Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sensory Saturday: Slice and Bake Cookies



I'll start this by saying the creative side of me usually shies away from "commercial toys" as I get a big kick out of finding new functions for everyday items. But I'll make an exception for this Sensory Saturday because my family LOVES LOVES LOVES Melissa and Doug's Slice and Bake Cookies.

They're great quality of course - M&D do wooden toys like no other. The set consists of 12 round cookies with a piece of (very strong) velcro on each side; 12 decorated "frosting" pieces with a square of velcro, a baking pan with 12 velcro squares, a cardboard tube container, an oven mitt, a wooden spatula and a wooden knife.

I hope you all have already discovered the wondrous sensory joy that is velcro. If not, remind to blog about it, it's worth a whole entry on its own! So back to the cookies ... the cookies are beautifully minimalistic. Maria Montessori would approve for sure. There's a nice weight to the set, and that alone starts giving some great sensory input. LM dove into the box and started velcroing cookies together and then pulling them apart. Again, hooray for super duty velcro, he really had to get a good grip and then use some muscle to get them apart. RRRIIIIPPPP ... ah, a satisfying sound as well! I gave him some suggestions on how to expand this activity - next we tried to "unscrew" them. (Think Oreo cookies). Then my favorite part. We stacked the 12 cookies on top of one another and laid them on their side like a log. Time to slice with the wooden knife. There was a good amount of resistance and LM really had to push down on the knife. We're definitely incorporating this slicing into his sensory diet. He was so calm and focused.

Bear was his little helper and got to stick the cookie slices to the baking pan. Great opportunity to introduce multi-step directions and processes. "First slice the cookie, then put it on the sheet, then put it in the oven and put on the frosting last." Also a great turn-taking activity. 2-3 kids could work cooperatively. Of course the pretend play opportunities are endless. Next time we'll pull out the chef hats and aprons. They both like playing restaurant, but maybe I'll get LM to put on a cooking show demonstration. Look out Food Network, here we come!

Keep up the good work Melissa and Doug! This one is a winner!

Sing and Play the Sensory Way! ~Lea =)

PS - My favorite Melissa and Doug vendor! www.gummylump.com

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