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I love cooking with my grandchildren and they love to feel like the chef as we cook. Cooking is such a learning opportunity when it comes to science and mathematics, (you know, those STEM activities). We try to create learning opportunities for our children and grandchildren as often as we can, and have fun while we are at it. (Saturday, Lindsey gave you an example with theseboard books, that I just love! And, don't forget to check out our Dollar Tree Stem Activity Ideas for Easter here). When I came across a recipe for Grasshopper Pie in our local grocer's magazine, I knew it was the perfect no-bake recipe that would have enough jobs for all five of my grandchildren who are in my home at the moment and it would be something they would enjoy eating afterwards. Put that together with the fun name, this was a winning recipe. It would make a great dessert for St. Patrick's Day or Easter. I had made this pie years ago with ice cream, but this is a lighter, fluffier version. Here is how I made it happen with 5 young kids doing the work.
Division of Labor
I put my 4 older grandchildren into pairs. The 4 and 6 year olds worked together on the crust. The 9 and 10 year olds worked together on the filling. The 3 year old did the decorating at the end. It worked out great! I was able to send the oldest 2 off to play while I worked with the crust team!
The crust team counted, rolled and crushed Oreos in a plastic bag with the rolling pin. We could have used a food processor, but that wouldn't have been as much fun. After the cookies were crushed, we added the butter to the bag, resealed it and then mushed it all around to mix it together. Then, we poured the crumbs into the pie dish and used a fork to spread and form the mixture to the pie dish. We popped it in the refrigerator and I had those two kids go and get the other two for their turn. Remember that it is important to talk about the process with the kids so that they start to understand the whys and the science of cooking. For example, when things are warm, they can become liquid, when they are cooled, they become solid again.
The older two checked the weight with me on the container of marshmallow cream so make sure we had the right amount. I set my granddaughter to melting it over a low heat on the stove as I watched her carefully. When it was melted, she put in the extract and the greed food coloring. She mixed it in very well. While it cooled slightly, my grandson and I got the cream whipping. He measured out 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream. Then we measured out the powdered sugar and discussed why we needed to use different measuring cups. Then, we talked about the air in the whipped cream and how we needed to keep the air in it. So, we folded in the marshmallow cream mixture and they each took turns learning to do that.
After the filling was spread into the crust, it was the 3 year olds turn to sprinkle on the Easter colored M & Ms. Look at his chubby little hand. Counting the M & Ms is a good skill for young kids. Also, naming the colors.
The hardest part of the process was to let the pie cool long enough to set before eating it. Using a clock, we did it and the kids were so excited for everyone to try their handiwork. I added one final touch before serving and that was to drizzle on some chocolate syrup to give it that little something extra.
Here is the whole recipe, adapted from Fry's Food Store's My Magazine!
Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!