Shadow Snack — Homemade Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

I had been thinking and looking all week for a “shadow snack”, but I just kept coming up empty-handed.  I finally just decided to go with an ice cream sandwich recipe I ran across while at the dentist this week!  I decided it was black and white and could go with a shadow theme (that may be a stretch, I know!).  Anyway, I really didn’t follow the recipe too closely, and I cut down the number of servings.  I don’t need something so delicious tempting me!  Here’s our final product!

brownie ice cream sandwich

Homemade Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches


  • 1 family-size box brownie mix
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • 2 8×8 pans

1)  Line one of the pans with wax paper or foil.  Leave an inch or so on two of the sides, so you’ll be able to pull the ice cream out of the pan when it is set.  Allow ice cream to soften for 10 minutes and scoop a 1/2 – 3/4 inch layer into the pan (on top of the wax paper).  Freeze for at least three hours.

2)  I only have two 8×8 pans, so I had to wait for the ice cream to set.  Then, I pulled it out of the pan and put it back in the freezer.  Next, make the brownie mix according to package directions.  Line the pans with foil.  Put half the batter in each pan.  Bake (I just followed the baking directions for the 9×13 inch pan, and it worked well).

3)  Allow the brownies to cool completely.  Pull the brownies out of one pan and turn out onto a flat serving tray or other pan.  Lay the ice cream on top of the brownies.  Remove the wax paper.  Top with the other pan of brownies.  Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and freeze.

They were so delicious!!  Thankfully, my husband ate most of it (well, sort of thankfully.  I really would’ve liked another piece!).

Masterpiece Monday: The Photography of Ansel Adams

Ansel Adams: 400 PhotographsI seem to have my days all mixed up this week!  I know it isn’t Monday, but I had an idea for Masterpiece Monday (on Thursday)!  I love the photography of Ansel Adams (if you aren’t familiar with his work, you can check out his biography and photographs here.  Your library probably has several photobooks as well).  I wanted to introduce my girls to his work, and I thought our shadow theme would be a perfect time to look through his photographs and focus on the light and shadows in his work.  I set out the book and allowed the girls to look through it themselves.  Later, we went back together and talked about the light source, directionality, and shadows.

(Photos taken by the girls)

1)  Indoors, we set up a few homemade towers, etc. and explored the shadows cast by a lamp at various angles and locations.

2)  I reviewed some photography basics with the girls (see article links below).  Then, I had the girls (carefully) take photographs with my point and shoot digital camera to capture their “artwork”.

(More photos taken by the girls)

3)  We went outside, looked for shadows, and composed photographs around the shadows we found.

PBS has a good article about introducing your child to photography here.

Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School has an article entitled 13 Lessons to Teach Your Child About Digital Photography.  It is aimed at school-aged children, but there are some good ideas even for your little ones.

Shadow Theater Guessing Game

When the sun isn’t bright outdoors, you can still explore shadows inside with a make-shift shadow theater.  I’m sure you did this when you were a kid, right?!!

Shadow Theme:  Shadow Theater


  • Two chairs
  • White sheet
  • Lamp
  • Household objects

1)  Set two chairs a few feet apart.  Drape with a white sheet.  Set up a lamp behind the sheet.

2)  Let the children explore shadows using their hands, arms, and legs.

3)  Play a shadow guessing game.  I had each girl pick a few items from her room, sit on the chair, and hold an item in front of the lamp.  The rest of us sat on the other side and guessed what she was holding up! 

I left it set up for a little while so they could experiment!

Shadow Stomp Game

Sometimes shadows are quite frightening for little ones. Using a simple story like Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch can help tame this fear. Another story with a good introduction to shadows followed by a photo guessing game is Guess Whose Shadow by Stephen Swinburne.

Moonbear's ShadowGuess Whose Shadow?

I have also found it helpful to take my fearful child outside on a sunny day and go on a shadow hunt.  Another non-threatening way to explore shadows with preschoolers is to play Shadow Stomp.

To play Shadow Stomp, you need:

  • Shadows  :)

1)  Run around and try to “stomp” on each other’s shadow!  A variation would be to stomp on an object’s shadow (trees, bikes, flowers, etc.)