Preschoolers may not understand much about Independence Day also known as the Fourth of July, however if America is having a birthday, most children are expecting a party. Increase interest in this celebration by creating edible snacks in patriotic colors.
During the month of July, we put our patriotism on parade as the country observes America's birthday. A good way to remember the historical meaning of Independence Day is by making simple Fourth of July crafts and food. Preschool snacks are a fun way to engage the children in a cooking project, which is part of the early childhood curriculum. Plan a fun patriotic party for your classroom with these interesting foods in red, white and blue.
This is an intriguing snack that can be prepared in numerous ways. The main concept of this food creation is using the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. Here are several ways to prepare this parfait.
Vanilla Ice Cream and Fruit
Invite the children to layer fruit and ice cream into a clear plastic cup. First add a layer of blueberries on the bottom of the cup. Next, help the children to scoop a layer of vanilla ice cream in the center. Finish the parfait with sliced strawberries on top. The children can help in the preparation of the strawberries by slicing them with a plastic knife. These cups need to be placed into the freezer until ready to eat to keep the ice cream frozen.
Jello Stripes Parfait
The teacher can prepare Jello (your favorite brand) in a red flavor such as strawberry, cherry or raspberry and then a blueberry flavor. The teacher can pour a layer of blueberry Jello into the cups and then place these in the refrigerator to set up. Once the Jello has hardened a bit, bring out the cups and invite the children to place a layer of white mini-marshmallows for the next layer. The teacher needs to carefully pour in the red Jello and then place the cups back into the refrigerator until the entire gelatin has congealed.
Vanilla Yogurt and Fruit
Have the children create a multilayer yogurt parfait in a clear plastic cup. First add a layer of yogurt on the bottom of the cup. Next, put a single layer of blueberries followed by another layer of yogurt. Then add a layer of sliced strawberries topped with more yogurt or a dallop of cool whip.
Patriotic Pinwheel Sandwiches
Take a loaf of white sandwich bread and remove the crusts. Cut the bread into two strips. Help the children to spread one with peanut butter and the other with red or blue jam or jelly. Think about using strawberry and blueberry flavors. Place one strip of bread on top of the other with the filling sides up. Roll the strips into a pinwheel and secure with a fancy toothpick.
Note: Peanut butter is made from peanuts and can cause a reaction in children who are allergic to nuts. Check with parents before serving this meal.
Stars and Stripes Cookies
Prepare your favorite sugar cookie recipe and make the cookies at home or in the classroom if you have a kitchen facility. Roll out the dough and cut the cookies in star shapes with a cookie cutter. Bake as directed.
Prepare red and blue frosting/cookie paint by combining 1-cup of sugar, 1-tablespoon light corn syrup, 2-tablespoons water and food coloring. Stir well. Have the children paint alternating stripes onto the cookie using new, clean paintbrushes. Set the cookies aside to dry before eating.
Begin this project by making special ice cubes for the drink. Invite the children to place a few blueberries into sections of an ice cube tray. Repeat this process with red Maraschino cherries in another tray. Fill with water and freeze.
When the ice cubes are ready (usually overnight) it's time to make this refreshing drink. Pour lemonade into clear plastic cups and add a few of the patriotic ice cubes to each cup. Make sure each child receives at least two ice cubes - one with red and one with blue fruit.
It can be challenging to keep holidays exciting for the children and teach a concept too. Implement your cooking center this year for making Fourth of July crafts. Preschool edibles could also include fruit pizza with stars and stripes and colorful smoothies. Brainstorm with your class for food creations in red, white and blue to teach the colors of America and the use of stars and stripes which are well-known on the American flag.
Cooking with Kids: Recipes for Year-round Fun by Tania Kourempis-Cowling [Fearon Teacher Aids, 1999]
Stripes Parfait - personal experience
Cookie Paint - All Recipes
Drawings courtesy of Tania Cowling, all rights reserved
Flag photo by cohdra - Morguefile