My recent visit to Brook Park got me perusing garden books this week. After reading Lola Plants a Garden, (part of the very cute series of Lola picture books), I decided to plant one too! However, I made my garden in pie form because…I am impatient and like quick results, and I love sweets 🙂 I DEFinitely encourage you to let this read lead to planting a real garden too, though. Kids love activities that sanction getting dirty. There is also a special satisfaction in growing something from seed to sprout to full-fledged flower and it is very empowering for children to experience this. As someone who lacks a green thumb (I have a gray thumb-of-death), I know how elusive this satisfaction can be. But it is worth attempting. And a child can learn as much from a failed seedling as from a successful blossom. Here is a fun planting project you can try from bronxmama.com.
BUT, back to the garden pie…my helper Shahida and I started by filling a graham cracker crust with chocolate pudding–our “soil.” Then we planted our “seeds” (green M&Ms). Next came a layer of “topsoil” (crushed-up knock-off chocolate sandwich cookies). Crushing is always a kid-pleaser. Much like sanctioned dirtiness, sanctioned destruction is also pretty fun. With our seeds adequately covered, we went about making some “grass.”
We simply added some green food coloring (or you could use a mix of yellow and blue, if you want to open up a discussion of primary and secondary colors with your young one) to the whipped topping and mixed until we were happy with the color. We found it took a LOT of food coloring to get a grassy green.
We attempted to spread the topping in a grassy tuft-ish sort of way. Then, we ever so carefully assembled M&M flowers on top. It led to the observation that many flowers are a yellowish color in the center (except for sunflowers), as we set out designing our pie’s blossoms.
This recipe was fun and tasty, and even a small child can handle doing most of these steps hands-on. When it came time to slice into our pie, we had the sudden inspiration to toss in some gummy worms. Then it was time to plant ourselves on the couch and dig in… 🙂
BOOKS TO BAKE WITH…
Lola Plants a Garden by Anna McQuinn
Plant a Little Seed by Bonnie Christensen