Celebrate Oatmeal Cookie and Raisin Day!
April 30 is National Oatmeal Cookie Day and National Raisin Day. What a great combo – not only do they taste delicious together, but they are united in many ways! Join us for activities that all have an Oatmeal and Raisin theme. These activities include things that will help your child develop fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving and engineering skills, and can help them engage in cooperative play, while fostering creativity and perseverance. Each theme also comes with recommended literature and movie connections. Feel free to throw in your own activities that might relate, and don’t forget to post your results to social media and tag @discoverymuse to share with everyone else!
Art Activity/Fine Motor Activity – Making Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
For this activity, you’ll need to grab some oatmeal and raisins to make delicious art in the kitchen – Oatmeal Raisin “Ranger Cookies!”
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
- 1 cup flaked coconut
- 1 cup raisins, dried cherries, dried cranberries, and/or mixed dried fruit bits
- Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping side of bowl occasionally. Beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in any remaining flour, the oats, coconut, and dried fruit.
- Drop dough by rounded teaspoons 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden and centers are set. Let stand for 1 minute on cookie sheet. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; let cool. Yield: about 48 cookies
Science Experiment – Dancing Raisins
Collect the following materials for this experiment:
- Club Soda or another clear soda (7-Up, Sprite, etc.) (Unopened is best)
- Raisins (fresh works best – separate them; no big chunks; choose small raisins)
- Clear cup
- Fill a glass with soda.
- Drop raisins into the glass. What happens? Do they sink or float?
- Sit and observe what happens. You may need to be patient. It can take a minute or two for them to start moving.
The raisins rise to the surface of the water due to an increase in buoyancy. The bubbles act like tiny floatation devices that lift the raisin up. Once the carbon dioxide bubbles reach the surface of the soda they pop and the gas is released into the air. This makes the raisin lose buoyancy and fall back down to the bottom of the glass.
Extend this activity and turn it into an experiment. Try different things in place of the raisins. What else can be lifted by the bubbles? Make a hypothesis about each item before you drop them in. Time how long it takes for each item to get a bubble big enough to lift it up.
Physical Activity – Oatmeal Cookie Decorating Game
Get some of those wiggles out while learning a little about throwing and aim.
Gather some hula hoops or make yarn loops, and collect some beanbags (balls that bounce are not a great option for this activity, but if you have only balls, try rolling instead of throwing). Find a large open space to play in. Place beanbags at the “start.” Place the hula hoops or yarn loops a short distance away.
I need your help! I have started to bake cookies in an oven, but forgot to put toppings on them. If you look at the other end, you will see the cookies baking in the oven (hula hoops/yarn loops) and see there are no toppings! What kind of toppings do you like? (pause for answers such as oatmeal, chocolate chips, raisins, frosting, etc.) They all sound yummy! There are toppings in front of you (beanbags). Will you please help me decorate the cookies by underhand throwing the toppings on top of the cookie (beanbags that land inside the hoop)?
If you want to add a challenge, you can spread beanbags around and require participants to run to different locations to get additional toppings. You can have a “pantry” to get the beanbags from (location A) and then run up to the “oven door” (location B) to throw towards the hula hoop cookie (location C). Or time how long it takes to get all the beanbags in. Use frisbees instead of beanbags to change up your materials.
Conversation Starters and Research Questions
- Early Americans believed that oatmeal was only meant for animals. How do you feel about oatmeal?
- Have you ever made oatmeal for breakfast and added your own things in to make it taste yummy? What do you add? What’s your favorite flavor of oatmeal?
- Approximately 75% of families have oatmeal in their pantry. Do you?
- Oatmeal’s #1 use is as a breakfast food. #2 is oatmeal cookies. Did you know #3 is for meatloaf? What do you use oatmeal for?
Videos and Websites
- How Are Raisins Made SciShow Kids video
- How Oatmeal Grows Kid-friendly video set in Great Britain
- Oatmeal Facts Mashed (more of an adult fact) video
- Oatmeal History Kid-friendly video set in Great Britain
Because we know you’re stuck at home with limited access to movies and books, we tried to compile a list that connects to today’s theme that you might already have in your collection or be able to access online. These include:
- Raisin and Grape by Tom Amico and James Proimos
- The Fox and the Grapes retold by Liana Robinson
- The Grapes of Math by Greg Tang
- How Do You Raise a Raisin by Pam Muñoz Ryan
- Don’t Forget the Oatmeal – Sesame Street book
- The Magic Porridge Pot retold by Alan MacDonald
- Raisins and Almonds: A Yiddish Lullaby book by Susan Tarcov
- The Oatmeal Boy book by Jeanette Foster
- Treasure in an Oatmeal Box by Ken Gire
- There’s a Goat in My Oatmeal: Poems and Drawings by Jeff Whitcher by Jeff S. Whitcher
- The Oatmeal Bath: And Other Poems That Make Kids Laugh by Lorraine L. Hollowell