Monday, November 24, 2014

Surprises in the Kitchen With Poppins Book Nook

Welcome to the November edition of Poppins Book Nook! 

This month's theme was: To The Kitchen.     

Now, time in the kitchen is quite common in our house.  If nothing else, we have a weekly Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen time. My dilemma was trying to figure out what book I would be able to find to go with the theme.  So, I headed over to the library and literally flipped through a whole shelf of books in search of the perfect book. I found a few I thought would be cute, and finally decided on Surprise Soup by Mary Ann Rodman.

This story is about a family of bears. The mom isn't home because she has just had a baby. The father bear and the sons are trying to make mama's Saturday Soup. The little brother, Kevin, wanted to help and the big brother kept picking on him. They did each do their share making the soup, though daddy wouldn't let them  use the big dangerous knife of course. They added veggies (that Kevin thought were supposed to be washed with soap), and tons of cans of various foods (because Kevin was having so much fun opening the cans, he kept going), but the soup just wasn't tasting right. Finally, little Kevin got his dad and brother to listen to him. After all, he knew mom's secret as he always helps her out in the kitchen. 

I loved this cute story, though the children were told that it is NOT acceptable to make fun of younger siblings. Granted, at the end of the story, Kevin is happy because he has shown he CAN help. 

Last week the children and I made 2 "Surprise" recipes. I shared our Surprises Kisses for last week's Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen. Let me tell you, those are delicious cookies. I adapted them from a recipe I found on 

Here the children are, hard at work:

For full details and the recipe, I invite you to stop by my Kids and a Mom in the Kitchen post where you can also link up your kid-friendly recipes and time in the kitchen with your kids.

That same day, we also made Surprise Bean Soup. Though this recipe, which I found at, wasn't anywhere similar to the recipe described in the book, and it didn't have the same secret ingredient, it was really good. Unfortunately, the children didn't really agree. 

Here they are, all excited to make the soup:

Here are the ingredients:

This recipe calls for bacon, two cans of navy beans (which we couldn't find so we used Great Northern beans), diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, chicken broth, celery, carrots, and onion. Plus there is the secret ingredient. Can you spot the secret ingredient in the picture above? What do you think it is?

Here are a few pictures of Tabitha helping me. The other children were a bit helpered-out as we had just finished the cookies. Amelia did help by peeling some carrots. Unfortunately, I was busy at the time and wasn't able to snap a picture.

Here is the soup before the secret ingredient is added:

Here is the soup after it is added:

Any clue what it is? If you aren't sure, you will find the picture at the bottom of this post.

In addition to our time in the kitchen, I created these Alphabet Soup Learning Trays for Harold and Hannah.  I filled a couple of bowls with elbow pasta, then added some green and orange pompoms to represent vegetables. Then I added magnetic letters. I set the bowls on a couple of serving trays, along with a spoon for each and some activity papers.

Harold was to match the upper case and lower case letters of A-D, which are the letters we have done so far this year.

Hannah had a sheet to match several different lower case letters as she knows most of her letters now due to following along with My Father's World Kindergarten last year, though I was doing letter of the week with her. She also had some word family sheets. 

We are working on getting her to sound out the words. She knows the sounds the letters make, but she is still having trouble with blending. I love introducing the children to fun activities like this though. This way, we are practicing, but she is having fun at the same time.

These learning trays seemed to be a hit. They went back for them again. This is an activity that will continue to have use as I can add and change the letters being learned.

Oh, I promised to share what the secret ingredient was. So, did you guess right?

Don't forget to check out what the other Poppins Book Nook co-hosts have been up to this month. Then don't forget to link up your own posts! Lastly, enter the Wild West Learning Bundle Giveaway.

Enchanted Homeschooling Mom ~ 3 Dinosaurs ~ To the Moon and Back ~ Planet Smarty Pants ~ Farm Fresh Adventures ~ Growing in God's Grace ~ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Learning and Growing the Piwi Way ~ The Usual Mayhem~ Preschool Powol Packets ~ Monsters Ed Homeschool Academy ~ Adventures in Mommydom ~ Teach Beside Me ~ Life with Moore Babies ~ Kathy's Cluttered Mind ~ Are We There Yet? ~ Our Crafts N Things ~ Hopkins Homeschool ~ ABC Creative Learning ~ Joy Focused Learning ~ P is for Preschooler ~ Laugh and Learn ~ A Mommy's Adventures ~ Inspiring 2 New Hampshire Children ~ World for LearningEver After in the Woods ~ Golden Grasses ~ Our Simple Kinda Life ~ A glimpse of our life ~ Journey to Excellence ~ Happy Little Homemaker ~ Little Homeschool Blessings ~ Simplicity Breeds Happiness ~ Raventhreads ~ Water on the Floor ~ Learning Fundamentals ~ Tots and Me ~ As We Walk Along The Road ~ Stir the Wonder ~ For This Season ~ Where Imagination Grows ~ Lextin Academy ~ The Canadian Homeschooler ~ School Time Snippets ~ Peakle Pie ~ Mom's Heart ~ A Moment in our World ~ Every Bed of Roses ~ Finchnwren ~ At Home Where Life Happens ~ Suncoast Momma ~ The Library Adventure ~ Embracing Destiny ~ Day by Day in our World ~ Our Homeschool Studio ~ A "Peace" of Mind ~ Thou Shall Not Whine ~ SAHM I am ~ eLeMeNo-P Kids ~ Simple Living Mama

Feed Our Small World:A Cookbook for Kids Giveaway! Every month the Poppins Book Nook group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win a copy of the bookFeed Our Small World: A Cookbook for Kids for the theme of To The Kitchen!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the Rafflecopter terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here {}.  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to win:

Come and find out more information about Poppins Book Nook at Enchanted Homeschooling Mom, on Facebook and on Pinterest.

Clip Art by Melon Headz


  1. Looks like your kids did a great job working together - unlike the characters in the story!

  2. Getting kids helping in the kitchen is ALWAYS a great thing!

  3. The soup looks great!

    Thank you for helping to bring a spoonful of reading fun to the Poppins Book Nook this month!


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