Time for Fall, Time for Treats!

The weather is turning colder (cold for California at least) and there is a definite fall feeling in the air. With some major holidays right around the corner (Halloween, thanksgiving, dare we say it….Christmas) we are all starting to feel the pressure of a busy season. What better way to step back and relax then cooking with your child! Sure they may stick their whole hand into the batter, lick the butter cube, drop the eggs, and start a flour fight, but you will be making delicious memories that will last a lifetime.

Pumpkin Loaf (Betty Crocker)


1can (15 ounces) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 2/3cups sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 eggs

3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour

1 cup cup Chocolate Chips

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon ground cloves


1 Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350ºF.

Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan 9x5x3 inches, with shortening.

2 Stir together pumpkin, sugar, oil, vanilla and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into pans.

3 Bake 8-inch loaves 50 to 60 minutes, 9-inch loaf 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.

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Pumpkin Pie Cookies (Betty Crocker)


Cookie Base and Topping

1 pouch (1 lb 1.5 oz) Betty Crocker™ sugar cookie mix

¼ cup cold butter

4 oz (half of 8-oz package) cold cream cheese

Pumpkin Filling

3 oz cream cheese, well-softened

2 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

2 teaspoons all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


1 Heat oven to 350°F. Generously spray bottoms and sides of 24 regular-size muffin cups with cooking spray. Place cookie mix in large bowl. Cut in butter and 4 oz cream cheese, using pastry blender or fork, until mixture is crumbly. (Do not overmix.) Reserve 1 cup cookie mixture for topping; set aside. Firmly press 2 tablespoons remaining cookie mixture evenly into bottom of each muffin cup.

2 In small bowl, add 3 oz cream cheese and stir until smooth. Add remaining pumpkin filling ingredients; mix well. Place 1 rounded teaspoon pumpkin filling in center of each cookie. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons reserved cookie topping.

3 Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until edges of cookies are golden brown. Cool completely in pan, about 30 minutes. Run metal spatula around edge of cookies in muffin tin to loosen.

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Mini Pumpkin Pie Pancake Muffins (Betty Crocker)


1 cup Original Bisquick™ mix

¼ cup sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup milk

¼ cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 16 mini muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, stir together Bisquick mix, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, egg, milk and pumpkin until blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.
  3. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown and tops spring back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm or cool.

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Simply Science

Who doesn’t love a good experiment? Science teaches kids about the world around them, encourages exploration and discovery, and most importantly, asks questions like ‘Why’ and ‘How’.

We believe in hands on science, which is why each of our rooms, from infants all the way up to our school age program, has a science center. In each center there is a variety of age appropriate science activities, learning opportunities, and prompts. For some basic science fun at home, try one of the following activities.

Seedy Science

Developing: Classification and identification of objects with includes size, shapes and colors

What you’ll need:

-Ice cube tray (empty)

-up to 16 different seeds (go less for younger children)

-Magnifying glass (if you’ve got one, or reading glasses offer the same type of magnification)

-Tray or flat surface (to avoid messes use a platter, plate, or piece of paper)

How to start:

Put out the seeds onto a tray or paper, and help your child sort them into the ice cube tray. Let them decide how to classify the seeds, are they grouping them by color? Shape?  Size?  Texture? There is no wrong answer, encourage them to think about what makes each side different, and what makes them the same. Then for older children, write the name of each seed down on the worksheet below, and talk about species, and how seeds grow and germinate.




Sink or Float

Probably the most fun you’ll have all day!

Developing: Scientific method with deductive reasoning and observation

What you’ll need:

-a large container that holds water (tub, tray, giant bowl, the bigger the better!)

-a variety of objects to start (pick things that water won’t necessarily damage.)


How to start:

Lay out all the items next to the water container, ask your child what they think will sink, and what they think will float. Ask the all-important questions like, ‘Why do you think that?’ and ‘What would happen if?’ the answers, and reasoning behind them, may surprise you! After you have made your hypothesis (guess) then have your child drop in the object and see the results! To further the activity with older children have them right down their predictions, and then right down the outcomes, and compare. Also, ask them to come up with other objects they’d like to try.


Questions for any project to help further reasoning, analysis and creative thought:

Why did that happen?

What happens next?

How do you know that?

Why do you think that?