Going to Grandma's: A Thanksgiving Game by Amy and Steve Houts available in a consumable book from Houts & Home Publications LLC. Here's the info.
Object of the Game
The bear family is walking to Grandma’s house through the woods to share a big Thanksgiving dinner. Which path should they take? They have to cross the river. Oh, no! The bridge is out! They will have to go another way. The object of the game is to help the bear family arrive at Grandma’s before the roast turkey dinner is ready. Can you help?
Play and Learn
Develop fine motor control, foster cooperation, learn to follow rules, practice color recognition, and more.
A Cooperative Game
Going to Grandma’s is a cooperative game, meaning all the players work together. Everyone wins (or loses) at the same time when everyone has arrived at Grandma’s house in time for Thanksgiving dinner. Research shows that cooperative games—where everyone works together—help to foster friendships and help to prevent bullying.
Amy Houts is an author of over 70 children’s books, cookbooks, and board games that feature early learning concepts, family themes of love and friendship, and holiday celebrations. Amy has created five cooperative board games for children with more in the works. Amy’s husband, Steve, is a retired middle school math and science teacher. This is the first time they collaborated on a book project. Amy and Steve have two grown daughters and three grandchildren. You can often find Amy at home writing with her Australian Shepherd mix, Gina, by her side.
Local author Amy Houts shows off a prototype of her upcoming cooperative board game, Race to Recycle. Houts worked closely with Eugene Field Elementary School to apply for a KCP&L Energizing Our Environment Microgrant to provide a copy of the board game to each kindergarten and preschool classroom as well as each preschool and kindergarten student. Photo by Tom Pinney
Article from the Maryville [Missouri] Daily Forum by TOM PINNEY from September 6, 2017
A local children’s author’s latest cooperative board game will soon be available for free to some students at Eugene Field Elementary School. Thanks to a Kansas City Power & Light (KCP&L) Energizing Our Environment Microgrant, Amy Houts’s upcoming cooperative board game Race to Recycle will be given to each student in preschool and kindergarten at Eugene Field Elementary School, Maryville, Missouri. An additional copy will be available in each of the preschool and kindergarten classrooms as well. Houts said the game will have a do-it-yourself component, which is normal in her cooperative board games, as the pieces all have to be put together before game play begins.
“The game starts after a big outdoor festival takes place, and there’s a lot of trash that needs to be recycled,” Houts said. “The kids can work together in groups of two to four players to move down the board and get all of the recycling picked up.
“The die goes up to three, and when you roll it, you move that amount of spaces on the board and pick up that many bottle cards to put in the recycle bin at the end of the track. If you land on a tile with the recycling symbol on it, you get to put in an extra bottle card, but if you land on the mischievous monkey, you lose one. The goal of the game is to have all of the bottles picked up and put into the recycling bin by the time you reach the end of the track, and if you do, everyone wins, but if you don’t, you have to start from the beginning.”
Most of the board games Houts has put out so far in her career have all been cooperative, rather than competitive. Instead of having one winner, Houts said, the point of a cooperative game is that everyone wins if they work together.
“It teaches cooperation and sharing,” Houts said. “The students can only clean up the park if they work together. The game also helps to develop the students’ counting and fine motor skills. It’s a great game for the students to have fun and learn important lessons.”
With the grant from KCP&L, Houts will provide around 150 total copies of the game to the students and the classrooms. Eugene Field assistant principal Kim Walker said Houts took the lead when it came to applying for the microgrant.
“(Houts) approached me in late July and said there was a grant being offered through KCP&L in an effort to make an environmental difference in the community,” Walker said. “She asked what I thought about applying for the grant to pay to get her upcoming board game in our classrooms and our students’ hands, and I thought it would be a good idea. She did all of the legwork on this microgrant. We’re very appreciative of her and the work she did to make sure we got the funding.”
Twenty-three different microgrants were awarded this year through the KCP&L Energizing Our Environment Microgrant program, which Walker said varied from starting recycling programs to implementing gardens on the property of schools, among other proposed projects. The grant Eugene Field received is worth $1,675.
Article URL: http://www.maryvilledailyforum.com/community/article_d95f519e-9305-11e7-9e45-17e8d1d0057c.html
You can make really delicious, bakery-type muffins at home. These are my new favorite. Plus, we often have ripe bananas that need to be used. Because of my milk allergy, I've included other types of milk to use. This recipe is adapted from the 2000 edition of Betty Crocker's Cookbook.
Streusel-Topped Banana Muffins
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin tin with papers or grease with shortening.
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
Use a pastry blender or two knives to cut the butter or margarine into the flour mixture until it looks like meal. Set aside.
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
1/3 cup milk or 1/4 cup almond, soy, or rice milk
1/4 cup oil
2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Mash bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Add milk, oil, and egg. Beat with a wire whisk until blended. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix with a large spoon until just combined. Spoon into muffin tin about 2/3rds full. Spoon on streusel topping. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when pricked in the center of the largest muffin. Good warm with butter.
Yield: 12 muffins
My twin, three-year old grandsons, Jake and Toby, watch as a I cut and tape together the mail truck for the Valentine Game I had created and published called "Find My Heart."
I explain the object of the game. "On a windy February day, Valentine Heart Cards have blown out of the Mail Truck and are littering the neighborhood! Can you help the Teddy Bear Mail Carrier collect the Valentine Heart Cards and return them to the Mail Truck before he reaches it?"
Once the game pieces are cut out and the truck and die are taped, we sit on the carpet with the book open to the game board. (I know the rules by heart, so we don't need to read through them first.) I know that the game teaches cooperation, counting skills, and fine motor control, but mainly, I want the boys to have fun. They are fairly new to playing board games and I want the experience to be positive. This game was created for children ages 3 and up, and with Valentine's Day next week, it's the perfect choice!
Jake rolls the die and counts the hearts. He moves the Mail Carrier three spaces and then places three Valentine Heart Cards in the Mail Truck slot. I love that this game fosters friendships because the players work together. In a cooperative game, everyone wins (or loses) at the same time. Research shows that cooperative games help prevent bullying.
Now it's Toby's turn. He rolls the die and counts the hearts. He moves the Mail Carrier two spaces and then places two Valentine Hearts Cards in the Mail Truck slot. As the Mail Carrier moves along the path, each of them hopes to land on the special spaces. For a solid heart, an extra card is placed in the Mail Truck slot. For a broken heart, one is taken away and placed back on the game board. "Will all the cards be picked up in time?" Jake worries. The first time we play, we all win! I show the boys how to turn the truck upside-down and pour out the cards, scattering them around the path. The second time we play, we all lose. All the Valentine's Heart Cards won't be delivered, so we have to play a third time. We win! The Mail Truck zooms around the board. Everyone will receive their Valentine Card!
To purchase this game for $7.99, visit the Check Out Page. For a 50% discount, download and print the game yourself from your computer using any color printer onto regular-sized 8 ½ x11-inch paper from the HoutsHome online shop at Etsy.
I add apples, dried cranberries, walnuts, brown sugar, margarine, and cinnamon to my steelcut oatmeal bowl, making a delicious, chewy, sweet, spicy breakfast. Steel cut oats are a great whole-grain option but they need to simmer 30 minutes. If you don't have time to cook steelcut oats, the next best thing is old-fashioned oats, which takes only 5 minutes and you can add the same type of mix-ins. Other fruit (besides apples) works well, too--whatever you like. We buy fresh frozen cherries and berries. They defrost in the hot oatmeal. My recipe that serves four, but it can easily be halved or doubled, if needed.
6 cups water
1 cup steel cut oats
dried fruit (cranberries, cherries, or raisins)
walnuts (a few, broken up, per bowl)
brown sugar (1-2 teaspoons per bowl)
margarine (1 teaspoon per bowl)
milk or cream
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add oats and return to a boil, watching closely so it doesn't boil over. Then turn down to low and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, core and dice apple. Add to pot and cook with oatmeal. Place dried fruit, walnuts, brown sugar, margarine, milk or cream, and cinnamon on the table to pass family style. Once the oatmeal is cooked, dish into bowls and serve. Yield: four servings
My husband, Steve, grew butternut squash in our garden. He stored it out in the garage this winter until the temperature dropped so low that we were afraid it would freeze. When our northern Missouri home experienced negative temperatures, Steve brought the squash inside. We love it roasted and drizzled with maple syrup, but I wanted to try something new. Steve mentioned that his mother used to make pie. So I looked online and adapted a recipe. It's sweet, spicy, creamy, and (relatively) healthy. Hope you enjoy it!
I use a deep dish pie plate. If you don't have one, use a regular pie plate but reduce the squash to 1 1/2 cups and sugar to 2/3 cup. I use almond milk because of my milk allergy.
Butternut Squash Pie
9-inch, deep-dish or regular, unbaked pie crust
1 butternut squash OR
2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup almond milk (or milk or cream)
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Rinse and scrub butternut squash. Cut in half, scoop out seeds. Place fact down on a cookie sheet and bake for 1 hour or until soft. Scoop out butternut squash and mash. Measure 2 cups and refrigerate the rest.
Prepare pie dough, roll out, and line pie plate; set aside. In a large bowl, use a wire whisk to mix squash, brown sugar, almond milk, egg, cornstarch, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, and cloves until combined. Pour into pie plate. Carefully place in oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until done. When done, the center looks congealed (move pie gently). Cool. Refrigerate. Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Yield: 1 pie; 8 pieces.
What fun to see photos of our twin grandsons, Jake and Toby, baking biscuits with their dad! They used the recipe from the King Arthur website: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/baking-powder-biscuits-recipe. The result? Delicious!
Biscuits make one think of farmhouse kitchens, enormous country breakfasts, and hot soups and stews, fare for the working man and woman* [*"and woman" added by Amy Houts]. They're unbelievably easy to make, bake in minutes and, if we slow our lives down enough to enjoy them with a leisurely breakfast, savory supper, or cup of afternoon tea, we'll be carrying on a tradition worth keeping.
To be honest, at first I didn't think this cake was very good. Key phrase: "AT FIRST." Mixing together white and whole wheat flour made the crumb a bit spongey. Devoid of oil or any type of fat (applesauce is substituted) the cake was not tender. Relatively low in sugar, this cake didn't taste especially sweet. However, turn those factors around and they become advantages. Wasn't my 2016 New Year's resolution to add more more whole grain to my diet? After the first bite, I got used to the lower amount of sugar. An article published in Time magazine called, "How to Get Rid of Your Sweet Tooth," by Alice Park suggests that taste for sugar changes when you eat less of it. See: http://time.com/4168424/train-yourself-to-want-low-sugar-foods/ I didn't think it would happen so fast. My expectation of a sweet cake lowered immediately. The bananas and cinnamon added a more subtle, natural sweetness. No fat? Better for my health. After all, the recipe was printed in a cookbook I had written for children, Cooking Around the Country with Kids: USA Regional Recipes and Fun Activities. But it had been years since I tested the recipes for that book, and I had forgotten how this particular cake tasted. Granted, I improved the looks and taste a little so that it was more appealing by warming my piece in the toaster and sprinkling it with powdered sugar. That did the trick. It satisfied my sweet tooth. Served with hot black coffee increased the contrast between sweet and bitter. I wouldn't make this banana cake for a special occasion, but it's great for morning coffee or an after-school snack. I challenge you to try desserts that a little less sweet. See it you can change your sugar craving. Besides this cake recipe, I highly recommend Lee Jackson's Healthy to the Core: All Natural Low Sugar/No Sugar Apple Recipes for Kids. http://imagesunlimitedpublishing.com
1 cup white flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup applesauce
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9x9-inch square pan.
Children can help measure and mix flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and add banana, applesauce, egg, and vanilla. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or spread with a butter cream frosting. Cut into squares.
Makes 9 servings
Looking through my recipe collection, I found one for zucchini bread from my cousin, Bernice, who is a great baker. Luckily, my husband had grown zucchini in the garden and had harvested a few. This recipe would be a perfect way to use them, I thought. Technically a quick bread, it should be called "cake," because it's sweet enough. Zucchini, grated and mixed into the batter, makes it healthy. The raisins and walnuts add to the moist, chewy texture. This recipe makes two nice-sized loaves.
Bernice's Zucchini Bread
Beat 4 eggs in a large bowl.
Add 2 cups sugar and 1 cup oil.
Combine and add until just mixed:
3 1/2 cups unbleached flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
Grate and add: 2 cups zucchini (scrubbed and rinsed if young; pared if old)
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bake in 2 9x5-inch loaf pans, greased and floured, in lowest rack in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until done.