Monday, February 27, 2012

Geography Cookies - Countries of Africa


Between Mama Panya's Pancakes, which takes place in Kenya...


...and the sad, Sunday morning headlines of another church bombing in Nigeria, followed by a missions presentation during our Sunday school hour, from a team just returned from Uganda, our minds were turned to Africa, this weekend.

Technically, we're with the Medes and Persians at the time of Queen Esther in our studies right now, but the temptation to detour over a continent, for a day or two, was too great to resist.

I found myself rolling and cutting cookie dough, this morning (and for most of the day). Somehow it just doesn't feel like a geography lesson in our house, unless there's a cookie map to go with it.

We made up one batch of sugar cookie dough, and printed an enlarged "map of Africa" coloring page, to cut out...




...and use as templates for cutting the sugar cookie, country shapes, with a small pumpkin carving knife. This process proved a little difficult, so I took over while the children practiced their knowledge of Africa with a map matching game at KidsGeo.com.


We baked the cookies for 13 minutes, even the tiny pieces, and allowed them some time to cool...


...before frosting them with food color tinted, butter-cream frosting in a variety of map-like colors.


We started piping on country abbreviations as well, before deciding they were less than helpful for identifying the English names of the countries, and we'll simply check our map, before picking which countries to eat our way through...



...as we join David Livingstone, at story time, on a quest to find the source of the Nile, and a quick look at early Christian missionary work, and British colonialism, in Africa.



It's great to be a homeschooler.

15 comments:

Phyllis said...

Funny...we both posted about 3-D maps today. Of course yours is made with cookie dough! Your kids must love sugar cookies! That was a lot of work! Wow!

Wonder Mom said...

Africa never looked tastier...

Joyful Learner said...

Yum.

Debbie said...

I think you and Phyllis run along the same brain waves quite a bit. Love the sugar cookie map.

Diapeepees said...

Oh my, looks so good, so deliciously educational, but I don't know that I would be as willing to donate a day to baking...your a great mama!

Kendra said...

Oh, I love this. It's on my plans to do next year when we do our big Geography year. Maybe by then I'll master a wheat free roll-out cookie. haha

Jennifer said...

We're not doing Africa, but we are in Ancient Greece this term. I've already played the map match game and am going to "borrow" your cookie idea as well. You're such a resource, thank you!

Jo said...

It's awesome! The only thing is that you're missing Eritrea...

sarah in the woods said...

My little 2 are learning about Africa. They would love this. I'm saving the idea.

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Jo - You're right! I would think that it was the extra piece that appeared and then disappeared while we're frosting (I may or may not have eaten that one), but I don't see it on the original coloring sheet, either - though now I think I do see the where the extra piece should have gone - we're missing our Djibouti cookie, too :)

Ticia said...

I"m trying to imagine cutting those itty bitty countries...... Wow!

Loved getting to see a picture of you :)

Marcee said...

Love the cookie map! We're doing the 50 states and capitals. 5 per week for 10 weeks. Do you have any fun ideas for memorizing the states? Doing a cookie map looks fun.

Christy said...

You are amazing with cookie dough! I like the picture of you.

Rachael M said...

My geography-obsessed five year old would love me forever if I did something as awesome as this. However, he would never let me get away with leaving out Lesotho and Swaziland, no matter how small they are!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Rachael - If you look closer at the unlabeled, but frosted, cookie - they are there. They are so small, we added them as frosting details instead of seperate cookies. But, they were not forgotten :)