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Dancing teeth and tickled tongues!

This week we’re making lemon biscuits in class, and whilst they cook the kids in my groups have been tasted various citrus fruits, oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits. Our activity time is all about exploring the foods around us that quite often we, as parents, just assume our kids know about, but a few were stumped on these, we don’t see them so maybe they grow underground? Maybe they fall from the sky? Great rationalising but sadly not! The answers we get when we probe the kids about the foods and how they grow are fabulous. Once talking about carrots I explained that they grow underground and the soil acts as a big duvet to keep them warm, the leaves grow out so they can gobble up the sunshine and feed the carrots and the roots are like teeny straws sucking up the water from the soil to give the carrots a drink and help them grow. Where does the water come from if they’re in a big field though? Thumbs twiddled and lips were chewed until a very quiet little voice whispered ‘ bunny tears? Definately up there in the top five cute moments!’

I’ve spoken before about a little girl who’d been with me for a while with various disabilities, but also this term I have a very special little girl named Libby. Libby is 4 1/2 and has Downs Syndrome. I was going to write ‘sadly has Down’s syndrome’ but since knowing her that’s not the case, there is nothing sad about Libby. There are some kids that you just want to cuddle and she is one of them. I’ll hold my hands up and openly admit that I’ve always been a little nervous around kids with disabilities but these two little girls have taught me so much, people are people of all shapes and sizes, all strengths and weaknesses, it’s that simple! She is the smiliest most joyful child I know and a true pleasure to have in my class. When we got to tasting this week her Mum looked at me and mouthed that she doesn’t like oranges, in true determined Libby fashion she watched the other kids trying their orange, took a look at hers, looked at the kids, and had a little nibble, then suddenly the whole thing was gone and the smile was very big indeed – on both her and her Mummy!

Libby and her biscuits!

I love citrus week, the faces the kids pull are always entertaining, and more often than not they’ll go back for another curious lick. One little lady couldn’t stop giggling as the lime tickled her tongue, one other described it as making their teeth dance, but nearly all tasted and I now suspect the shop keepers in the area are wondering why their grapefruit and lime sales have spiked this week! As adults we decide what flavours we think are palatable, we have so many preconceptions on good and bad flavours, at the weekend we went to a carvery and my 7 year old was decidely excited that they had both sprouts and red cabbage – it was apparently ‘epic and awesome’ The guy serving thought he was being sarcastic til he started piling them on to his plate! Unfortuantely when asked at school what his favourite foods were he forgot his love of veg and drew a huge battered sausage, ho hum.

If you fancied making some lemon biscuits yourself, here’s the recipe

2.5oz butter

1.5oz Icing sugar

4oz Plain Flour

1/2 lemon juice

Cream together the sugar and butter until fluffy, stir in the flour, add the juice and knead into a ball and there you have it! Roll to biscuit thickness and cook for 10 mins at 180oC – though do keep checking as they suddenly cook!