Sunday, January 9, 2011

Power Play

Pretend play gives kids the power to create their own reality, take risks try new things, and mimic adults – without real life stress. Familiarity, comfort, and experimentation take place over and over again until one day their play crosses over into reality.

This was first evident to me when I showed my new class of three year olds an episode of the Ballerina episode on Doggity's, which features a Spinning Spinach Salad Tutu recipe. After watching the episode, I noticed that at outside play that day (and subsequent days), the kids recreated the episode using real leaves in place of spinach leaves. They even added new variations as the play continued.

The kids talked about salads at lunch when I brought up the subject, too. They were acutely aware of who of their friends and teachers brought salads and who was eating salad for lunch. Discussions bridged to who eats salads at home.

In the kitchen/housekeeping area of the classroom they made, served and ate make believe salads made of anything and everything. Making the salad recipe for real was especially enjoyable for the kids. This group had not tested this recipe with me, and I was delighted to see how much they loved tearing the spinach leaves, cutting the cucumber, and arranging all the colorful fruits and vegetables. Even shaking the dressing was fun for them!

When it was time to taste the salad there was excitement as the open-minded little kids ate their creation. In their minds, they had been making and eating salads in make believe pretend play for a long time – so it wasn't scary at all.

Here is the Spinning Spinach Salad Tutu recipe and another favorite called Springs and Gears Pasta Salad.
I will be posting more spin and toss salad recipes as well snackin' salads recipes with yummy shake and pour dressings and dips.

As Doggitys says, they are "Dog Gone Good!"
Ballerina – Spinning Spinach Salad Tutu
5 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach, washed and dried
2 oranges peeled, sectioned and cut into bite sized pieces or, 1 can (15 ounces) mandarin oranges drained 
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 15 berries),optional
1 small cucumber, peeled * and sliced

Raspberry Dressing
2 tablespoons Raspberry vinegar
3 tablespoons Orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper 
Place spinach in shallow large bowl arranging outside leaves on edges to resemble edge or tutu. Place cucumber slices
in the center of salad. Place orange pieces artistically around cucumber slices. In small bowl, whisk together all
ingredients. Pour 1/2 of dressing over salad and toss lightly when ready to serve.  Add more dressing as needed for 
personal taste. Serve with crusty whole grain bread, if desired. For main dish salad add strips of cooked chicken. 

*If skin of cucumber is not waxed or if using a piece of an English cucumber, cucumber can be sliced without peeling.

No comments:

Post a Comment