Recipe for the Ultimate Playdate with Nestle & Crayola
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I know I have shared with you all that I am a long time preschool teacher, but I am not so sure if I mentioned that I just finished up my Masters in Teaching with a specialization in Early Childhood. Believe me I am so excited to be done, but with all of that education and teaching experience, I have truly learned the value of play and how much children can learn through thoughtfully planned play experiences. Young children are always learning and exploring which is why playdates are such a great way for them to get to spend time with friends, but also for parents to encourage development as well! Add in a cooking activity that packs a healthy punch for snack time with some Juicy Juice apple juice and you have the recipe for the ultimate playdate!
I generally like to set up for a playdate in a similar manner to how I would set up a classroom, with stations. I like to have a couple activities available for when they walk in the door, and then one for after the snack activity. For our playdate, I had the Crayola Color Wonder markers and Disney Planes coloring pages set up on my coffee table and on the floor, I had taped a piece of butcher paper to be used with the My First Crayola Easy Grip egg shaped crayons. These crayons were perfect for all of them but especially the 2 year old sister of Avery’s friend, any time children hold and grasp, they are working on those fine motor muscles that will help with writing.
While they were drawing in the living room, I was setting up the ‘cooking’ activity. Now, there wasn’t any actually heat or anything, but we still always refer to these types of activities as cooking, today we made smoothies. I grabbed all the ingredients which included Juicy Juice Apple Juice, spinach, frozen pineapple and frozen blueberries.
Avery and her friend had a blast following the steps of the recipe, measuring out ingredients and adding them to the blender.
What is fun about this recipe is that I also made you all a free printable! In the pictures they are looking at small pieces of paper which I made with each step of the recipe so they could kind of guide the experience themselves. I remember an old teacher publication that came with a set of this picto-recipes every month so you could put out the pictures and the children could pretty independently follow the recipe on their own- here is the set I made:
And you can download the PDF here —> Smoothie Picture Recipe Cards
But back to the recipe, I put all that goodness in the blender and gave it a whirl and they were ready! This recipe made two small smoothies that fit perfectly in my smaller mason jars. I put a cupcake liner and the ring on top and a paper straw in for drinking and they were perfect! I ended up making the recipe again to have enough for a third smoothie so everyone had one, but it was a perfect small batch recipe which is generally where I fall short. Usually my smoothies make enough for an army!
After they had their smoothies, I directed them over to the table set up for wet chalk drawing where they could sip, draw and chat- they had a blast. I had invited Avery’s friend’s little sister, but she went back over to the Color Wonder coloring on the table and was happy doing that! For the wet chalk drawing I set up Crayola Sidewalk Chalk in a bowl in the middle and then on either side of them were bowls of water. Then they could dip the chalk in the water and draw on the paper, I like using black paper for chalk drawing because you don’t always get to use black construction paper and this was a great chance!
The part that makes this mommy happy is that I could grab everything I needed for the smoothies and the art activities on our regular weekly Walmart trip- I even grabbed some of the materials I needed to make those cool PVC pipe easels you see in the pictures! To make this whole situation even sweeter, their are specially marked Juice Juice packages (I was able to grab the Juicy Juice boxes for Avery’s lunches too!) with $3 in coupons for Crayola products and at the same time, there are specially marked Crayola Color Wonder and My First Crayola packages with $1 off Juicy Juice peelies (that is coupon lingo for a coupon stuck to the outside of a package that you can use on the spot!). Isn’t that amazing! I even got to save money on my playdate!
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