I am so excited about sharing on No Time For Flash Cards today. I have been following this blog for along time and love Allison’s ideas. My son (JDaniel) loves to cook and bake with me. With Saint Patrick’s Day drawing near I thought it would be fun to make Irish Soda Bread. Bread making has always been a challenge for me. The end products are usually too tough because I have over kneaded them. Bread that tastes like a rock or should I say Blarney Stone isn’t good at all.
While searching through recipes online, I found one for Irish Soda Bread that didn’t require any kneading at all just stirring called Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread on AllRecipes.com. My son loves to stir. This sounded like a great recipe for us.
It is super easy too. This one just required dumping in ingredients and stirring. We are both really good at that.
Here is the recipe:
Easy Irish Soda Bread
3 cups of bleached flour ( I used unbleached.)
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 cups of buttermilk
¼ cup of melted butter
1 cup of raisins or a dried fruit your children like
1. Grease the bottom of a loaf pan and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
2. Dump in all the dry ingredients.
4. Add the egg and melt butter.
5. Stir until all the ingredients are moist.
6. Add raisins and stir just until they are blended into the mixture.
7. Pour into pan.
8. Bake for one hour.
9. Let it cool overnight.
JDaniel4′s Mom spent twenty years teaching children as elementary school teacher in Virginia and South Carolina before becoming a mom. Now her four year old son JDaniel is teaching her to explore the world through his eyes. She hosts a weekly link up called Read.Explore.Learn. that encourages bloggers to share ways they are extending ideas they have read in books with their children through crafts, learning experiences, cooking and more.
Playdough is such a versatile play material that we really can’t get enough of it in our house. My elder daughter is nine now and we’ve been using playdough since she was around the age of one. We make a fresh batch using our favorite homemade recipe every few months and have it out to play most weeks. That’s a lot of playdough playing! I think it’s remained one of our favorite ways to play because we’re always adding new elements – new ingredients or accessories to give it a twist and invite the children to try the dough a different way.
Have you ever tried adding drinking straws to your playdough? This was a super frugal material for us as they’d already been used for scissor practise and making some contact paper art – but how would the kids use it with playdough? It’s always interesting to offer a new combination of materials, sit alongside an observe, and see what they children discover.
She tested out how to make the straws stand upright in the dough and we mixed in some math play by ordering the straw pieces from the biggest to the smallest. She also made families by collecting all the straws into matching color groups – great classification practise while she played.
If you’d like a printable version of our favorite playdough recipes, together with a year’s worth of ideas of things you can add in with your playdough, please stop by NurtureStore to get a free copy of our Let’s Play Dough ebook. I’d love to welcome you over on our Facebook page too – please come and like NurtureStore and I’ll keep in a regular supply of new play ideas.
Cathy James is the creative force behind NurtureStore a blog devoted to play ideas, kids’ crafts and fun activities.
I’m always on the lookout for crafts that don’t involve a lot of…well, anything. I want something that is easy to set up, supplies I have around my house and something my kids can do without a lot of supervision! And this, my friends, fits all those qualifications and more!
All you need is some crayons (check!), glue stick (check!), scissors (check!) and assorted envelopes (check!). So far, so good.
Let’s begin with the animal puppet. Take a long envelope, seal it and cut it in half.
With the open side down, snip off the two bottom corners. (Save ‘em! We’ll need them in a minute.)
Now, turn the envelope around, color it pink, glue on those two snipped bottom corners and you have a pig! How cute is that?!
We made mice and frogs with this same idea (just round eyes and ears instead of triangle ears). You could make a whole zoo this way!
Our next puppet is a caterpillar. Or maybe it’s a snake. Or just a crazy little monster. It’s whatever you want it to be! Just take a square invitation envelope, fold it in half and cut off the outside top corner. Then make a “V” cut in the middle.
So, next time your kids are hanging at your office or you need to write some bills, grab an envelope and start a puppet factory!
Amanda is a stay-at-home mom of two who blogs at OhAmanda.com and Impress Your Kids. In her former life, Amanda was a Children’s Pastor — overseeing, organizing and developing ministry for kids in nursery through middle school, but now that she is a mom, her “skills” are used up on her kids!
Young children need plenty of opportunities recognizing and forming letters before they can become proficient at writing them. Since the fine motor dexterity to form letters on paper sometimes doesn’t come until late in the preschool years, creativity is key! When an activity blends multiple domains of early childhood development, this helps to engage your child even more. Here are just a few ideas for teaching letter recognition and letter formation in a fun and engaging way!
What fun ways do you and your child practice forming letters?
Getting Started In early Spring, we had lots of fun starting seeds indoors! This helped to give Emily an appreciation for how long it takes plants to grow. She took very good care of her seedlings.
Next, we planted seeds and transfered some of the seedlings over to the garden plot. We found it helpful to have a kid-friendly garden layout, so as to avoid any little feet accidently squashing plants. Some good options include: raised beds, container gardening, or going with a square foot garden layout.
Kid-Friendly Garden Ideas
1. Raised Beds
2. Container Gardening
3. Square Foot Garden Layout
We chose to go with a square foot layout, which gave us plenty of vegetables and was a clear way for Emily to navigate her way around the garden without fear of stepping on any of the seedlings.
To be even more kid-friendly, we even gave Emily her very own space within our lot where she could grow whatever vegetables or flowers she wanted. She chose lots of broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce, and marigolds!
If possible, give your child his/her own special garden space!
Ten Gardening Chores Kids Can Do:
- Planting Seeds
- Making Seed Markers
- Watering Plants
- Weeding (with supervision)
- Harvesting Vegetables
- Loosening Soil
- Laying Down Straw
- Decorating the Garden (handmade mobiles, pinwheels, banners, etc.)
- Picking off bugs.
- Collecting Seeds for Next Year’s Garden
Garden Themed Books! Of course, we took advantage of our local public library as much as possible over the course of the Summer. Our favorite “garden” reads are The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss….
….and Seeds! Seeds! Seeds! by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace.
….and decorating a photo frame with dried beans (which Emily learned are also seeds). There are many more gardening craft ideas on Frugal Family Fun Blog too!
With lots of hard work, our garden was in full bloom!
Gardening is one of the best ways for kids to learn about where their food comes from, basic plant biology, and exposes kids to nature. As an added bonus, we saved lots of money by growing our own organic vegetables! I made a fun garden goody bag for Emily to harvest her vegetables in, and it was a great hit! I love to share good things, so I thought you might like one too!
Congrats Luna!! You Won. Check your email !