Panda Bear Rice Balls

panda snack

I am so blessed , after giving birth I have had so many wonderful friends offer help and guest posts for No Time For Flash Cards. This one is from a dear friend Amanda from ohAmanda and Impress Your Kids , she is sure to impress you with this cute and tasty edible activity!

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Is this the yummiest, cutest and most fun thing you have ever seen?! I saw this idea in a magazine and knew I had to try it. Well, after the panda-monium and panda-venture in the kitchen, I knew I had to share it with you! It’s an easy fun snack (or a full meal when coupled with some stir-fry) that introduces kids to new tastes and flavors, helps them with handling a knife and opens up conversations about pandas, other countries and cooking!

All you need is 1.5 cups of uncooked sticky/sushi rice, some celery stalks and a can of pitted black olives.

sticky rice

Cook the sticky rice according to directions. (We actually made ours with long-grain white rice by adding 3tb of rice vinegar, 1tb of sugar, 1.5tsp of salt after it was cooked)

While you’re waiting for it to cook, set aside a few whole olives for your panda’s ears. Then, give kids a butter knife and let them work on slicing the olives around its’ equator. My 4 year old could get about 3 cuts total on the olive.

panda snack

My almost 2 year old? Well, he tried!

panda food craft

Then take a 1/4c or 1/2c measuring cup and firmly pack rice into it. Turn them over on a plate or waxed paper and carefully remove to leave a mound of rice!

rice for kids

Use your whole olives as the panda’s ears. Then take your slices and use as eyes, an tiny down nose and an upturned smile! Cut a few pieces of celery to resemble bamboo and you’ve got your own panda playmates!

panda snack

My kids loved eating their pandas for dinner (along with soy sauce, broccoli and chicken). While they ate I read them two panda books that I just happened to have in our stash:

rosalie seidler

Panda Cakeby Rosalie Seidler

This is the cutest story about a Mama Panda who is making a special panda cake “that only pandas can make”! She sends her two sons to the market to buy the ingredients. The oldest panda decides to steal the ingredients from his animal friends (cherries from the birds, eggs from the duck, etc.) and then runs off to the fair to spend Mama’s money. While he’s gone, the animals visit Mama and demand their food back. But it’s too late—the panda cake has been baked. So, they all sit down to tea and cake! The animals are happy but when the young panda returns home, he’s sad to see his cake eaten up! This book has sweet illustrations and a fun cadence. It looks like it is out of print but I found it at the thrift store a few weeks ago and couldn’t pass it up!

panda book toddlers

Panda in the Park by Anna Milbourne

This was my daughter’s very first book. It’s an Usborne Look-Through book and tells the story of a panda playing hide-and-seek with his animal friends. It’s perfect for toddlers because of the bright colors, the bold questions and the fun holes and layers on the pages. It’s still one of my favorite books to read!

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Amanda is a former Children’s Pastor turned stay-at-home mom. She blogs her crafty parenting endeavors at Impress Your Kids and her daily life at ohAmanda. She is also a 2010 Disney Mom, a bibliophile and long time lover of purple!

Go Eat Dirt!

We have been having a blast outside, digging, planting, and finding slugs and worms.  When it was raining I wanted to keep the dirt theme going so we grabbed a few treats from the grocery store and made some sweet edible dirt instead. This is an old favorite and there are many different recipes. This is the one I like the best for kids to help make it.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some oreo type cookies, chocolate pudding, gummy worms, chocolate rock candies, a zip lock, toy hammer, bowl , and containers for serving.
  2. Start by putting the cookies in the bag and hammering them to a pulp.
  3. Put the cookies into a bowl and add the pudding.
  4. Mix
  5. Put some of this dirt mix into your serving cup and add some gummy worms.
  6. Add some more dirt mix.
  7. Add the rock candies .
  8. Let chill.
  9. Serve! I have seen it served in toy dump trucks, in flower pots… really your creativity is the limit!

Song

Books

Jack’s Garden by Henry Cole is a garden version of the classic ” The House That Jack Built”. We watch as Jack prepares, plants and cares for a garden. I like the detail that the book goes into from the worms in the soil, to the seedlings, birds, flowers and insects that all work together for a garden to succeed. My son loved that Jack seemed to be a teenager, not sure where he got the idea but teenagers are the height of cool for my 3 year old. I also really appreciated the detailed drawings of things along the edges of each page, from slug eggs, to specific insects and different flowers, they all offered more learning while reading.

Construction Countdown by K.C Olson is a counting book that uses backhoes, dump trucks and cement mixers among other things to count. Before I even closed the book my son was signing for more. I read it 4 times since getting it out of the library today. A huge hit here!


Zinnia’s Flower Garden This book is really useful not just about teaching about flowers and gardens, but also about patience and the annual cycle of a garden.  Zinnia plants and waits, waters, enjoys her flowers, then they die, she collects the seeds and plans her garden for next year.  I love that the main story is perfect for my almost 3 year old but there is much more for older children with longer attention spans. There is a little journal with notes about what’s happening with her garden, and various facts about plants as well.  Like in so many of her books the author celebrates hard work and her characters take great pride in what they do. A fantastic message for readers, big and little. I also love the mix of illustration and photographs in this book especially, it gives the illustrations depth and a really interesting look.

Earth Day Muffins!

snacks for earth day These earth day muffins were so fun to make I decided that even if they turned gray while baking I’d post this. Luckily they stayed green and the blueberries are supposed to look like water, I think they do right? My son had a blast, we ended up skipping nap he was having so much fun with a bowl of flour while they baked and he even exclaimed, they “Kinda look like the earth mama.” I take it as a success!

  1. Gather your materials. The recipe (see below)  I used  is from the May 2008 edition of Everyday Food ( I cut it in half and used whole wheat flour) . You will also need blueberries, and blue and yellow food coloring. I was out of green but I would still suggest blue and yellow as it give your more control over how it mixes with the brownish color if you are using whole wheat flour. earth day muffins
  2. When baking with my son I measure out the dry and wet first and let him help from there. There is no right or wrong way of doing this it’s just what I do.
  3. Mix the dry. earth day muffins
  4. Mix the wet- apparently it smelled yummy.earth day muffins 002
  5. Mix together . earth day muffins
  6. Add the food coloring. earth day muffins earth day muffins
  7. Add in the blueberries. earth day muffins
  8. Spoon into the muffin tin. earth day muffins
  9. Grab some extra flour , measuring cups and let your little one play. He played for a long time with plain flour. Yes it was a mess but fun normally is. earth day muffins earth day muffins
  10. Celebrate cause they look enough like earths that it was well worth it! Enjoy .earth day muffins

    earth day muffins

Recipe

¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted.

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

2 large eggs

½ cup whole milk

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

Mix dry, mix wet. Add wet to dry, add blueberries ( 1 cup) . Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.

Source: May 2008 edition of Everyday Food by Martha Stewart

Fruit and Yogurt Popsicles

Heat Wave Rx !


We are in the middle of a heatwave and I am so done. My kitchen is too hot to do anything in and with the fans blowing art supplies it’s impossible to do much art. So today we made organic yogurt popsicles , and went outside and played in the shade with our Ocean we made a while back.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2-3 large strawberries ( ripe ripe is best) , a banana, and a small yogurt. You will need a blender and some popsicle molds as well.
  2. Count your strawberries as you pop them in.
  3. Next up the banana.
  4. Squeeze the yogurt
  5. Blend!
  6. Taste to make sure it’s ok.
  7. Pour into the molds
  8. Pop in the sticks ( I asked specifically for each color, I can’t help it I’m a teacher through and through and these mini lessons just happen)
  9. Freeze
  10. Enjoy!
Rainbow Popsicles

This is from my other blog on FamilyEducation.com
click on the picture for the full instructions and even more !

Squeeze Painting Hot Dog Craft

hot dog squeeze painting

I am not a big meat eater, but somehow my son is a huge carnivore. He has recently discovered hot dogs and I feel like it may be the end of healthy eating as I once knew it. That or I’ll go broke buying the organic nitrate free ones! Either way I explained we were taking a break from eating hot dogs but that we could make one for art time today. Here is what we did! Squeezing the paint is great for hand strength which is a building block for handwriting.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a brown paper grocery bag ( or other paper) , a brown or black marker, some glue, red and yellow paint, scissors and ketchup and mustard containers. You could use real ones but the beauty of these are that they are solid , washable and kids can’t see that there is only a tiny bit of paint in them. Since there is so little the mess will be manageable.
  2. Pour the red paint into the ketchup bottle and yellow into the mustard. I thinned it out a little.
  3. Cut off a large piece from your grocery bag, and draw a bun and a sausage.
  4. Cut them apart.
  5. Glue the sausage to the bun.
  6. Add your condiments. Ignore my impromptu strap in the picture!
  7. Let dry and cut out.

Song


I’m a little hot dog
here’s my bun
Put me on the grill
until I’m doneAdd some mustard
and ketchup
take a big bite
and gobble me up!Book

“Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs” by Judi and Ron Barrett has long been a favorite. This book has a special place in my heart that also houses Corduroy and Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day! This book will take you to another dimension in the way that is usually reserved for longer books or movies. In just a few pages you will dive into the land of Chewandswallow and it’s magical weather. See Chewandswallow is a place where the food falls from the sky. Instead of rain or snow they get hot dogs and a drizzle of soda, or peas and carrots! Things started going wrong in Chewandswallow though and the weather went nuts! I love asking children what food they wished fell from the sky and why after reading this book. Kids love this story and I was thrilled to see a poster for it at the movie theater, they have made a film and it will be released this fall.