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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Alphabet Activity

One of our favorite books to read lately has been Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. I enjoy reading it to Dylan, Jake and Emma just as much as they enjoy listening to it. The premise behind the book is that the lowercase letters are climbing to the top of the coconut tree and once they all get up the tree, it's so heavy the tree tips and the letters all fall out. They brush themselves off with the help of their parents (the uppercase letters) and try again. It's really a cute book and a great way to introduce letter recognition to preschoolers and young school aged children.

 I decided to use this book as an inspiration for an art project a few weeks ago. The materials are simple, the project is not messy and they turn out adorable!

 Here's what you need:

 - construction paper (green, brown, and white)

 - foam alphabet stickers*

 - scissors

 - glue stick

* If you can't find sticky foam letters you could use alphabet stickers or even print letters on the computer cut those out and glue them on.

 For the project:

We began the project by rereading the book, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.

First, I assisted them in cutting out brown paper to represent the tree trunk. I asked them if they wanted a straight or curved/tipped over tree. Next I cut green leaves and small brown circles for the coconuts. They glued everything onto their white paper. Then they cut out a green strip to represent the grass for the bottom of their pictures and they used their glue sticks to glue that on as well.

After we finished the trees, we talked about all the letters in the alphabet. We pulled out the foam letters from the box and put them in alphabetical order singing the alphabet song along the way.

 Once we made sure we had all the letters I passed them out. They removed the paper backs and stuck them on and off the tree.  I loved how each of their pictures represents a different part of the story.



 This was a fun and easy activity and a great educational one too!  It's also nice because it is easy to modify for older kids. Have fun with it!
The finished product!
Jake's Tree
Emma's Tree
Dylan's Tree

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Banana blueberry yogurt oatmeal muffins

Banana blueberry yogurt oatmeal muffins

One of my favorite things to do with Dylan, Jake and Emma is cook.  Whether it be cooking dinner or baking something yummy we love getting in the kitchen to create delicious masterpieces. Lately, Jake has been announcing that he has decided he wants to be a chef. He tells me what ingredients he thinks we should use and we figure out a way to incorporate them into recipes. Cooking with your kids is a great way to not just keep them busy, but it teaches them so many different things all while creating happy memories that they get to enjoy when they're ready!
My Sous Chefs!

Our latest creations are healthy blueberry yogurt banana oatmeal muffins. These healthy, nutritious muffins are great warm right out of the oven or perfect for a quick breakfast on the go. I found a similar recipe at The Well Traveled Wife and we modified it to our liking with ingredients we had on hand.
I eat very healthy and encourage my family to as well.  By baking muffins at home it allows me to control what ingredients are going in and therefore my kids can have healthy yummy treats!  This recipe is so easy since it uses a food processor (or blender) which is fun and different. The kids loved that we got to dump in all the ingredients. We had fun creating our new recipe and they tasted delicious too!  I hope you make these and enjoy them as well!

Banana blueberry yogurt oatmeal muffins
Makes 12 muffins

2.5 cups rolled oats *not quick cooking* (I have also used Trader Joe's to make them gluten free)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 sugar
1 cup blueberry yogurt (I used Dannon light and fit)
2 eggs
1.5 tsp vanilla
2 ripe bananas

1. Set oven to 400 degrees and spray muffin pans with cooking spray.
Dump all ingredients into food processor or blender.

2.  Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Scrape sides down as needed.
Batter will be thin

3.  Use an ice cream scooper to fill muffin tins 3/4 of the way full.

4.  Bake in over for 13-16 minutes depending on your oven. Check on them around 13 minutes.

Muffins baking in the oven!

They rose perfectly in the oven

103 calories and 4g of protein per muffin

Next time, I would reduce the sugar to 2/3 cup and fold in fresh blueberries at the end. This recipe can easily be adapted to your liking and you can use any flavor Greek yogurt you like to change the flavor. You could even do vanilla yogurt with a handful of mini chocolate chips folded in at the end!  Yummy!  So many options! 
Mom tested, kid approved!