Fun Food Fridays

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Every week, my Library Assistant (I’m just going to call her LA — she doesn’t like her name out on the internet and I’m too lazy to type out descriptions for the rest of these posts) and I alternated on some kind of food-related activity.  Each Fun Food Friday started out with a story and then an activity for ages 4 and up with parents.  Our average attendance was about 25 for Pasta sessions and 45 for the other sessions – mostly because the pasta sessions had limited seating and the doors closed after the story, whereas I kept the doors open for late comers since my projects were not as procedural.

Most of LA’s activities involved various forms of pasta making.  The kids made fettucine, tortellini, bow-tie pasta, and one more which I forget.  The pasta was all made from scratch using an egg-less recipe (due to an egg salmonella outbreak, our manager didn’t want us using raw eggs with the little kids).  The pasta was always cooked at home also since we didn’t want to deal with boiling water and possible burns.  The tortellini had ricotta cheese and spinach in it – delicious!

My activities were a little more varied.  We did:

  • Edible Art:  Graham Cracker easels and candies/frosting to decorate with.  Each child got a small baggie with about a tablespoon of frosting.  They got to choose what color frosting they wanted, we added 2 drops of food coloring and they blended the color.  We then cut off the tip for an easy decorating bag.
  • Marshmallow Challenge:  Using this as a base, each group received a paper bag filled with:  1 marshmallow, 10 sticks of spaghetti, 1 yd of string, 1 yd of masking tape, & 1 pair of scissors.  Kids were divided into groups of 3-4 and given 18 minutes to complete a free-standing structure with a marshmallow on top.  Parents were allowed to help, but I encouraged them to help as minimally as possible.  At the end, only 1 structure was standing, but there were many that were close and many that looked really cool and just needed a little support to stand.  The winning group had a very short structure and they finished early.  Their mom had the foresight to suggest that they stop trying to go higher since their structure was already free-standing and the other kids might try to go big rather than free-standing and she was right.
  • Candy Sushi:  Each child received 1 rice krispy treat, 1 wine bottle rolling pin, 1 cut up piece of fruit-by-the-foot, and the choice of candy (Swedish Fish, Life-Saver Gummy, or Gummy Sour Worm).  I showed them how to make a rolled sushi and an open sushi.
  • Marshmallow Launchers:  Originally, this program was supposed to be S’mores & Stories, but it was the last week of SRP and I didn’t feel like reading stories for 30 minutes after having done storytime that morning, and nowhere did we post the program for that afternoon so I changed plans last minute.  I had a whole bag of marshmallows left over from my Marshmallow Challenge program, so I figured to save some money, we should use them up.  Thanks to pinterest, I found this blog post for Marshmallow Launchers.  We used paper cups, but soon discovered that they were a little flimsy, so it helped to double up and use two.  I used 9″ balloons and small rubber bands.  Most of the kids also needed to learn how to tie a balloon so we learned how to do that, and it took 2 people to stretch the balloon over the cup.

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