Squirrel loves sniffing; he has a thing for soap, or food, or anything he can sniff, and will happily report back with a very happy grin, a giggle and a satisfied “mmmm!”, asking for more, or will push it away and it ask for something else to sniff.
We love taking him around soap shops, in particular, he loves Lush, and will point out which ones he wants to sniff, and we’ll buy whichever soap he picks when we offer one for him to take home. We call them ‘Scent Safari’s!
We’ve baked cookies together a fair amount, but I haven’t done gingerbread cookies since last Christmas. We have been watching Christmas cookery shows, an unexpected educational tool when your toddler delights in pointing out and naming foods he recognises, and familiarises purposeful actions that he can later take part in, like stirring, kneading and pressing cookie cutters.
Being a big ol’ Christmas obsessive, and a retired baker and cake artist, i have my cookbooks as well, and we have been looking through them together. I keep them now on a low shelf and daily i find them out or mixed in with Squirrels books as he helps himself for a browse.
Combining culinary interest, seasonal spirit, creativity, lovely smell experiments and not spreading viruses.
10 points to Ravenclaw!
There are a ton of Moon Dough recipes out there, like this one from Happy Hooligans or this one from Confessions Of A Home Schooler. All goodies.
For ours, i added a good lot of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. It changed colour to a lovely pale creamy biscuit shade. Perfect.
I served up the chaos in his indoor water table, first giving him his play Christmas cookie cutters (i have special ones for myself that i am deeply, irrationality protective of. Don’t even go there. Its hideously weird) and we had fun identifying the shapes he knew and collecting them into groups. This kid lives to sort things. Of all shapes he knows right now, he LOVES stars!
Then i added these plastic balls that we found, i figured they were fun gumdrop substitutions that wouldn’t entice any eating of the dough. I was wrong, but we’ll get to that.
I added the dough and let him experiment without interference for a while.
Swish swish! Press press! Squeeeeze! Crush!
Lots of sniffing and making “mmmm!” noises!
I showed him how it compressed when you apply pressure, and how to press the cookie cutters.
It clicked, and we had fun make shapes and trying to get them out intact, or holding them up in the cutter to see the shape filled.
Naturally, a lot went on the floor, but that’s what dust pans are for, and thats what toddlers do.
That’s what i tell myself right after sighing and closing the door to the carpeted hallway for damage control. But on a different swing, he was actually watching for a reaction, rather than just flinging. He squeezed it in his fist, then dropped it, and it went ‘SMOOSH’ and scattered! Interesting.
See, I just did science to the mess.
This post is for Unit 3. Winter & Christmas.