Archives for January 2018

Fresh Apple Bars with Snowy Topping

Introducing SNOW!

3 eggs
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 cup oil

1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups flour

2 cups diced apples
1 cup nuts (optional)
powdered sugar (“snow”) for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat eggs, sugar and oil together. Add sifted dry ingredients. Fold in apples and nuts and pour into a greased and floured 9″x13″ pan. Bake 40-45 minutes. When done, let your child sprinkle with “snow” (powdered sugar) and cut into bars.

Today seemed like a great day to try out our recipe (It’s 18 degrees out…).

Measuring just so…

Stir and stir some more. And always have a pink princess pen close by in case you have to make changes to the recipe.

I’m thinking this is going to be delicious. (We used Honey Crisp apples)

The house smells DIVINE! Now it is time for some snow!!

All together now…  Let it snow – let it snow – let it snow!

Maybe we overdid it a bit on the powdered sugar – but we were having so much watching it “snow”!

DELICIOUS… Absolutely delicious!  (And just the right amount of…snow.)

Puffy Paint Snowmen

What about making some homemade puffy paint to continue our Fireflies’ snow theme?  I wanted 3D snow for my kids to paint with – and I made it!  I could not believe how easy this was – promise (read on).   I was actually on my way out the door, when I decided to make my paint-snow and the project took all of 10 minutes from beginning to end (with no child involvement, however…).

I gathered my materials.  The recipe calls for equal parts flour, salt and water.

Easy – three ingredients that this non Julia Child had on hand!  I started with 2 T of each and came up with  a smooth runny paste (aka puffy paint).  Since I was going for snow paint, I didn’t add any food coloring, but you certainly could.  Wonder how glitter would have responded to this mixture?  Does it microwave?

So far so good…  Next I tried a small circle on a piece of cardboard I had nearby, and microwaved it for 30 secs.   I was so surprised when I removed my test “painting” from the microwave.  It was dry and puffy!  Oh me of little faith.  Surely it couldn’t be this easy.

I was intrigued and decided to go for the snowman.  I used a piece of blue card stock and painted my snowman – quickly. (Remember, I was on my way out the door…)

It took longer in the microwave – about three minutes.  Just make sure the middle is puffy and dry.  You can watch it dry from the outside in.   You can see how the edges of the paper curled up a bit.  Though not a deal breaker – If you have cardboard or foam board, use that, and have your child paint a background scene for their snowman.

For 2 regular sized snowman, use about 1/4 c of each ingredient depending on how big you plan on your snowmen becoming.  They will not spread out like cookie dough does while cooking.  It is okay to put it back in the microwave to keep cooking…  Again, for my full sized snowman, it took 2 – 3 minutes, but I kept checking throughout that time.  You want the middle to totally puff up.

Below is my finished 1st try awaiting some painted button eyes, a corncob nose and an old silk hat.   But that will have to wait for when my little ones come to visit.  Oh, how they will love to paint on something other than flat paper AND see their puffy creation come to life!
Here’s my latest try with my littlest one (4-years-old).
A perfect impromptu project to do at home if you have flour, salt, and water!
Deni Corbett
Find a copy of Lois Ehlert’s book, Snowballs to inspire the budding creative in your home.  Your child will enjoy poring over the illustrations and identifying the objects selected to adorn Ehlert’s snow family!


Winter Walk

If you checked out Fall Walk by Virginia Snow, then you can imagine what these illustrations look like – simply delightful.  Each page has a highlighted word and a picture in color, like a snowflake.   The main image is painted and the rest of the picture is an intricate pencil drawing – great for extended storytelling by children.   I’ll probably end up purchasing all the seasons:  Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer.  They are just that unusual and well done.   L.O.V.E.

For some great snow-themed activities…  click HERE.

Review by Carol Royce Owen for Good Reads
I love the beauty of this book. The illustrations are so incredible, with sketched backgrounds overlaid with full color paintings of creatures and plant life that would be seen in a forest in the winter. The story itself, told in rhyming verse, tells of a grandchild going on a walk in the woods with his Grammy and siblings. At the end of the book the author gives instructions for making six-sided paper snowflakes and pine cone bird feeders, as well as including some winter trivia.

I can definitely see this book paired with Kate Messner’s, Over and Under the Snow, in a K-2 class’ nature study.

Review by Amazon
Looking for a book to share on a frosty day? Virginia Brimhall Snow’s Winter Walk is a lovely and informative stroll through nature’s quiet season. Grammy leads the children to all sorts of interesting discoveries. “Why is this tree green, Grammy, when others are brown?”

From the perspective of learning, this book is just right for young ones, and its design allows different ages to enjoy it. The figures of the people are only sketched, almost fading into the white backdrop as they make snow angels, fill a bird feeder, and have a snowball fight. But the images of what they notice and talk about are incredibly vivid: a cardinal, a snowshoe hare, a chickadee, a fox… and a gleaming icicle.

The prose is very readable, and the single words that label what’s discussed (snowflake, blue spruce pine cone, deciduous tree, for example) are oversized so young readers can learn those words.

The author includes some extras at the end to make the book even more meaningful. Readers will find directions to make a six-sided paper snowflake and a pine cone bird feeder, as well as a store of winter trivia for curious children who want to learn more.

January Booklist


Our theme this month is SNOW!

We will be sharing all things white and cold and falling…aka snow.

Here’s the list to take to the library so that your home is filled with books to enjoy and explore.   Be sure to check back as Mary reviews some of her favorites from this list.