Saturday, December 20, 2008

Look Out Hansel and Gretel

Evelyn and Clementine had their hearts set on designing and baking their own gingerbread houses this year. I can't say my heart was in it at first, in fact, I can say unequivocally that my heart was not in it.

But it was so important to them. So I tried to view it as an excellent learning experience.

First they each made a prototype out of paper. Topics covered: Design, Measurement.

Then they arranged the papers in the baking trays like a tangram puzzle to see how many sheets of gingerbread we'd need. Topic: Math.

I found a recipe.

Evelyn quadrupled the recipe. Topic: Fractions.

Ev and Greta did the dry ingredients. Topic: Counting (14 cups of flour!).
Oops--no ground cloves. We'll have to grind them ourselves.

Clem did the wet ingredients. Topic: Centrifugal Force. My mixer's lowest setting is fling, as in fling stuff all over the kitchen. The highest I think is tornado, but I'm scared to try it.

I had to step in to do the final stirring of the stiff dough.

The assembly had its rocky moments, and there had been some slight miscalculations, but with a lot of royal icing and perseverance, they held together.

Clementine calculated the number of sweet tarts in her garden path. Topic: Multiplication.

Evelyn used some of the green not taffy we made to make windowpanes. Topic: Recycling and Resourcefulness. The light she put in the window is more witchy than welcoming, I think.
Evelyn's design.

Clem's design.

Greta used a Trader Joe's kit.


AM said...

So cool that they get to learn real school stuff while "driving a project to completion," as we say in the biz. Was the result intended for eventual consumption?

Stefaneener said...

Beautiful and educational.

gina said...

Thanks for the recipe link! Mackenna has a peanut allergy so we can't use a box kit. Every year I say I am going to look for a recipe, but don't get around to it. Next year the littles will definitely be old enough and we will do it.