Geography–USA June 13, 2012
Last week, we began our North America continent study. We decided to start with the United States, since clearly that would be a familiar topic for the kids. 😉 As part of our study, the kids planned an entire meal with foods common in the United States, and then they had to help prepare that meal.
This week, Monkey began using the curriculum Five in a Row. We wanted to start with a familiar story (and, honestly, I waited too long to reserve Ping…I ended up trapped in the library’s waiting list for a couple weeks! LOL!) So, we started with Madeline, and Monkey really enjoyed it (Bug did too…she ended up sitting in on Monkey’s lessons because she loves the story so much!).
We ended up doing most of the activities in the FIAR manual, but obviously I couldn’t take pictures of them all since a lot of it was verbal. Here are a few pictures I was able to take from the unit though!
Allergen free holiday treats December 22, 2010
Being allergen free around the holidays can be tough, especially for kids. Everywhere they go, they see fabulous holiday treats…chocolates and baked goods and other sugary goods. In our house, we are gluten, dairy, egg, nut, and shellfish free, which generally makes most conventionial holiday treats off limits for us. However, I do try to keep a few things on hand that are easy to take with us to gatherings and events.
Our go-to recipe is a “safe” version of Rice Krispie treats–instead of rice krispies, we use Envirokids Koala Crisp cereal and Earth Balance spread for the butter. These freeze very well, so we can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer to pull out during special events.
Another easy recipe is for chocolate covered cherries. This is so simple, but the kids love it! All you have to do is melt a pack of chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life allergen free chocolate chips). Then, dip maraschino cherries into the chocolate and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (If you are dye free, we found some fantastic organic jarred maraschino cherries at our local health food store). Then just put in the fridge until they firm up.
Our all time favorite treat recipe is for chocolate covered marshmellows. We use these a lot during Easter and Christmas to replace the conventional chocolate covered marshmellow eggs & santas that seem to fill the store candy aisles this time of year. To make these treats:
Melt one bag of chocolate chips mixed with 1/4 cup of butter substitute (we used Enjoy Life chocolate chips and Earth Balance spread). If you like flavored chocolate, you can add a few drops of extract–vanilla, orange, or peppermint all work well.
Coat the bottom of each cup in a silicone muffin pan with chocolate. We *love* using Wilton silicone holiday themed muffin pans to make shaped treats.
Place one marshmellow in each cup, on top of the layer of chocolate. We have used conventional marshmellows and vegan corn syrup & dye free marshmellows and both have worked out really well. We usually cut the marshmellow in half.
Then, fill the cup all of the way to the top with melted chocolate, covering the marshmellow.
Put in the fridge for a couple hours until the chocolate is completely hard. The treats can then just be peeled right out of the silicone pans. Store the treats in an airtight container in the fridge.
Catching Up part 1….Tet Trung Thu! September 26, 2010
I have two posts to catch up on today….Field Trip Friday and Tet Trung Thu. I’ll start with Tet Trung Thu…
Tet Trung Thu and the Chinese Autumn Moon festival fall on the same day. Tet Trung Thu is the Vietnamese Harvest Moon Festival. It’s actually a day to celebrate children, who have to show great patience during the harvest season while the parents work. Typically, during Tet Trung Thu, Vietnamese children are given small gifts, they make lanterns and march in a parade with them, they can make masks out of baskets and other material, and they eat mooncakes. Obviously, that is a very overly-simplified summary of the holiday. 😉
We don’t have a local Tet Trung Thu festival in our part of Ohio, so we celebrated at home. Jedi was sick all last week, so we also had to account for the fact that one of the three kiddos was resting most of the week.