Optional: coconut flakes, chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds
What You Do:
Banana boats can be made in an oven or on a barbecue. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees, or warm up your barbecue.
Have your child set out a rectangle of aluminum foil big enough to wrap around a whole banana.
Peel a narrow strip along the inside part of the banana’s curve, leaving the rest of the peel intact.
Cut a lengthwise slit along the exposed banana from the top to the bottom, making sure not to cut through to the back. Your child can gently press open the banana to form a “boat.”
Let your child insert as many chocolate chips and mini marshmallows as will fit inside his banana boat. If he likes, he can also sprinkle some coconut flakes and nuts (chopped walnuts, pecans or almonds would be yummy) on top of the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Help him child gently close up the boat and then fold the peel back over the ingredients. It is okay to smash the ingredients together a bit. They will melt together in the oven or barbecue.
Have him wrap and seal the banana boat in the aluminum foil. Place the foil-covered boat in the oven or on the barbecue for about 5 minutes, or until the chocolate has melted.
Let cool before serving. He may need a spoon to get all the mushy goodness!
Beth Levin has an M.A. in Curriculum and Education from Columbia University Teachers College. She has written educational activities for Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and Renaissance Learning publishers. She has a substitute teaching credential for grades K-12 in Oregon, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.