Halloween Jack-o-Cheese

“Young children ‘do’ art for the experience, the exploration, the experimentation.  In the ‘process’ they discover mystery, creativity, joy, frustration.”

MaryAnn F. Kohl

(Updated 2021:  Be sure to check out more of our favorite books, sorted by category, over at our shop.)

With Halloween quickly approaching, now is a great time for all sorts of pumpkin activities.  One art activity we did recently consisted of making pumpkin faces with autumn cookie cutters, using homemade cheese dough as our medium.  My 2.5 year-old daughter has been working with cookie cutters a lot recently and I thought this would be a great way to extend that work, as well as provide her with more opportunities to use her new toddler-sized rolling pin.  This work was inspired by Preschool Art:  It’s the Process, Not the Product!  See below for how we created our Halloween Jacko-Cheese faces.

Materials We Used:
We also used our Learning Tower, apron, a couple ingredient bowls, and toddler-sized knives.

First, we washed our hands before working together to measure out the appropriate amount of ingredients into separate bowls.  This includes 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/8 cup almond flour, and 1 Tbsp mayo.  Next, my daughter placed the parchment paper on her cutting board work surface.  She then combined the three ingredients into a larger bowl and mixed them up by hand.  
Once the ingredients formed a dough consistency, she placed the cheese dough on the parchment paper and we worked together to flatten it out by hand into a circular shape.  Next, she used her rolling pin to smooth out the surface of the dough before taking some time to explore it further with her fingers.  
Finally, she pressed the cookie cutters into the dough and we worked together to remove the dough cutouts using the knives before placing it in the fridge to set.  We used a flower cookie cutter to represent the eyes, an acorn for the nose, and a leaf for the mouth.  The dough is edible, and can be served as part of a nutritious meal or snack.  

We hope you all are enjoying this fall season and are also inspired to get creative with your preschooler.

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