I don’t plan out my posts much more than a scrap paper or notebook page of brainstorms. This post was not planned at all. My son was under the weather and wouldn’t eat. I knew he needed to eat lunch and when I asked ” If you could have anything what would you eat?” his answer was “A Happy Meal” . I was not taking him to McDonald’s every time he is sick! . So instead we made one at home. Huge , huge success ! He was sick and not at all into doing anything but this would be a fun parent and child activity. I am sure this is a healthier option ( not by much… but it is organic) more importantly it’s a treat at home!
- Gather your ingredients and materials. You will need a paper bag, some markers, foil, containers, straw..whatever you need to package your food. Don’t forget a toy or prize as well! We played restaurant as well so I grabbed some money and a tray to complete the pretend play.
- Start by decorating the bag – I wish my son was feeling well enough to do it but instead he told me to make one with fish.
- Make your food! We made apple slices, chicken nuggets, ranch dip , and milk.
- Pack your meal up and don’t forget the prize, I popped some Olympic stickers in for him.
- Take their order and their money!
- Dig in!
- He cleaned his plate and loved the stickers.
Dinner at the Panda Palace by Stephanie Calmenson is a great book. I grabbed it only because of the title but found a gem. My son and I both loved it and had a blast reading it. The story is about a restaurant and the people , or rather animals that come into the restaurant in ever enlarging groups. The text is rhyming and well written. My son loved counting each group that came in figuring out after a few that each group was one animal larger. It was a great opportunity to practice one to one correspondence as he counted one each page. There was also a great message about there always being room for one more when all the chairs were taken and a mouse came knocking wondering if he could eat too!
How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jan Yolen is a book all about eating in the popular and well loved series of dinosaur books . My son loves these books, he likes that the dinosaurs always misbehave in such over the top ways before the reality of how they really behave, well mannered , listening to their parents and eating all thier food. What I like about this is that kids relate to the dinosaurs and I have never had one question why the parents are human. I like that children are encouraged to sit still and say please and thank you. What I don’t like is that the dinosaurs are encouraged to clean their plate, never drop anything and try everything put before them. I know some parents will love these rules but for our house it doesn’t work, we don’t encourage plate cleaning or force bites. The book still served a purpose, as my son said loudly ” I’m a boy I don’t have to eat everything, right?” and we had a good talk about eating.
- Gather your materials. You will need some construction paper or card stock, some glue, scissors, crayons and contact paper.
- Have your child color , write their name, draw a picture whatever they want on a light color paper.
- While they are doing that you can cut out some shapes using another piece of paper , or if your child is able you can have them do this step as well.
- Glue the shapes to the paper, for young toddlers I would suggest putting small drops of glue on the paper and having them put the shapes on them.
- Cut a large enough piece of contact paper to fold over the place mat.
- Place the drawing/ collage on another piece of paper to use as a backing.
- Place both pieces face down on the first half of the contact paper, then fold the rest over. You want to do it face down to avoid big bubbles on the front of the place mat.
- Trim and you are good to go!!
” Mmmm, Cookies!” by Robert Munsch is a silly story about a boy who makes cookies out of playdough and tricks people into eating them, and their revenge. The story itself isn’t extraordinary but the way that the actions in the story are coupled with sounds keeps even the most uninterested reader turning the pages!
” If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff is a fun story about a demanding mouse and the consequences of giving into his whims! The illustrations by Felicia Bond have adorable details and compliment the simple but entertaining story perfectly. I like to use this book while teaching sequencing, and after reading it ask the children ” Well what happened next?” .