Everyone loves homemade cookies, but have you ever thought about making your own cookie cutters from scratch? This activity is a great way to work on a whole host of skills, from fine motor development to shape recognition to good ol' artistic talent.
Disposable aluminum 9 x 13 inch-size panmade of thin, flexible aluminum (available at most dollar shops and grocery stores)
Cookie dough or soft white bread
What You Do:
Get started by having your child think of shapes that he might want to see as a cookie: stars, hearts, and seasonal shapes like candy canes are popular, but what about something unusual, like sports equipment, animals or a favorite cartoon character?
Have him draw the shape on white paper and cut it out.
Help him cut straight rectangle strips (about ½ to 1 inch width, and length as long as you can cut them) from the aluminum pan. The aluminum edges can be sharp when cutting, so be careful—you might even want to wear gloves.
Take the rectangle strips and shape them around the edge of the paper shape. He may need to use more than one strip to make it go all the way around his design, depending on the size. In this case, a second rectangle aluminum strip can be attached to the first with tape on the top edges of the rectangle strips.
When the cookie cutters are finished, try them out with cookie dough! He can also use them to cut shapes in white bread. Press the cutter down into the dough or bread, and help him trim excess dough or bread around the edges of the cutter with a butter knife if needed.
When you're done, think of more creative shape ideas for cookie cutters together and enjoy your new batch of creatively-shaped cookies!
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.