Is this project a healthy snack for your kids? Absolutely not. But when Travis declared mid-way through the activity that he was in paradise, I knew I’d brought some magic into a summer morning.
The idea was to show all the layers of the earth, using just about the most amount of sugar imaginable.
I laid out a tray with all of the supplies, and we talked about each layer of the earth as we worked, filling clear plastic cups with each step. First up, we needed bedrock, which I explained was the solid rock deep underground. We used a mix of mini chocolate chips and crushed ginger cookies. The crushing is half the fun; place the cookies in a zip-top bag and smash with a rolling pin until you have big crumbs.
On top of this, we spooned the “subsoil” (a dense layer of clay and and iron). Chocolate pudding was perfect of course.
You’ll notice my taste testers had wasted no time and were busily crunching into cookies and spooning into pudding. They couldn’t believe I was letting them have this free-for-all!
Next we needed topsoil. I explained that this is the dirt we see as we play: dirt, bugs, and minerals. Now we needed oreo cookies, but not the creme filling. I showed the kids how to scrape out the creme with a craft stick so we could crush the chocolate cookies.
“Can I eat the frosting?” Travis asked. I nodded. “Plain??” This is when he declared the activity paradise.
We sprinkled on our crushed “topsoil” and then added a few “worms”. It’s easy to find gummy worms at the store but most contain gelatin. Instead, we sliced pieces of licorice in half to be our worms.
Finally, top with green sprinkles for grass, twigs, and leaves. I wasn’t able to find green sprinkles at the store, but a few drops of food coloring on white sprinkles was a quick fix.
Now it was time to dig into the Earth.
Veronika plunged her spoon right in and began snacking. It made her so happy she began to do a sugar-fueled dance around the kitchen.
Travis loved working his way carefully down the layers, almost like he was excavating. He wanted to stop and talk about which strata we were in, and carefully selected which bite should come next. He was ecstatic when he’d gone deep enough to reveal the pudding under the topsoil!
Welcome to paradise on Earth, and thanks to Raddish Kids for this great lesson.