Turning healthy biscuits into happy faces is easy as can be! This activity combines art and cooking in a fun way. Mixing and kneading dough engages kids' fine motor muscles and satisfies their desire to work alongside you in the kitchen. Once you demonstrate how to roll sausages and balls with the dough, they can get creative and make up their own happy face designs.
What You Do:
- Preheat oven to 450°. Help your child measure flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cream of tartar, and sift them into a large bowl. Add oats and stir.
- Cut butter into tiny pieces and add, then ask her to help you break apart butter bits with her fingers.
- Help her measure and combine egg and cottage cheese in a small bowl. Mix well.
- Push dry ingredients to the sides of the large bowl, and have her pour wet ingredients in the center. Ask her to mix with a spoon at first, then squeeze the mixture with her fingers to blend. This is a great sensory activity. While she's mixing the dough, ask her questions like "How does it feel between your fingers? Is it squishy or sticky? Soft or hard?"
- Dump the dough onto a floured surface and show her how to knead it using the heels of her hands. Explain that kneading the dough makes it possible for the biscuits to rise when they're baking. Cooking projects are a great way to introduce your child to science through transformation. Although each ingredient starts off separate, when you mix them all together they can turn into something completely different!
- After 2–3 minutes of kneading, have her sprinkle a baking sheet with cornmeal.
- Show her how to roll sausages and make a face with small bits of dough right on the baking sheet. A long roll in a ring makes a face; a shorter roll makes a mouth; balls make eyes and noses. The eyes, nose, and mouth pieces should not quite touch. Allow a few inches of space between the faces for dough to rise.
- Now it's time to bake! If biscuit sizes vary wildly, separate into same-size batches before baking. Bake for 10–12 minutes. Allow your child to take a peek and see how the biscuits rise as they bake. That's all her hard work paying off!
- Remove the biscuits from the oven and you're done! For the best taste, enjoy your creations while they're still warm.
To add some pizzazz to your creations, use raisins for facial details, or roll sausages in sugar and cinnamon before shaping. Let her come up with her own unique additions for fun and fancy faces.