Tuesday, October 4, 2011

C is for Cookie! Braille Cookies!

For a breakout lesson from the Letter C Lesson Plan, try a fun sensory activity that is both educational to prepare and yummy to consume! Check out this recipe for fun - braille cookies!

Sensory Exploration - all senses
Math Skills - parts/fractions, counting, time
Daily Living Skills
Cause and Effect
Learning to follow written/verbal instructions
Safety Skills (kitchen/home, fire, food)

Candy Dots (we used Necco Candy Buttons)
Sugar Cookies (we used this EASY SUGAR COOKIE recipe from Allrecipes.com)
Royal Sugar Cookie Icing (this recipe hardens with a smooth, glossy finish)

The benefits of this activity are more widely seen with the more time you take and let the child really explore! Start from the very beginning with gathering the recipe, reading what ingredients you need, hunt them down in the kitchen or make a braille shopping list (check out our grocery store lesson, too!) if you still need to make purchases.

Go into detail on what ingredients are one by one as you add them to the bowl. Explore and discuss what they feel, smell, and taste like individually (when appropriate). Feel the egg. Describe how it feels - smooth, rounded like an oval, hard. Now crack it open. That sounded funny! Carefully feel the edges of the egg where it cracked. Touch the gooey whites and poke the yoke. Just be sure to wash your hands immediately afterwards to avoid contamination and don't taste raw eggs!! Feel the powdery flour as you sift it into the bowl. How does it feel different from the sugar? How are they alike? Taste them! Take your time and do this for each ingredient. For younger children, count the scoops when measuring out the ingredients. Compare the size of the teaspoon with the 1 cup measuring scoop. Which one is bigger? Which one holds more flour? You're already on the path to a new way of learning math!

Now, how do the ingredients change when you mix them together? What tool do you use to mix them? Touch the dough after it is all mixed up. Smell it! Doesn't it smell sweet and delicious? Don't taste it yet though! Now get your hands in and mix it up, pull some out and play with it. Swirl it around between your palms to form a ball. When it is just right, place it on the pan. Hope you (the adult, of course!) remembered to preheat the oven! If not, do it now :) Count the dough balls that can fit on the baking sheet. When it is full, place it in the oven and set the timer. Depending on the age and abilities of the child, have her participate in the more dangerous parts accordingly. Teach about safety first! All children must learn safety in the home, and that includes the kitchen. Just please be careful! We don't want anyone getting burned or hurt.

When the timer announces the cookies are finished, take them out and after they cool let the child feel them, count them, smell them, and of course taste one! Yes, taste one now before you decorate it. Then compare to how it tastes AFTER you decorate them. Which one is better?

Now it's time to decorate! If you need to make the icing, go ahead now. You can incorporate all the lessons from the cookie recipe with your child again. You can use a plastic knife to ice them if you don't have a decorator's bag and tip. Just make sure you place the candy buttons on top before the icing dries! Place the candy so a variety of braille letters are formed. Make a cookie for each letter of the child's name. She will have fun feeling each cookie after the icing dries, rearranging them on the table to build her name and other words! Can you spell "cookie"?

Additional Resources:
Buy Necco Candy Buttons

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