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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

homemade popsicles - a lesson in problem solving

It started out innocently enough. We were working on our second lesson of Right Start Mathematics (Level B) and using our craft sticks as tally sticks. I inadvertently called them "popsicle sticks" and the mania began. "I want popsicles. Mama, will you please get me a popsicle?" I told them we didn't have any. "Oh, I know! We can make popsicles!" They were pretty excited and convincingly insistent.

Then there was the problem of what to use to make them. We finally decided on bananas, apple juice, and 2 spoonfuls of leftover cranberry jelly. We don't have popsicle molds here (just why that is, with these popsiclephiles, is beyond me!) so we used our applesauce cups that we keep around for side dishes, snacks, and painting.

Then the real problem. How do we get a popsicle stick to stand up in a bowl of liquid. I thought about stuffing blueberries in the bottom and trying to prop it up, but in a moment of inspiration, I turned to my big boy instead. After all, what new 5-year-old doesn't need a lesson in problem-solving?

His first idea was to stick an ice cube in it. We tried that. The stick refused to go into it. We fished the too-hard ice cube out, and before I could even get it into a nearby plant pot, he suggested we stick an apple in the cup. Genius! I cut 2 ~1/3" thick apple slices, trimmed them so they were round, and stuck the knife through the middle to make a slit. As an added bonus, the apple floated nicely on top of the thick banana mixture, making a nice drip-stopping base. We stuck their sticks in the apples, froze the popsicles, and 4 hours later...

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Marie said...

I love how little miss has her mouth open while trying to get tiny Mr. to lick his popsicle. I found myself always doing that when trying to feed my baby people.

Mathochist said...

I know! Me too! I think she's always been like that too - I had my LMT (who is also our doula) massage my bad arm yesterday, and she was reminiscing about how when B was born and latched on, K was nodding her head and smacking her lips at him, like she was trying to teach him even then!