Monday, February 10, 2014

Decorating Cookies in the Classroom for Valentine's Day

Hello viewers!

For those of you that have been sticking with your New Year's resolutions, I thought I might tempt you into going astray with the photo below.
This is a photo of frosted cookies.

Are you ready to celebrate Valentine's Day with your students this Friday? Here's an idea that's easy and simple. It's decorating cookies! This activity is sure to be a winner with the children. The fact that they end up with something to eat "sweetens" the deal!

There are a few things you'll need to do to get started.  Of course you will need to check out any potential food allergies that some of your students may have.  For these students, send a note home to the parents suggesting that a snack be brought to school on the day you plan this.

First, you will need some cookies.  Get the plain ones that are not frosted.  Select a variety that is strong enough for little hands to hold and to frost with.  I used the Keebler brand "simply made" butter cookies.  You get about twenty cookies in one package.  You will also need at least one container of white frosting, red food coloring, sprinkles or crystals (or both), cupcake liners (or something else to hold them inside of), small paper plates, and plastic knives for the children to spread the frosting with.

This is what the cookies in the first photo looked liked before they were frosted.

Using just a single container of frosting will make it difficult for twenty or more children to view the transformation of the frosting as it changes from white to pink.  Divide the frosting into several separate containers. This way, you can have small groups of children watch the magic happen.  For the purposes of this blog, and not the classroom setting, I am adding the red food coloring directly into one container.

Add a few drops of red food coloring to the white frosting.
Stir the red food coloring into the frosting so that is is well mixed.
Once you have made the pink frosting, give each child a cookie on a small paper plate.  Provide each child with some sprinkles, a small amount of frosting, and a plastic knife for spreading. 

This photo shows the frosting as it is spread onto the cookie.  The cupcake liner seen behind the cookie holds the sprinkles and a candied heart.  Treats are nice for Valentine's Day.  It's even sweeter when the kids "make" their treat themselves.
Save at least one cooking as unfrosted to provide a visual reminder of what the cookie looked like before it was frosted.
What are the educational values of the activity? 

1.  Motor Skills:  The children are spreading the frosting on their cookies and sprinkling it with other decorations.  They are using muscles in their hands. 
2.  Language development:  The educator can talk about what the cookie looked like before it was frosted.  He/she can also discuss its appearance after it was frosted.  The words, frosted and unfrosted can be introduced.  A discussion on how the frosting changed can also be discussed.
3.  Writing:  The children can write about the experience!  They can practice using adjectives to describe the cookies.

The above activity can be done anytime during the school year.  Change the color of the frosting to yellow or green for a spring themed cookie decorating activity. 

I made a few Valentine cookie recording sheets that can be used by the children to draw or write their observations.  I made them generic enough that they can be used anytime of the year.  You can view them below. 

Children can make pictorial representations of the cookies before and after the frosting activity.

The unfrosted word list might include size, shape, and color.  The frosted cookies word list might include the same words with the color of the frosting added and words like, "pretty", "colorful", and "beautiful".

Click on the words, Valentine Cookie Recording Sheets to get them.

Lessons by Molly © 2014  All rights reserved.

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