Sunday, 18 March 2018

Burrowing bunny Easter cupcakes learning activity

Burrowing bunny cupcake motor skills activity

There's always plenty of food involved in Easter.  The kids love the Easter egg hunt in the garden and then there are the hundreds of hot cross buns consumed (one of Anthony's favourite snacks that are not available all year round).  This year we're making super easy burrowing bunny cupcakes that will help with their spatial reasoning, motor skills development and include Oreos as a special treat.

One of the challenges for our kids is spacial reasoning. This is the ability to think spatially and mentally manipulate images, and perceive patterns between them. These are important skills for everyone  – we use them every day as we position and orientate ourselves in the world.  So I thought why not make burrowing bunny cupcakes, and get the kids minds working with this quick baking activity in the kitchen.

Short recipes, quick cooks and baking packs are popular in our home as they avoid 'empty table syndrome', where there is nothing to do for the first 10 minutes while we get out loads of ingredients, and generally give quick rewards.

This all works really well for our family which includes two autistic boys (aged 7 and nearly 10). Baking also has the great advantage of having plenty of motor skills, literacy and maths thrown in too.

Before making the cakes, we got the kids on a quest to be bunnies burrowing into the ground.  We had them crawl off the edge of the sofa and stairs and really think about how a bunny would look if they saw it disappearing into a rabbit hole.  Get Alice in Wonderland out if all else fails for you!

We decided our brown bunny would have it's bum up (yes, the kids thought this was hilarious, apart from David, who didn't really understand but was so cute in saying 'bum' a few times), it's bunny paws or toes up and most importantly it's big fluffy white tail.

Now, these cupcakes are no work of art, but we had a great time pretending to be bunnies and making it - surely that's what counts.

To make our burrowing bunny cupcakes we used:
  • Chocolate Cake Kit which also requires me to have -
    • 2 eggs
    • 120 milk or alternative
    • 30 ml oil 
    • 50g of unsalted softened butter or alternative for the icing
    • 10-12 cupcake cases
  • Regular Oreos to make the bunnies tails
  • Peanut Butter Oreos to make the bunnies feet and pads (if nuts are a no no or a vegan fancies eating the leftover Oreos you can just use the regular white ones or the strawberry shortcake ones will give you pink pads)
  • Sprinkles
How we did it: 

1.   Firstly we made up our chocolate cake mix according to the recipe.  While our fridge freezer deals out the few ingredients for the mix, all I needed to do was grab a big bowl from the cupboard. Ours was basically throw everything except the butter into the big bowl and mix it well recipe. Everyone gets a go at mixing.

Cupcake cases

2.  Next, we laid out cupcake cases preferably into a cupcake or Yorkshire pudding baking tray, but a regular baking tray will also do.  Then poured the cupcake mix into each case until it's about 3/4 full - keep filling cases until the mix ran out.

If you can get a spatula to scrape the bowls this is another great way of getting the kids to think about using their hands.  It can be really tricky to understand how to move a spatula round a bowl to get all the cake mix out - practice definitely helps!

Both, pouring and mixing are great motor skills for developing kids. Bilateral motor skills (coordinating different sides of the body together) are used when holding the bowl and mixing and pouring too.

If you fancy making your chocolate cupcakes from scratch, this easy recipe is also another slap it all in the bowl and mix one - you'll just need to get more things out of your cupboard.

3.  Then we cooked our cupcakes in a pre-heated oven.  Our cupcakes took about 10 minutes at 180 degrees to cook.  When done they should have popped up a bit and be bouncy, not wet, in the middle.  This is great because it is quick and the kids aren't waiting too long.  Once they were ready, we brought them out and left to cool.  If this is hard for your little ones, they can hold a 'wait' button or set a timer so they can wait without worrying as much.  I also find covering or cooling them out of sight is helpful.

Once the cupcake(s) are cooled then you can make into your bunny bums (he he).

4.  Made up our chocolate frosting.  We started this when the cakes were nearly cool sp we could ice them straight away.  We used our cake frosting mix (which contains approx 75g icing sugar and 25g cocoa powder) with 50g of butter, but you can make this by mixing these yourself.  We avoid making chocolate icing on the stove as it needs more time to cool and our kids can be a bit unpredictable about the hob.  Then we covered the cupcakes in chocolate icing and went over it with a fork to make 'fur'.

Making Oreo bunny paws and tails

5.  We added our bunny paws.  We split apart the peanut Oreo cookies and thought of each one being an upside down bunny paw with the peanut filling as the paw pads.  We carefully pulled off some of the filling with a spoon to make paw shapes and pushed the other side into the side of our cupcake/frosting and repeat on the other side.

6.  Lastly we added the bunny tail.  We simply opened up a regular Oreo and used the bigger white filled side as our bunny tails. And Voila, our burrowing bunny cupcakes are finished.

We also added sprinkles to the plate our boys were eating from so it looked like the bunnies where burrowing into rainbow sprinkles.  Then it was time to dig in (ha ha, no pun intended) so we  thought about what bunnies might eat too.  This meant we also put out some carrot sticks and fruit which were also munched down - always a bonus!

If you'd like to read more about motor skills or reasoning activities and - you may like some of these:



This post is an entry for BritMums #OreoCookieQuest, sponsored by Oreo

8 comments:

  1. Great to see your Oreo inspired fun. Commenting for myself and on behalf of BritMums and thanking you for taking part

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  2. I am always looking out for new ideas for keeping children entertained, will try this #triamphanttales@_karendennis

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  3. awww such a cute easter baking recipe to do with the kids X #triumphanttales

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  4. I love that you've made such a fun and interactive 'lesson' out of the burrowing bunnies. But not as much as I love their little bums sticking up in the air! #coolmumclub

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  5. That's so cute! I love this idea and something I might just do with the girls over Easter. Pinned!
    Thanks for linking to #coolmumclub

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  6. all bunny parts are adorbs...even the butt.

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  7. oo amazing! Michael loves to help in the kitchen so these would be great! #FoodieFriday

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  8. These look fab. I so wish I was better in the kitchen! Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales.

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