Say Cheese! Snack Time STEM with Heluva Good! and Iggy Peck
This post was sponsored by Heluva Good!® Cheese as part of an Influence Central campaign and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
Wanna know the best part about being a grown up? Since you’re the one who makes the rules, you’re also the one who gets the chance to break them! When I was given the chance to come up with something kid-friendly to make with Heluva Good!® Block Cheeses, I knew immediately that it was the perfect chance to let my boys break a rule. Once in a while, you’ve just gotta cut loose and play with your food, right?!
I decided that if I was going to let the kids get a little silly with their snacks, I would find a small to add a little educational benefit as well. I picked up Iggy Peck, Architect for #thebigone sometime last year, or the year before. Andrea Beaty’s tale of a budding architect that is fond of unconventional building materials has been a family favorite ever since. David Robert fills the book with quirky, engaging illustrations of masterpieces made with things like fruit, pancakes, and (oh my goodness!) dirty nappies! I knew that it was the perfect inspiration for a STEM-inspired snack time. (Science, technology, engineering, math- all the rage lately!)
Full disclosure, my kids and I don’t actually need any extra incentives to happily eat cheese. Seriously, when I help write the grocery list, my husband often laughs at how much cheese he is expected to buy each week! We hit our local Wal-Mart to pick up a variety of delicious flavors of Heluva Good cheeses as well as a few other snack-time supplies. If you’re in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, Florida, Maryland, or Washington DC, chances are good there’s a supermarket near you stocking Heluva Good! Cheeses. Read on to see exactly how our snack time came together…
- Heluva Good! Block Cheeses in whatever flavors your prefer. (We chose Muenster, Sharp Cheddar, Colby Jack, and Extra Sharp White Cheddar.)
- Pretzel sticks- cheese and crackers is timeless but pairing cheese with pretzels is a fresh twist.
- Fresh produce, such as grapes, blueberries, and cherry tomatoes. It’s fun to see what cheese pair better with something sweet, like berries, and which are better suited to something more savory, like the tomatoes.
- Knives for cutting the blocks of cheese. (I used a sharp knife, the kids used butter knives with supervision)/
- Plates/cutting boards.
HOW WE DID IT
- #thebigone and I were joined by my nephews for this story inspired snack. (And yup, in case you’re wondering, they boys are all wearing their jammies! #bedhairdontcare) They hadn’t heard the story before so we started with a quick read through of the silly tale.
- I cut the blocks of Heluva Good cheese into halves and gave each boy one half to cut independently. This gave each boy (nearly 7, nearly 6, and just turned 3) a little time to work on fine motor and cooking skills. They were given the freedom to cut whatever shapes or sizes they wanted, but I encouraged them to start thinking about what would work well when building.
- In the meantime, I cut the remaining halves of each block of cheese into assorted shapes. I made some rectangles, some triangles, and cubes in a few sizes.
- We washed the produce, and divided some of the pretzel sticks into cups for each young architect.
- Next, I set the boys free and let them start building. I offered tips and an extra hand when they needed it, but gave them some space to experiment a bit with what would or would not work.
- For the youngest, it was a great fine motor/hand-eye coordination activity, regardless of whether he actually built a structure.
- In addition to those skills, the older boys also worked on their problem solving and perseverance. Through trial and error, they determined how hard they could push a pretzel before it snapped, and how deep into the cheese they had to stick the pretzels so the structure would not collapse.
You can see from the photos that the kids had a great time. Emulating the architectural style of Iggy Peck kept them engaged for quite a while. As a bonus, they had a healthy snack time. They loved trying the varieties of cheese flavors available, and we loved seeing them fill up on a protein and calcium rich snack.
If You Build It, They Will Snack
If your little architects are anxious to get a chance to play with their food too, be sure to check for Heluva Good! cheese savings on Ibotta. Don’t wait too long though- there’s no expiration date, but only a limited amount of offers available, so be sure to take advantage of it while you can!
Have you ever created a special snack inspired by a favorite children’s book? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
And don’t forget! connect with Heluva Good to find their products near you, and other great ideas to keep snacking fun…