the banana.

Look at these sweet fingers.

Line up three banana slices.

Stick mini chocolate chips in place for his eyes and mouth, raisins for his buttons and rods for his arms.

Two fun recipes for you to share with your little ones this month.
Rachel Skvaril, Sugar Artist
www.fondantflinger.com
And don’t forget to visit Fondant Flinger’s Etsy shop to order your Valentine’s Day cupcake toppers; the perfect addition to your cupcakes for those class parties!

Beginning Sounds with “Snowballs”

Winter!   What a beautiful season! Unfortunately, I don’t get to experience nature’s true winter here in Florida. Oh how I would love to run out in the snow and make a snow angel or roll a big snowman… but for now, I only get to experience it through books like, “Snowballs.”

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a true classic. It’s simple sentence structure, unique pictures, and clever humor (I mean fish for the snow cat’s eyebrows… that’s funny!) captures children’s attention and heart.

In Snowballs, each “snowman” created is part of a snow family. Teaching Kindergarten, I used this book to nonchalantly reinforce beginning sounds. I focused on the words and names that make up a family: dad, mom, boy, girl, baby, dog, and cat. (Yes, pets are family!!)

 While you read, reinforce the beginning sounds of these words:

  • /d/ /d/   dad
  • /m/ /m/  mom
  • /b/ /b/  boy  (discuss that a boy in the family can be a /b/  /b/  brother)
  • /g/ /g/  girl  (discuss that a girl in the family can be a  /s/  /s/   sister)
  • /b/ /b/  baby
  • /d/ /d/  dog
  • /c/ /c/   cat

Ask what TWO family names begin with the same sound?

  • Dad & Dog
  • Boy & Baby

Discuss where they feel movement in their mouth when they make these sounds. For example, the /d/ sound sure feels different than the /b/ sound! Go ahead… say these two sounds and feel for yourself!

The family words used in “Snowballs” are in your child’s daily vocabulary, therefore are great to use when discussing beginning sounds because they are familiar. Using words your little learner uses daily or are able to see and touch are the best words to use when you start teaching beginning sounds because they are able to make personal connections to the words.


 

Click HERE to visit my TeachersPayTeachers store to download and print my *mini snowfamily interactive reader* called, “My Snow Family.”   (pictured above) Practice reading the sentences with your little learner. Encourage them to put their finger on the paw prints as they read each word and say the sounds. Then they can illustrate each snow family member!  1= READ  2= ILLUSTRATE  3= CUT  4= READ 🙂  It is FREE to download for the next few days.

I hope you enjoy talking about your family with your little learner and illustrating what you all would look like as snow people! Please tag me on Instagram if you use my snowfamily interactive reader! I would love to see it in action.

Joanna and Mush Mush

 

I invite you to visit my website and read up on my newly published,
early sight word books called,
“Mush Mush Readers.”
www.mushmushreaders.com
@mushmushreaders
mushmushreaders@gmail.com
#mushmushreaders
#firefliesblog
#author

Hans Brinker

Retold by:  Bruce Coville
Illustrated by:  Laurel Long

51L+6Xe+MDL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

I was delighted to find this charming classic reintroduced in a glorious picture book version for young readers.  Coville has masterfully adapted and interwoven three tales involving young Hans and his sister, Gretel, in this story of a family sticking together through hardship, and wondering if wishes will come true.

The first tale revolves around Hans and Gretel desiring to compete in an important ice-skating race on a Holland canal.  They, however, are too poor to afford anything but wooden skates, knowing they won’t be fast enough to win. How they wish they could win the prize of the new silver skates!

HANS BRINKER6

Then there is the mystery of the loss of the family’s savings, which occurred at the same time Han’s father had a serious accident at work years earlier.  Hans finds a capable Doctor, but will he be willing to help the family?  They’ve wished for years for the renewed health of their father.

The Dutch doctor who Hans brings to help his ailing father has a burden of his own.  It seems that his hard and rough exterior is due to a heart that is full of loneliness.  What secret wish does the Doctor keep?

Acts of generosity are woven throughout these  intertwining tales, including the efforts of Hans and Gretel’s friends to help them upgrade from their wooden skates to faster, newer skates.  Will all of these wishes come true?  Are the wishes somehow related to each other?

HANS BRINKER4

This is the best kind of fairy tale, when we realize that being selfless often sets a miraculous series of events in motion.  And wishes have a way of coming true – just in the nick of time!

The  illustrations are breathtaking and luminous.  They also provide visual features of Dutch architecture, culture, and society.

HANS BRINKERMary Byrne Kline
CONTACT

1.  What was the reason for Annie asking Hans to carve her a wooden chain?

2.  How did the case holding the silver skates lead to solving Dr. Boekman’s wish?

3.  What facts in the story prove that Hans was selfless, and put others ahead of himself?

 

 

 

 

Daddy’s Ice Rink

 

Imagine my joy when I first saw the book Testing the Ice.  I could hardly wait to read it. Here’s a dad surrounded by a bunch of kids excitedly running to ice skate.  So many memories came flooding back as I read this amazing account of Jackie Robinson’s life.  In his tender caring for his children and their friends, I recalled my own dad wiping away many tears as we kids would fall while ice skating or get so cold our toes felt frozen.

Funny how all this reminiscing about ice has made me feel all warm inside.  Good memories do that.

I can’t wait to read Testing the Ice with my grandchildren and then share my own heritage moment. Perhaps you have a winter story that you can share. Maybe you made a snowman, went sledding, or built a snow fort.  Tell your story (write it down) – I guarantee you’ll be glad you went to the effort of moving from Heritage 2 Legacy (more information).

Daddy’s Ice Rink

When I was a little girl, freezing cold winter days meant only one thing – FUN!  Bundled up in pants, sweaters, jackets, scarves, mittens, and hats, we headed outdoors with one purpose.  Ice skating.  My dad was right out there with us in his winter cap that we all thought looked so silly.  Well, this is a story about that hat.  Hanging in our family room are two precious memories: my dad’s winter cap with fold-down ear flaps and my childhood ice skates.  Since our dad played hockey for the University of North Dakota, learning to ice skate came as natural to me and my sisters as walking.

Every winter your great-grandfather flooded our back yard and created a magnificent neighborhood ice rink.  It was glorious!  After a snowfall, he’d shovel the snow along the side to create a nice bank for us to slide into.  We would play fox and geese, race, practice figure eights,  and even master skating backwards.  But I never could skate as fast as my dad.  He skillfully turned and zipped around while the ear flaps on his cap just bounced.  He taught us and all the neighborhood kids how to skate.

How I wish he was here to teach you to skate . . .but you all can have fun wearing his cap!

Love, Button