The only thing better than a warm, chewy chocolate chip cookie that melts in your mouth? Cookie shapes! Have fun with the kids by "shaping up" this traditional recipe, and teach kids about sorting and shapes while you're at it.
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Measure out the flour, baking soda and salt. Mix together.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the softened butter (or margarine), granulated sugar and brown sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla. Mix well.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in.
- Add chocolate chips.
- Add walnuts (optional).
- Mix until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Form a ball with the dough and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Spread flour on a flat surface. Roll out the dough with a rolling pin until it forms a 9–12 inch circle.
- Have your child cut out shapes with cookie cutters. If you don’t have cookie cutters, have a parent use a knife to cut out the shapes. For a perfect circle, use the rim of a glass.
- Bake 9–11 minutes. Let cool completely.
- Lay a large piece of parchment, clean paper, or aluminum foil on a flat surface. Mix up the cookies so the shapes that match aren't right next to each other.
- Ask your child to sort the cookies that are the same shape into piles. Sorting is one of the major math concepts of preschool. While it may seem easy, learning to put similar objects into sets is a key preschool concept, and one your child is likely working on in the classroom.
Now that she's put her cookies into sets, talk about the results. Was she able to sort all the shapes correctly, or did a difference in size, color, or other elements trick her? Talk to your preschooler about what makes the shapes the same, and what makes them different: for example, squares have four sides of the same length, whether they're big squares or small ones.
Use the cookies to make patterns: circle square circle square (an AB pattern) or circle circle square square (an AABB pattern). Then be sure to reward your budding mathematician with a sweet treat!