Saturday, November 23, 2013

Making Cookies - It can be fun for the whole family!

One of the time honored traditions in our family at this time of year is making cookies. It started back when I was a little girl. We would have sleepovers at my Grandmother's house with the cousins, and then all of us would descend upon her kitchen and roll dough, cut out cookies, and decorate the lopsided snowmen and crooked Christmas trees with the most disgusting colors of frosting. I am sure my Grandmother slept for a week after we left her house, and I know she must have been cleaning frosting off the ceiling - but I hold those memories so close to my heart! I wanted to bring this tradition to my own children; to make it something they loved and something we looked forward to. However, when your children have special needs, including fine motor issues, sometimes you have to get crafty.


What do we do? First we take deep breaths, and we go in with only one expectation -- that our kids have some fun. I make my Grandmother's (Better Home and Garden's) sugar cookie cut-out recipe the night before and store it in the refrigerator. I put aprons on the girls and put flour down on the table.

We take out the rolling pin and the cookie cutters and we make every shape we can. I did this once by myself with the girls. After that experience, I know myself and the girls well enough to know that I can only make cookies with the help of another adult. So, I wait until the Husband is home or my parents or sisters can come and help. We then bake and cool all the cookies and give the girls crafts to make, coloring pages to color, or an app to play.

When the cookies have cooled, we mix up some powdered sugar frosting (powdered sugar, milk and vanilla) with some food coloring and give the girls plastic knives and spoons. We gather sprinkles, candies, and other decorations and let the girls decorate each cookie to their heart's content. Yes, we scrape frosting off the ceiling, and we are so tired by the end of the night -- but as each holiday season approaches, my girls are already asking when we will be decorating cookies this year!

To ease the kid's anxiety for waiting, we downloaded the app Cookie Doodle ($0.99 iPad/iPhone). This allows users to create elaborately decorated cookies without any mess. If you would like to download Cookie Doodle please support Smart Apps for Special Needs by clicking the link:


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Cookie Doodle is a great app that lets the baker make cookies from simple to elaborate. Your little baker can choose an instant cookie dough recipe or actually make cookie dough by following a recipe. Little Miss M is actually starting to learn fractions without knowing she's learning them. Once the child makes the dough they have to roll it out and then they can pick from a variety of cookie cutters to make their perfect cookies. Now you put the cookie in the oven and bake it.

Next, you can frost it with a knife or pipe it. Then, the baker can use text or pictures or add sprinkles or candies as desired. When the child's cookie is finished, they have three choices. The child can save it in the cookie jar, turn it into a puzzle or "eat it" with their finger.

I like this app a lot, it amuses the kids forever. One problem I have with the app is in the recipe section. The little baker doesn't have to actually follow the recipe in order -- they can do it in any order they wish. I would like it a lot more if the child was required to follow the recipe in order, as you are required to do in the real kitchen. However, with that being the only fault I can actually find with the app, I would absolutely recommend it for any bakers you may have in your house.

From iTunes
If you enjoy making cookies but hate the mess, this is the app for you. We provide the dough, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, your choice of frostings, sprinkles, and candies all in one easy to use package.

Package includes:
* 204 Cookie Cutters
* 24 Make your own cookie dough recipes
* 21 Instant cookie dough flavors
* Photo cookie dough
* 60 different sprinkles
* 85 candy toppings

Comes complete with a super-deluxe rolling pin that allows you to roll out the perfect dough every time. Our vintage oven bakes flawlessly, never burning a single cookie. After baking, choose a frosting to spread or pipe on and then add sprinkles to finish.

When your creation is complete, devour it, send it to your friends and family, or save it to your photo album.

Can’t you almost taste the cookies now?

Nutrition Facts:
Calories ------------------ 0 g
Total Fat ----------------- 0 g
Cholesterol -------------- 0 g
Carbohydrates ---------- 0 g
Protein ------------------- 0 g

Fun and educational. Helps develop:
* Fine Motor Skills: Making the dough includes activities that help develop fine motor skills: tapping, pinching, tilting, twisting, shaking, and stirring.
* Sequencing: Each recipe has a variety of sequential steps required to make a cookie.  Each recipe is slightly different, with some more complex than others.
* Reading and pre-reading: The ingredients text and images are on the same screen. As ingredients are added, they are checked off to assist with word-picture association.
* Artistic Creativity: Explore color, shape, and  design.


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Amanda loves making cookies, and is actually looking forward to doing it this year with girls!








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