Young students are literal-minded and need to experience, touch, and see to learn. This edible craft activity repeats the story of Horton Hatches the Egg in a different fashion and provides a broader base of learning for the children.
Objectives for the Activities
To provide a hands-on experience in sharing, taking turns, helping, and exercising self-control. It develops small motor skills as children use plastic utensils to cut and mold dough. It builds on the prior learning from the story about faithfulness and being responsible. Activities are based on one of the books of Dr. Seuss about Horton the elephant.
The following supplies are needed for the multisensory learning activity based on Horton hatching Mayzie's egg.
- One roll waxed paper
- One box crisped rice cereal
- One jar marshmallow cream (fluff)
- One stick of butter
- Sugar cookie dough
- Small elephant cookie cutter or cardboard cut-out of an elephant
- Microwave safe glass bowl
- Adult helpers
Scrape the marshmallow cream into a microwave-safe glass bowl, and add the stick of butter. Microwave in twenty-second intervals, stirring well in between cooking, until marshmallow cream and butter form a smooth mixture. Set aside to cool.
While the mixture is cooling, review the story. For example, ask the children:
- How big was Horton?
- Will our cookies be larger or smaller than Horton?
Making Elephant Cut-outs
Make sure the children wash their hands prior to starting. Spread a piece of waxed paper over the tabletop, and put the sugar cookie dough on top. The children take turns using a rolling pin to smooth the dough out to about one-half inch thickness. Each student cuts out an elephant cookie to represent Horton.
Here are some suggested discussion questions for this section. The skills development category is given as a suggested guide.
- How does the dough feel? (Sensory learning)
- What happens when we squeeze the dough in our hands? (Sensory learning)
- What happens as we move the rolling pin across the dough? (Small motor skills, prediction)
- What do you think will happen when we put the cookies in the oven? (Prediction)
- How long do you think we should bake the cookies? (Estimation)
Making the Nests and Eggs
While the cookies are baking, test the marshmallow mixture. It should be cool enough for the children to handle safely. Pour the crisped rice cereal into a shallow metal baking pan or container. Drizzle the marshmallow mixture over the cereal, stirring with a spoon to evenly coat the pieces. Working in small groups, rub a little butter on the student’s hands, and let them scoop up a handful of the marshmallow-cereal mix. Show the children how to form the mixture into the shape of a nest and then have them place their nests on another sheet of waxed paper. Give each child a jelly bean to place into the nest to represent Horton’s egg.
Invite the children to answer these questions:
- How did Horton climb into the nest? (The answer is gently.)
- How should we put our eggs into our nests? (Small motor)
- What color is your jelly bean? (Color recognition)
- What is your favorite color? (Color recognition)
Finish by Adding the Elephant Cut-out to the Nest
Take the cookies out of the oven, and let them cool. When the elephant-shaped cookies are cool enough to handle, help each child use the icing to pipe their initials onto a cookie. Remember, the process is more important to the students than the product, so let them express their creativity. Place a dab of icing on the bottom of the cookies, and place them gently into the nests.
Ask the children:
- How long did Horton sit on his egg? (Estimation)
- Will our eggs hatch? Why or why not? (Prediction)
While the children eat their craft snack, read the story to them again. Repetition is important to children and a natural way for them to learn.
Lesson Extension Activities
Have the children describe the sequencing of making the elephant edible craft.
- What did we do first?
- What did we do before we cut out the cookies?
- Did we do it for a long time or a short time?
- What did we do last?
- How did the nest taste? (or the egg, or the elephant, or all three)
- How do you eat an elephant?
Multi-sensory activities give children opportunities to experience, see, and touch while learning. Making an edible craft does just that while teaching the students how to work together in cooperation. Dr. Seuss books offer a wide range of teaching opportunities and activities to use multisensory approaches to learning.
Have older students write stories and younger students draw pictures about their baking experience.
NOTE - Because this activity includes cooking and food, check children’s records for food allergies. Adult supervision is necessary for safety during the baking process.
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
- Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss Teacher Unit
The books of Dr. Seuss, like Horton Hatches the Egg, are rich with opportunities for developing interactive activities for using play to teach language, vocabulary, social skills and collaborative problem solving. This unit series includes lesson plans, sequencing activities, and crafts.
- Fun Language Arts Activities on Horton Hatches the Egg
- An Edible Craft and Reading Activities with Horton Hatches the Egg