Thursday, May 23, 2013

Field Day Fun

Tomorrow is field day at the elementary school! One of the best days of school there is in my opinion. We've also haven't been able to go out for recess the last two days because of rain, so it will be a much needed dose of the outdoors for my kindergarteners. I'm not in charge, so I don't know exactly what activities we will be partaking in, but I do have a fun water activity that would be great for your own field day, whether its at school or just having fun at home with your family.

We are also having a little end of the year bash, and the teacher I work with loves pandas, so I made special panda cookies inspired by some teddy bear ones I saw on Pinterest. She also loves Barry Manilow, but I don't know how to make a cookie for that. I'm a Hanson fan myself.

I've been making this sugar cookie recipe my grandma gave me for quite a while now, but this past Christmas I started experimenting with ways to jazz it up. At Christmas time I split the dough in half, gave them different flavors, and made swirled pinwheel cookies. I'll be sure to share instructions for this when Christmas rolls around again. I used the same divide and flavor technique for the pandas. I couldn't find my cookie cutters, so I used round containers to cut out my shapes. For the chocolate ears and noses I used a clean medicine cup.

Extra-Good Sugar Cookies - I made a double batch for this project
2/3 cup butter
3/4 sugar
1 egg
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp milk

Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg and beat well. Add vanilla and almond extract. Mix thoroughly.

In another bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir into sugar mixture along with milk. Divide in half and let chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a baking pan. Roll out dough until it is 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with a cookie cutter. Place on greased cookie sheet and bake for 8 - 9 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Remove from the pan and cool on a wire cookie rack.

To make Pandas:
 When you divide the dough in half leave one half plain. For the other half melt some chocolate chips (1/3 to a 1/2 cup) in the microwave and stir them into the cookie dough until well incorporated. Put these in the the fridge to chill just like in the original directions.

When its time to roll you will need bigger and smaller circle cookie cutters. Start with the plain sugar cookies, and cut out using the bigger circle cutter. Place these on the baking sheet. Then roll out the chocolate sugar cookies. Each panda will need three smaller circles; two for the ears and one for the nose. The ears go behind the head, and the nose goes on the front in the bottom. Bake and cool  according to the original directions. When removing the baked pandas, make sure the spatula is under the ears, that is the part most likely to break!

After the cookies have cooled, pipe on the nose and mouth in white icing. This can be done by simply cutting a hole in the corner of a zip top bag. Put two dots of frosting above the nose for the eyes, and stick on a chocolate chip! Aren't they cute?!

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 We've had field day treats, on to the the field day activity! I've seen this craft floating around the internet, and thought I would give it a try. It turned out great! A sponge ball fight is way better than a water balloon fight! You don't have to fill them up, they're reusable, there's nothing to clean up, and the sponges fling water around as you throw them. A water balloon toss is a traditional field day game that I think should be made better with sponge balls. You don't have to estimate how many balloons you need, and the kids don't have to stop playing after their balloon breaks because they have to save balloons for the next class. My son wants to play with these everyday. Though after a while he usually stops throwing them and starts squeezing water onto the dandelions to help them grow. 

Water Fun Sponge Balls

"ouchless" hair ties (no metal on them)

To make a sponge ball cut two sponges into three strips lengthwise, (that's six strips all together). Gather the strips together and secure in the middle with a hair tie. Repeat.

Fill containers with water and soak the sponge balls in them. Start throwing!

For just me and my son we have one water bucket in the driveway. For a large scale fight you could set up water containers throughout an area. These would also be great for the pool!

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