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Time for Cookies

Ideas from Wende & Susan, FIAR Friendship List
with editor's notes

(preschool - early elementary ages)

Photo from
Photographer: Carrie Singletary

If Spring is slow in coming to your region, as it often is here, a fun and tasty mini-unit study on cookies might be a great antidote to the end-of-winter doldrums.

Cookie Poems, Songs & Stories for Preschoolers

(est. ages - about 2-5)

Brightly Beaming Steps to Reading: Cookie Theme

Around the World With Cookies

(est. ages - about 5+)

This activity from Family Fun offers eight cookie recipes from around the world. I have provided a list, along with some ideas for well-loved story books and other resources to introduce your child to these regions.

  1. French Sables
    • Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
      Miss Clavel oversees the education of 12 little girls, the littlest of whom is the mischievous Madeline. Despite her size, she fearlessly pooh-poohs the tiger in the zoo and frightens Miss Clavel with her adventurous antics.
    • Stone Soup by Marcia Brown
      Three hungry soldiers arrive in a French village and cleverly trick the stingy peasants into sharing their food in a delicious "stone soup."
    • The Magical Garden of Claude Monet by Laurence Anholt
      This picture book introduction to Monet's later work, featuring his gardens at Giverny, blends artistic fancy with biographical fact.
    • The Cat Who Walked Across France by Kate Banks
      This story follows a cat's journey through France, past chateaux and shaded canals, dodging cars in Paris, roaming across lavender fields, to return to his home – a stone house by the edge of the sea.
    • The Truffle Hunter by Inga Moore
      Martine the pig, while trying to find her way home, meets a handsome wild boar who teaches her how to find truffles.
  2. Chinese Almond Cookies
    • The Story About Ping by Marjorie Flack
      This classic tale of a little duck alone on the Yangtze River, which I enjoyed as a school girl, is one of my son's favorites.
    • The Five Chinese Brothers by Claire Huchet Bishop
      My son asks to hear this story again and again. It is an old classic about five brothers who use their special powers to save the First Brother from being unfairly put to death.
    • The Empty Pot by Demi
      When Ping admits that he is the only child in China unable to grow flowers from seeds for the emperor, he is rewarded for his honesty.
    • Yeh-Shen: A Cinderella Story from China by Louie Ai-Ling
      This version of the Cinderella story, in which a young girl overcomes the wickedness of her stepsister and stepmother to become the bride of a prince, is based on ancient Chinese manuscripts written 1000 years before the earliest European version.
  3. Polish Thumbprints
  4. German Chocolate Pretzels
    • Snow White by Grimm Brothers, Charles Santore (Illustrator)
      This is a beautifully illustrated version of the classic fairy tale.
  5. Indian Coconut Chews
    • The Road to Mumbai by Ruth Jeyaveeran
      A little girl named Shoba and Fuzzy Patel (her stuffed monkey) fly on their bed to India to attend Fuzzy's cousin's wedding. They land in the desert and meet a camel, a coconut juice seller, a line of elephants, a group of monks, and a snake charmer, all of whom guide them to Bombay.
    • I Is for India by Prodeepta Das
      Organized alphabetically, this book presents words reflecting some aspect of Indian life, along with full-color photographs.
    • Here Comes Holi: The Festival of Colors by Meenal Pandya
      A mother tells her child and several of the child's friends the ancient tale behind the Hindu celebration of Holi.
  6. English Shortbread Cookies
    • Saint George and the Dragonby Margaret Hodges
      When a dragon terrorizes her father's kingdom, Princess Una escapes from the family castle to seek help. After a difficult journey, she finds the Red Cross Knight who challenges the dragon in an epic battle.
    • Chanticleer and the Fox by Geoffrey Chaucer
      In this adaptation of Chaucer's "The Nun's Priest's Tale," Chanticleer struts about the barnyard all day. When a fox bursts into his domain, dupes him into crowing, and then grabs him in a viselike grip, Chanticleer must do some quick thinking to save himself and his barnyard kingdom.
  7. The Queen's Progress: An Elizabethan Alphabet by Celeste Davidson Mannis
    Rich illustrations, rhymes, and additional text make this a fun but educational adventure with Queen Elizabeth as she goes on "progress" and visits her subjects.
  8. Mexican Wedding Cookies
  9. Israeli Rugelach

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

(est. ages - about 2-7)

Read If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

  • Set up dominoes to demonstrate a chain reaction
    This story illustrates a sequence of events in which one event causes the next. Children intuitively grasp this cause-and-effect pattern, which is a wonderful mind building concept. You can demonstrate this idea by setting up a line of dominoes, and letting one knock doen the next - which knocks down the next - which knocks down the next.
  • Have children write/narrate and illustrate “If you give ____ a ____” story
    Your child can dictate the story to you as you write it, one or two lines per page. Then your child can illustrate the story. Your child might prefer to "write" the story first, in pictures, then dictate the words to you.
  • Bake chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies


Cooking with your child, letting him help you with measurements, is a wonderful hands-on lesson which lays the groundwork for learning fractions. For a child ready for a challenge, have her help you double or halve this recipe.


  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 bag chocolate chips (small)
  • 2 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 eggs


Combine ingredients, mix well. Grease cookie sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon-drop or roll out cookies, put in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.



  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. butter, soft
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 c. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cookie sheet


Mix peanut butter and butter in large mixing bowl until smooth. Then gradually add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon batter onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with a criss cross fork print. Bake for 10 minutes.

Recipes from

Read The Gingerbread Man



  • 3/4 c. butter
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. molasses
  • 2 1/2 c. flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger


Cream butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and molasses. Sift the dry ingredients and mix with the wet ingredients. Chill the dough. Roll the dough on a lightly floured board to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out the gingerbread men shapes. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes.

Recipe from
More stories:

  • The Cookie Tree by Jay Williams
  • The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett (there are complimentary activities at Jan Brett's website)
  • "The Gingerbread Boy" from Nursery Tales (Harper Collins )
  • The Baker's Dozen: A Colonial American Tale retold by Heather Forest
  • "Hansel and Gretel" from The Blue Fairy Book edited by Andrew Lang

Growing Together Family Learning Newsletter, Vol. 1, No. 4, page

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