Third grade assignment: Make a visual representation of the solar system. Be creative! (be careful what you ask for…)
Rhea decided that she (and by “she” I mean “we”) should make a sugar cookie solar system. Why waste your time with a plain old shoe box diorama situation when you can make a project the class can eat when you’re done?
You may notice that there are two of each planet (in case of interplanetary disaster) but what you can’t see is how much time this child took to mix/choose/remix/rechoose the exact right colors for each dang piece. We may have a detail-oriented baker in the family, ladies and gentlemen… Or an astronomer, I’m not sure which. Either way she doesn’t get it from me!
We made the solar system a week ahead of time and then froze the cookies to keep them fresh. Besides eating the extra planets, we also made little star cookies for each classmate. No doubt, Rhea’s presentation gained rave reviews from the audience! (and even though I’m poking a little fun, I am very proud of my daughter’s creativity and effort to make a top-notch presentation. She did great!)
My Mom’s Sugar Cookies (which, incidentally, are the best sugar cookies in the world)
Ingredients: 1/2 cup butter, 1/ cup sugar, 1 egg, 2-2 1/4 cups flour, 2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. vanilla (frosting optional–unless you’re making a solar system or something similar, of course.)
Directions: Roll out and cut with cookie-cutters. Place on cookie sheet at bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes (depends on how think your cookies are though–check’m and see. Should be slightly browned on top, but not too much.)
Tip: If I’m pretending to be Sally-organized-baker (hardly ever, but this is still a good tip) I make the dough in advance and refrigerate for an hour or so. The chilled dough is easier to roll out and cut–especially for little bakers.
Some things I learned while assisting: Although Uranus has rings, Saturn is the only planet whose rings are visible from Earth. Saturn has a moon named “Rea” (and no, that’s not where I got the name.) The red-dot storm on Jupiter is several times larger than planet Earth. Sprinkles on planetary rings are a big hit with 8-9 year-olds…