Monday, April 8, 2013

Baking and Crafting Our Way Around the Globe

As part of our geography fair each year we prepare snacks from the regions we're reporting on.  Trying foods from various regions is a great way to learn about geography and the cultures of the region.  We also try to incorporate fun arts and crafts projects.  I find that anything we can do to bring these regions to life really helps cement the lessons into the boys brains.



Today Evan and I started working on his cupcakes.  He's reporting on Florida so we're making lemon cupcakes!

I handed him the cupcake liners and the mini- muffin pan and watched him really use his fine motor skills to try and separate all the liners.

Once he had that done I handed him the bowl with the lemon cake mix, eggs, water and oil already inside and had him mix it up for me.

I know I should have had him help me measure everything out too but he didn't want to.  By then he was getting hungry and his attention span was pretty much gone.  He was willing to mix up the batter though since I offered to make him eggs while he did that for me.

He watched me scoop the batter in the liners while he ate and we ended up making 2 1/2 batches of mini cupcakes. 


Updated with his completed lemon cupcakes 

Alec wandered in after a bit and I asked him if he'd like to start on his painting for his Brazil report so he eagerly gathered all the supplied and read the instructions to himself.  It took him most of the day to finish it while waiting for the paint to dry for each later but looks wonderful!



Evan wanted to pull out the globe and look at all the oceans.  He then started pointing out all the little islands all over the world and asking about them so I stopped to read the names with him.

He found Antarctica and Madagascar.  Alec came over and told us Madagascar was off the coast of Africa since he saw that on all the zoo maps.  Evan was real proud of himself when we was able to find Florida on there as well!  It was a wonderful short impromptu geography lesson.  I'm telling you, sometimes you just can't plan these things! 


We headed out for our two hours of trampoline and listened to the Magic Treehouse book Afternoon on the Amazon.  Everyone was doubly excited that this went along nicely with Alec's report on the Brazilian rainforest.
  
Evan started his fish painting.  Evan learned how to splatter paint and had lots of fun with the toothbrush!  He complained the splatters weren't big enough so I then taught him how to splatter using a brush and watered down paint.  We set the background aside to dry then he completed his painting another day using a foam fish stamp and some paint.





.Alec started working on his chocolate birds for the geography fair.  He had settled on making chocolates since cocoa beans are found in the rainforest.  We found these adorable parrot molds on Amazon and knew they would be perfect.

 We poured some of the melts into the glass pitcher and heated it in the microwave until they were all melted and smooth and then I showed him how to pour it into the mold and tap it on the counter.  He then filled in the last three birds.  We'll have to do this many, many, many times over the next few days since we can only make 4 birds at a time and we need a lot of birds, but luckily it's a pretty quick easy process.  I'm sure by Thursdays he'll be a pro. at making chocolate candy!


Updated with our final presentation; those birds sure look yummy! 

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