Book & Cook – Alphabet Book

I started this regular craft post in order to do more crafts with Red Ted, as well as to combine my love for crafting with our love for books.

There more of these I do, and the more I read what other families are up to, the more I appreciate the power of learning through play (doh! stating the obvious, I know, but seeing is believing!).  I am not particularly into the “flashcard” concept and I do think that the little ones have plenty of time to learn their numbers and alphabet. However, if they are learning through play and the learning bit is incidental, then why not?

So this week, I decided we should get crafty in the kitchen, whilst upping the ante a little and looking at some direct “learning”.

Granny has bought some wonderful books for Red Ted. In particularly a couple of lovely alphabet books. Red Ted is beginning to take an interest in letters and numbers now. 

 Baby ABC

Let’s begin with the book! Baby ABC (By Roger Priddy) is a very sweet Alphabet book – it has bold simple images set against a white background and every other one is “touchy feely” or sparkly. We particularly like th ball of wool (real wool) that “K is for kitten” is playing with. Also, the sentence rhyme and have a nice flow to it. A lovely alphabet book indeed!

When we read it, Red Ted was really “going for” the letters “Sssssssss”, pointing to them and repeating them and asking for letters that lead to his favourite family members (Granny, Baby, Nonni, Opapa, Daddy..).

After that we headed to the kitchen! We were going to bake some Alphabet Cookies.

I chose the kitchen, as we do like to bake and “Red Ted Art”s focus on crafts doesn’t always allow me to show you this. Also, I thought eating letters would be more fun for a 2yrs old than just making them! I chose a VERY simple Shortbread recipe. I believe all children should and are able to learn some very basic recipes. And this is one of them. Simple and tasty!

I decided to focus on just a few letters. M for Mummy. D for Daddy. O for Opapa (granddad in German) and of course “R for Red Ted” (?! Ok ok, he didn’t get that, so M for Max, Red Ted’s real name is Max!!).

1)”Materials”: 300g Flour, 200g Butter, 100g Sugar. Drop of Vanilla essence. Alphabet cookie cutters. (Cook for 10-15min at 160C). The butter had been out since the morning, so that it was nice and soft for mixing.

2) When cooking with Red Ted, I like to get all the measurements ready like they do on cooking shows. That means Red Ted can “help” by pouring in the ingredients. It also makes everything less messy. He does watch me measure it out, so he “gets” that there is an additional step.

3) Age 2, he is a little small for crumbling butter and dough kneading, but he did try and give it a good stir and pinch some dough for snacking. So, I did do the mixing bit. (Crumble butter and flour, then add sugar and vanilla and knead into a smooth dough – ideally rest in fidge for an hour, makes dough easier to roll. Think we did half an hour).

4) Roll dough (not too thin our thicker ones tasted better) and get cutting!!! As Red Ted cut, I emphasised the letters and reminded him what you could spell with it. He liked “M” and “O” best! If you run out of time (or steam), roll dough into a sausage and cut discs off – the children can help you with that!

5) Place on tray not too close together and bake 10-20min.

6) Cool on rack.

7) If the family let you (not mine 😦 ) decorate with icing and 100s & 1000s!

8 ) Enjoy! And keep talking letters!

The cookies lasted 2-3 days in our house and I was GENUINELY surprised by how much Red Ted enjoyed talking letters and how he kept going back to his alphabet book and liked to ponder over the cookie tin as to which letter to have next (Daddy was told to eat lots of “D”s). We will definitely be making some more!

Inspired by A Mommy’s Adventure and Playing by The Book




 Previous Craft Projects:

stART: Busy Airport – Cotton Wool Clouds and, erm, PIGS!

stART: Hit &Myth – a mix & match book for older children (>5yrs)    

stART: Story & Thank you time – inspirational thank you cards   

stART: Hurray for Fish – one for babies or messy toddlers!    

stART: Bedtime Star – Red Ted, makes a starry night for Pip Squeak’s nursery   

stART: The Way Back Home, Oliver Jeffers – Red Ted makes a plane and a UFO   

Craft: Peg animals – toddlers can help!


19 responses to this post.

  1. Love that recipe idea. Think I may give that ago with my 4yo today. Thank you x


  2. I keep planning on getting abc cookie cutters but I never get around to it. My daughter loves helping out in the kitchen!


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on May 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      I bought mine online – – thought they were reasonably priced and am overall happy with them (though you may have noticed that e.g. in the A the middle bit doesnt “cut out” – think that is ok, as they are less likely to fall apart in rough little hands!!!)


  3. Great Activity. I love cooking with my little one too.


  4. What a great (and yummy!) learning activity! I love those cookie cutters.


  5. I love cooking and art projects!! Emily is always helping me in the kitchen I love how she gets so excited to help with everything now, even dinner :0) I want to get a set of alphabet cookie cutters too. I have number ones and I LOVE them.

    Thank you for linking up to stART!!!


  6. The cooking projects are great for learning. Those alphabet cookie cutters are really nice, and it looks like you had a lot of fun.


  7. Posted by JDaniel4's Mom on May 14, 2010 at 11:22 am

    I love that you baked his name. The books look great too. We did the Cottage Garden Alphabet Book this week.


  8. How fun!!


  9. This is fab fab fab! I have the biggest box of cookie cutters – my husband has wanted me to get rid of it for years, but fortunately now I have Kyra, I don’t have to defend my cookie cutter collection anymore. 🙂


  10. […] Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play […]


  11. I love it… I can’t wait to try the reading/cooking adventures with my 2 year olds. The problem is that they are twins and I am not sure how to tackle that one, especially with cooking. I am definately trying this one…. you can take food coloring and paint brushes and have them paint it later


    • Posted by Red Ted Art on August 13, 2010 at 4:06 pm

      Oh yes, twins are definitely harder!! Everything is that bit of a bigger challenge – I guess it would all be in the preparation? Maybe just get them doing the cookie cutting bit – you do the rest, the mixing and kneading? Would be great to still get them into the kitchen? Maybe give them a bowl each with some rice that they can “stir” whilst they watch you? Or do you ever have 1 on 1 time? If so, maybe do something like this in that time… Whatever you do, you work so much harder than the rest of us – well done!


  12. Great idea – you can sneak letters in to all sorts of play can’t you?! Thanks for linking up with the Play Academy.


  13. Posted by whatdidyoudotodaymama on August 13, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Love this idea, will have to put alphabet cookie cutters on my wish list and give this a go when Evie’s a little older.


  14. […] Book & Cook: Alphabet Cookies – Learning through play  […]


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