Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's the Best Time of the Year...Right?

If you're like me at this time of year, you are bouncing from one 'festive' obligation to the next. Only to get home at the end of an exhausting day and realize that you haven't put a dent in your ever multiplying to-do list.  All you want to do is get off your feet and take those Hershey Holiday White Chocolate Candy Cane  Kisses to your warm, comfy bed.

But...the kids need dinner, probably a conflict mediator and maybe a good scrub behind the ears.
So tell me again, where does that quality time fit into this Holiday picture?

In the essence of saving time, I'll cut to the chase...

Below is a fun recipe to try with your children that will not only help prepare them for kindergarten, but also give you a much needed dose of relaxation.

Warm Vanilla Steamers



  1. Combine milk and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved and the milk begins to simmer.
  2. Remove from the burner, add the vanilla and allow it to sit for 4 minutes.
  3. Whisk vigorously to form a thick layer of foam on top of the milk.  Divide into 4 servings, topped with a dollop of the foam.
  4. Sprinkle with a pinch of ground cinnamon.
=Good vocabulary to use with your child.

Besides the Social/Emotional growth that your child will gain from this bonding experience, cooking with children incorporates many different domains of early childhood development:

Language & Literacy

  • Encourage your child to help you read the recipe.  
      • If you can find recipes with pictures (like on the backs of most brownie boxes) children can confidently help you interpret the recipe.
  • Use vibrant language that describes what their senses are exploring.
      • 'fragrant aroma of chocolate chips melting into the dough'
      • 'the gooey, sticky marshmallows are clenching to the sides of the pan'
  • Use common vocabulary in context
      • spatula
      • sifter
      • degrees
      • whisk

  • Encourage your child to count
      • Count with your child as they add ingredients
      • Ask them to give the mixture 20 stirs  
  • Use common vocabulary in context
      • 1/2 cup
      • dash of salt
      • 400 degrees


  • Point out cause & effect
      • Watch the cookies rise as they are heated in the oven.
      • Predict what will happen to the liquid jello when you cool it in the refrigerator.
  • Use common vocabulary in context
      • liquid
      • solid
      • mixture
  • Allow your child to explore with all of their senses

Enjoy LEARNING with your Child!

Thank you Ellen Booth Church for the fabulous recipe:
For more of her warm drink recipes visit:

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