Letter G: Alphabet Activities for Kids

Alphabet Activites for Kids:  Letter G {Learning the Alphabet with Roaming Rosie}

Welcome to Letter G Day!

If you haven’t read the Introduction to the Alphabet Activities, you should start there.

Don’t forget to check out the Letter G:  Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids, too!

G is for Giraffe paper craft {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For our construction paper letter, we made a giraffe with a letter G body, four legs with attached feet and a little head I had cut out.

I used a hole punch to make a bunch of “spots” out of brown paper, which was a lot of fun to attach.  One of these days I may even remember to buy and easier-to-use hole punch so my daughter can help me out with things like this!

G is for Guitars letter sorting paper craft  {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For our letter sorting, I made two guitars, and my daughter placed the lowercase Gs on one and the uppercase on the other.

I later realized this would have looked better if I’d cut out the Gs as little music notes.  Next time.

G is for Green Glitter printable worksheet {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Is there anything better than glitter?

Not if you’re a toddler/preschooler/anybody!

The supplies for this included glue and green glitter.  Easy + fun = awesome!

You can print the worksheet from my post Letter G: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

G is for Green Grass printable worksheet {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For this I cut a bunch of small pieces of “grass” out of construction paper ahead of time, that my daughter attached with glue.

But later, I let her use her little scissors to practice cutting grass, which we used for a different project.

You can print the worksheet from my post Letter G: Free Alphabet Worksheets for Kids

G is for Green Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

It’s GOOOOOOOOO!

This stuff is great.  And boy, did my girls love playing with it!

It’s a little wet at first, but it dries out pretty quickly.  Either way, I don’t advise playing with it on carpet.

And you can store it in a closed container for awhile.  Depending on how much time they spend playing with it each time you take it out of the container, it might last a few weeks.

G is for Green Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

The recipe is easy, although you may have to help your Little Ones squeeze out ALL of the glue.

You’ll need:

1.  8 oz. white glue {we used 2-4 oz. bottles of Elmer’s}

2.  1 teaspoon Borax {found in the laundry detergent aisle}

3.  food coloring {optional}

4.  water

First, empty the glue into a large bowl.  Add a tablespoon or so of water to the glue bottle and shake it well to help loosen the rest of the glue.  Pour that into the bowl, too.  Stir in some food coloring.

Mix the Borax with 1/2 cup warm water until dissolved, then add it into the glue and stir.

This will produce a slimy substance within a puddle of water.  Pull the goo out of the water and knead it a bit to squeeze out some of the excess water.

It’s pretty much done at this point.  A little more water will probably leak out as the kids start to play with it, so I suggest playing on a mat or plastic tablecloth or something similar the first time, to help catch the extra water.

We stored ours for a few weeks, playing with it now and then.  After a while, it became stiffer and pieces would break off that we could then knead back into it.  But my girls enjoyed both the slimy and stiffer versions.

G is for Green Glitter Goo {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Green Glitter Goo is a combination of

1.  clear hair gel {from the dollar store}

2.  green glitter {sometimes available at the dollar store}

3.  a few drops of green food coloring {optional}

Mix up all that stuff in a plastic gallon-size freezer baggy {freezer bags are sturdier} and let the kids go at it.  We traced all kinds of letters and shapes in the goo.

It lasted quite a while, too, before I even worried about it leaking.  Just make sure no one jumps on it or anything, and it should last at least a few weeks, if not more.

G is for Gears  {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

They spent some time playing with their Melissa & Doug Caterpillar Gear Toy. 

While they were playing, we talked about how gears starts with the letter G.

G is for Gardening with Grandma {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

My girls do a LOT of gardening with Grandma.

Today we pointed out how all of those words start with G.

G is for Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

For dinner, we made some Gnocchi.  I love me some gnocchi.

Anyway, since it was letter G day, we made it with Gruyere and garlic.

My girls like to help with shredding the cheese – at least for a minute or two – and also with using the garlic press.

G is for Gnocchi {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere

Ingredients:

1 lb. gnocchi
6 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese
2 to 4 cloves pressed or diced garlic
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir until smooth.
Add the garlic and let cook on low for a few minutes. Don’t let it burn because it will become bitter.

Add the milk and let it come just to a boil over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it starts to bubble, stir in the cheese (except for a handful) and turn to low.

Cook the gnocchi according to directions in a separate pot. Once done, drain and stir into cheese sauce.

Place in a serving bowl and top with reserved cheese.

Note: the garlic taste is strong. If you don’t like garlic, you can reduce the amount or omit it altogether.

Here is the free printable PDF of the recipe:

Gnocchi with Garlic and Gruyere

G is for Ginger Spice Cookies {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

I loooooove spice cookies!

SO much awesome food at one time!

Anyway… we used my Norwegian Spice Cookie recipe, but added in some extra ginger in the form of ginger crystals.

I liked the taste of the extra ginger, although I’ll probably just stick to the normal recipe when I usually make them in the future.

If you want to add in a little crystallized ginger, crush it up a little and throw about a tablespoon or two in when mixing in the other spices.

And, as you can see in the photo below, we not only made traditional gingerbread men, but also some letter Gs with out alphabet cookie cutters.

G is for Ginger Spice Cookies {Alphabet Activities for Kids at Roaming Rosie}

I’d love for you to share if you’ve done any of these projects with your little ones!

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest to see all of our latest crafts and recipes!

Have fun!

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Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

These cookies are AMAZING!

Seriously.  I love spice cookies.  And I love cream cheese.  And these are spicy and silky and gooey and sweet… *sigh*

But the most exciting part?  These can be adapted to every holiday.  Just change the shape of the cookie cutter and possibly the flavor of cake mix.

I’m drooling just thinking about it.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Anyway, I used spice cake for these.  Cake mix cookies are usually pretty soft and these were no exception.

I also used cream cheese because I thought it would compliment the spice flavor, but I’m going to try these again with other cake flavors and still stick with the cream cheese.

Incidentally, I used both butter and cream cheese in both the cookies and the icing, and the total amount used between the two was one stick of butter and one 8 oz. package of cream cheese.  Makes things easier.

Oh, and speaking of easy – do you see that photo?  Four ingredients.  Four.  (Technically it becomes six if you add in the vanilla and sugar from the filling, but that still qualifies as super easy in my book.)

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Here are all the cookie ingredients, except for the cake mix, creamed together.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Isn’t that beautiful?  Off to the fridge!

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Remember:  if your cookie cutter is not symmetrical (like mine isn’t), you’re going to have to use both sides of the cutter to make cookies that will fit together when the icing is sandwiched in between them.

The shape I used it available in this set and this set.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

So, cut out one cookie, then flip over the cutter to make the next one.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

You don’t want your cookies to get brown around the edges.

And yes, mine are already brown from the spices, but I mean “browned” as in crispy.

The finished cookies need to still be soft if you want to eat them sandwich-style without your icing flying out the sides when you bite into them.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

And this is the icing.  I waited until the cookies were cooled before I made it.  It only takes a minute.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

I used a baggy in lieu of a decorating bag to draw on the cookie icing.

The easiest way to fill a baggy full of icing is by placing it in a cup with the top of the bag folded open over the edge of the cup.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Before adding the icing, I lined up the cookies to make sure I had the right number of tops and bottoms.

You can see that I didn’t add a large amount of icing to the inside of the cookies.

I was happy with this amount, but could have put more.  I had handful left over, but it also makes an awesome dip for pretzels and fruit, so I just stuck the extra in the fridge.

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Then, I melted some white chocolate chips (in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time at half power) and drew on some bunny tails.

Store the cookies in a closed container.

Oh, and this recipe makes about a dozen large sandwich cookies (so, 24 3-inch cookies).

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Cookie Ingredients:

1 box (16.5 oz.) spice cake mix
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg

In a large bowl, use a mixer to cream together the butter and cream cheese. Add egg and vanilla and blend until fluffy.

Slowly sprinkle in the cake mix and flour and blend until combined.

Shape cookie dough into a flattened disc, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a half hour.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. If you want to make a sandwich cookie with a cutter that is not symmetrical (like in the photo), then make sure you cut out an equal number of matching cookies, using both sides of the cookie cutter.

Bake on parchment lined cookie sheets for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on the size and thickness of your cookies. They should not yet be noticeably browning on the edges. Do not overcook them or your sandwiches will be difficult to eat.

Allow cookies to rest on the hot pan for a few minutes, then remove to cooling racks. Cool cookies completely before adding icing.

Icing:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 cups confectioners sugar
White chocolate chips (optional)

With a mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese. Mix in the vanilla. Add in the sugar a half cup at a time, and then the cinnamon.

Put icing in a decorating bag or a baggy with the corner cut off, and squeeze it onto the bottoms of half of the cooled cookies. Place another cookie on top of the icing and press down gently.

If desired, melt some white chocolate chips to draw on a bunny tail.

*****

To get the printable PDF, click here:  Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies

Enjoy!

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Ultimate Norwegian Spice Cookies

Norwegian Spice Cookies

These Norwegian Spice Cookies are my mom’s favorite Christmas cookie.

I know that, originally, we had copied the recipe from a magazine.  Many years ago I typed it up and put it in my recipe binder.  Unfortunately, I don’t know the original source.  But I’ve made a few changes over the years anyway (to turn them into the proclaimed “ultimate” spice cookie), and so my own version of the recipe is featured here, along with a printable version.

But first, all the yumminess my camera could capture:

Norwegian Spice Cookies

I just love how the shadow of the mixer in the mixing bowl looks like a Christmas tree.  :)

This is the butter and sugar about to be creamed together, with the eggs and vanilla waiting patiently nearby.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

When you blend together the dry ingredients (flour and spices) be sure to thoroughly sift them together.  I use a fork for this. You want the spices to be evenly distributed.

I know it looks like a lot of spice when you’re measuring it out, but don’t worry, it won’t look like that much once it’s all mixed – and the flavor is fantastic!

Norwegian Spice Cookies

The gooey, spicy, luscious dough…

Once it’s blended, it’s pretty soft.  At this point you need to divide the dough in half, shape each half into a disc, wrap the discs in plastic wrap, and refrigerate them for an hour.

I’ve found that the easiest way to do this is to lay out a sheet of plastic wrap on the counter and scoop the dough into the center of it.  Fold the plastic wrap over the small mountain of dough and shape generally into a flattened circle as you pull the wrap over and around the dough.

It’s sticky, so using the plastic wrap to shape it instead of your hands saves you some time and aggravation.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

After you’ve had an hour to clean the mixer, sort through your cookie cutters, place some parchment paper on your baking sheets, and dance to a few Christmas songs, then the dough will be ready to be rolled out.

You could actually leave it in the refrigerator for a couple of hours, but I don’t think I’ve ever left it overnight.  After a few hours the butter in it gets too hard to roll out and then it needs to sit at room temperature for awhile, but if you leave it too long then it gets too soft, and that just makes my life complicated… so, really, between 1 to 2 hours is best.

Usually, in the midst of Christmas cookie baking marathons, I’ll make this dough, put it in the fridge, make and bake another cookie (like chocolate chip, for example), and then cut out and bake these.  Works out pretty well that way.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

And look at the spices in those snowflakes:  you can SEE the cinnamon, the cloves… *mouth waters*  …mmm, you should smell the magnificence.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

And these reindeer cookies are a great way to illustrate that flour helps you cut out the cookies.  The dough is soft and will stick to the cutters, but dipping the cutter in a dish of flour before stamping out a couple of cookies will help the dough to fall right out of the cutter.

Also, peeling away some of the dough surrounding the cookies before trying to lift them will help.  As will using a spatula like the one pictured below, or like this.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

But, sometimes I peel away the extra dough, and sometimes I don’t bother.  I certainly don’t pull away ALL of the dough… except for in the above photo because I thought it would make a neat picture.  :)

But you really only need to do a little at a time to help with transferring the cookies to the baking sheets.

If you’ve rolled out the dough without enough flour under it, the cookies will stick to the counter.  Just dip your spatula in flour before sliding it under the dough to loosen them.

And remember, with soft cookie dough like this, flour is your friend:

Norwegian Spice Cookies

You should put flour under the dough, on top of the dough, on the rolling pin, on the cookie cutters, and on the spatula.  I mean it:  flour party.

If there is too much on the finished cookie, just blow off the excess before baking.  Any extra at that point will be absorbed by the egg wash that you put on the cookies just before baking.

Although, I have to admit, I sometimes forget to add the egg wash.  But that’s okay.  It’s not essential to the cookie, but it does add a nice shine and a silky smoothness to them.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

The above picture is what was left of my dough after I collected all the scraps, rerolled them, cut out more cookies, and did it all again.  I got two small stars out of the last roll.

But we don’t waste food in our family.

Especially cookies.

So, I rolled up these scraps into a circle, flattened it into an oval, and placed it on my last sheet of cookies to bake.  After all, sometimes these last-of-the-scraps creations are the best part of making cookies.  :)

Norwegian Spice Cookies

And really, these cookies are great two ways:  thick and soft or thin and crunchy.  My mom likes them crunchy, I prefer them soft.  Luckily, that’s an easy problem to solve when baking multiple trays:  just cook some longer.

So, even tho the directions call for 10 to 12 minutes, I’ve cooked some larger ones up to 14 or 15 minutes.  Just keep an eye on them, to prevent burning.

Once the cookies were fully cooled, I sprinkled them with powdered sugar.  This step is not necessary, and I wouldn’t suggest doing it until you are ready to eat/serve them, but it is a nice touch.

Oh, and I didn’t bake them in that little metal pan – it was just to keep the sugar contained.  :)  The cookies need to cool on racks before you add the powdered sugar.

Norwegian Spice Cookies

These ultimate spice cookies go great with coffee:

Norwegian Spice Cookies

And with Christmas trees:

Norwegian Spice Cookies

Ultimate Norwegian Spice Cookies

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg white mixed with 1 teaspoon water
Powdered sugar (optional)

Combine flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, and salt in a bowl until well blended.

Beat butter and sugar in a bowl until creamy.  Mix in eggs and vanilla.  Gradually add flour mixture.

Divide dough in half, flattening each piece into a disc.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Roll dough about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface.  Cut out cookies with cookie cutters that have been dipped in flour.  Place cookies on ungreased baking sheet, preferably covered with parchment paper, and brush with the eggs white mixture.

Reroll scraps and repeat with remaining dough.

Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes or until just browning on edges.  Cool on wire racks.  Store covered.

Before serving, as an optional step, you can sprinkle them with powdered sugar.

*****

Click for the FREE printable PDF:  Norwegian Spice Cookies

Merry Christmas!

And Happy Baking!  :)