Anytime we talk about animals I can see us making a trip to the zoo. A zoo visit is always an exciting one. Big S loves to learn about animals and their habitat. She loves the primate house , the bears, penguins and the puffins. Our little tip: start the day as early as you can- Everybody is fresh and the air is crisp and even the animals are in their best mood !
So, for the World Animal Day series its only fitting we pay an homage to our favourite summer spot – Zoo.
Big S and I decided to build a zoo, but here comes a challenge – Can we make a zoo with things from the kitchen?. Inspired by [highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Robin at Rustic Flavor, we made our edible zoo.[/highlight]
Now I am not talking about baking cakes and molding chocolates, though that’s an awesome project itself. [highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″] We were going to keep this simple enough for the little hands to do all the big work. That’s our motto here. Kids do a large part of the project while mom helps.[/highlight] She caught on, I gave her just enough ideas to get her imagination going and after a brief discussion, she started to plan the project. We have built zoos for our tiny animal toys and with Lego and play doh, but this was indeed a challenge because it involved a lot of thinking.
[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Conceptualizing a vision and translating it into an edible sculpture is a mighty challenge for kids ( and for mom)[/highlight]
Me: Well, lets plan on what all we are going to make.
[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]I helped her pen her ideas on a piece of paper, so we can save our thoughts.[/highlight]
Big S: We need animals, trees , dip’n’dots , train and stroller. Oh water too !
Now that’s a tall order to fill. It was a ROFL moment for me to see dip’n’dots had become a big part of our zoo trips. We don’t have very many stores that carry dip’n’dots and so, we treat ourselves to these yummy cold tiny ice cream balls every visit.
[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]Lets figure it all out – Asking questions is a big part of creative learning. [/highlight]Questioning the kids, heightens their thinking and encourages them to search/look for answers. It gets their creativity to vast places and runs their imagination wild.
[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″]What can we use to replicate animals ?- now remember they should be edible too. What can we use to make trees? What color are the trees ? What fish do you remember seeing at the aquarium?[/highlight]
[box title=”Things you need” color=”#b01212″]
- Jello Pan – BASE
- Animals – – ANIMAL CRACKERS
- Trees – – BROCCOLI TOPS
- Pond- BLUE JELLO –( More like a water body in an animal park)
- Fish – GOLD FISH CRACKERS
- Ground – CHOCOLATE RICE CRISPIES
- Glue – SOFTENED CREAM CHEESE
We shopped in our pantry, and we had everything we needed. That’s the best part of this whole project- when you have everything you need for a “project”
Once you gather the essentials , you are all set. Mom stands by helping Big S go through the proces of setting up the zoo.It is great to give her the tools and see how she translates it. Of course – you are going to hear – Mommy do it with me !
We first transferred the jello to our tray and used the rice crispies to cover the ground around it.
Next we placed out trees. Make sure the brocolli tops have a flat stem, dunk them in cream cheese and place them on the tray.
Finally the animals, she used her favourites – camels, hippos, Rhinos, Elephant and Zebra . Same technique, dunk them in cheese and stick them on the tray.
To get the fish into the jello, make a small slit and insert the goldfish in to it. Its pretty easy and we had so much fun making the scene.
We even invited ourselves to the scene. Our lego people – Daddy , Mommy, Big S and Lil’ S. We watched a show at the arena and went to the petting zoo to feed the camel.
Oh did you notice how the nice square jello became this big blob of jello on our pan?[highlight bg=”#DDFF99″ color=”#000000″] Irresistible temptation for sensory play. [/highlight]So when we say – what you see is what the kids did,it is what the kids really did !
Whats better? the whole thing is edible , which in itself was a motivation to try some of the food on the tray.
I was a very happy mom !
[box title=”Learning de jour” color=”#b01212″]
Where do I begin?
The process of
concept–> Planning—> Gathering essentials—> Implementation.
My favorite- getting a picky eater to eat because it is his/her own creation.