I thought we’d try something a little new for V week. We’ve never done V is for Vanilla before! Of course, it’s going to take a little extra smelling and tasting today!
- Read “Cupcake” by Charise Mericle Harper
- Plain Vanilla: Vanilla cupcake is very proud of his colorful cupcake family until he realizes he is just plain and white. A cute story about how he tries to find just the right topping to make him fancier than just plain vanilla. Includes a recipe for Deliciously Plain Vanilla Cupcakes!
- Smell different flavors
- Squeeze small amounts of several extracts or flavorings onto cotton balls (peppermint, root beer, almond, lemon and of course, vanilla)
- Let the kids smell the different extracts.
- Don’t tell them which is which, but see if they can guess.
- Vanilla Bean
- Get a real vanilla bean from the store. Check your local health food store or gourmet food shop if you can’t find them in your regular grocery store.
- Examine the vanilla bean. What does it look like? How does it smell? What does it feel like? Measure it.
- Carefully slice it open and let the kids see the seeds inside and smell the vanilla … Mmm!
- If you’re not sure how, check here or here.
- All about a Vanilla Bean … so I’ve looked and looked and there just aren’t many kids books about vanilla beans Not too surprising. Here are some facts I’ve learned.
- Vanilla is the fruit of an orchid plant.
- The vanilla bean pod contains thousands of little black seeds. The seeds and the pod are both very flavorful.
- Vanilla orchids grow in tropic climates, primarily Mexico, Tahiti, Madagascar (3/4 of world supply comes from Madagascar).
- NOTE: You could find these countries on a globe
- The green vanilla beans are hand-picked, soaked in hot water, rolled in blankets to “sweat,” dried on flats in the sun to evaporate the water, then stored in a ventilated room to slowly produce the vanilla flavor. This process takes six months!
- Chocolate Vanilla Cookie Patterns
- Use a package of chocolate vanilla sandwich cookies (they have chocolate on one side, vanilla on the other)
- Use a pattern strip (or not).
- Start a simple pattern and let the kids finish it with their cookies flipping to either the chocolate or vanilla side!
- Vanilla Ice Cream Bar Memory Match … my 4-year-old who loves Memory Match is going to love this version!
- This is an adorable version of Memory Match from Amy at Eat Drink Chic. It is a popsicle matching game, but I’m going to improvise and call it an ice cream bar game
- Amy has a great tutorial and free printable here. Print, cut and sandwich a craft popsicle stick between the front and back.
- I may make one more set with just plain “vanilla” paper on the back.
- Have a great time matching your ice cream bars and finding that one VANILLA match!
- Rock n’ Roll Vanilla Ice Cream
- You will need:
- 3 lb. empty coffee-type can
- 1 lb. empty coffee-type can
- 1 pint half & half
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- rock salt
- In the smaller can, mix the half & half, sugar and vanilla bean seeds (or 1 tsp. vanilla extract).
- Put the lid on the smaller can and seal with duct tape.
- Place the small can inside the large can. Layer with ice and rock salt.
- Put the lid on the larger can and seal with duct tape.
- Place a large plastic table cloth on the floor and roll the can to each other. It takes about 10 minutes.
- TIP: You may want to make a game out of it. Each time you roll the can, have the kids think of a food or an animal that starts with a letter of the alphabet. Ex: the first person says “A for Apple or A for Armadillo.” Roll the can to the next person who says “B for Bagel or B for Buffalo” … keep rolling!
- NOTE: You can also take the can outside and kick it if the weather is nice enough!
- Open the cans and stir the ice cream. If it’s not quite hard enough, reseal and keep rolling or put the can in the freezer for an hour.