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Grandparents Teach, too

Kids help with family gatherings

Sabin, Davis, Hetrick, Anderegg, Macalady, Walker, Darling and Katers

While a meal is in the oven children and adults can do a little cooking together.

On average, American families are spending about 29 minutes a day talking together. Most of the time is spent giving children directions to finish meals, prepare for school, lessons, and bedtime. Those minutes of talking are decreasing by one minute per year in the last five years.

Children’s pumpkin pie

This recipe may sound a bit different, but is it a tasty never- fail pumpkin pie recipe that is easy for children to make. Use prepared pie crusts or make your own kept in a sealed zip locked plastic bag and cool until needed.

Ingredients: One 16 oz. can pumpkin pie mix, one 10 ounce package of firm tofu. If you want to add your own spices, follow the directions on a 16 ounce can of pumpkin.

Place ingredients in a blender. Supervise children while they mix the ingredients.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place mixed ingredients in a pie pan with one pie crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 45 minutes. Allow to fully cool before slicing.

Grandma’s leftover pie crust

Ingredients: Leftover piecrusts, soft butter, cinnamon and sugar

Roll out or unwrap a pie crust into a rectangle. Spread butter on one side of the dough and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Take one corner of pie dough and begin to roll lengthwise to make a long cinnamon twist. Cut diagonally into one inch pieces. Connect pieces to make into capital letters or initials. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown. Allow to cool. These are great to serve with ice cream or jelly and warm apple cider.

Quick little books

Trace children’s flat hands on five large paper plates with the four fingers snug together and the thumb sticking out so they look like a turkey from a side view or keep the hand looking like a palm. Cut out the shapes and decorate one plate as the cover and title. Match up the pages and punch two holes on the left side for yarn or string to tie the book together. Children can print or dictate what they are grateful for or something special about each person. They can decorate each page and add pictures of their family.

Children can read their books at the family table or while everyone is relaxing. Preparing books ahead gives children time to think about what they wish to say and provides a fine remembrance for family members. Children often need a quiet settling down time during the excitement of gathering with cousins. For more see grandparentsteachtoo.blogspot.com and wnmufm.org/Learning Through the Seasons.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Grandparents Teach, Too is a non-profit organization of elementary and preschool teachers from Marquette, Michigan. The writers include: Jan Sabin, Mary Davis, Jean Hetrick, Cheryl Anderegg, Esther Macalady, Colleen Walker, Fran Darling, and Iris Katers. Their mission since 2009 is to help parents, grandparents, and other caregivers of young children provide fun activities to help prepare young children for school and a life long love of learning. They are supported by Great Start, Parent Awareness of Michigan, the U.P. Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Michigan School of Education, the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and the Northern Michigan University Center for Economic Education.