For more than four generations, children have been enjoying Barnum's Animal Crackers. The product, exactly as we know it today, came into being in 1902 with its lineup of bear, bison, camel, cougar, elephant, giraffe, gorilla, hippopotamus, jaguar, kangaroo, lion, monkey, rhinoceros, seal, sheep, tiger, wolf, and zebra. For the centennial in 2002, a new animal was voted in by all the Animal Crackers lovers and was included in the box as the 19th species—the koala.
As an art project, invite the children to glue animal crackers onto a rectangular sheet of cardboard or poster paper. Glue on pipe cleaners to represent the bars of the cage. Next, cut out a frame from another color of paper to glue around the edges, covering the ends of the pipe cleaners. You may want to add wheels to this cage by gluing two bottle caps (metal or plastic) on the bottom at both ends. School glue works well with paper and the cookies, whereas tacky or hot glue is a better choice for the pipe cleaners and bottle caps (be sure an adult helps with hot glue). Don't forget a few extra animal crackers for munching!
Tote a great zoo snack to eat in ice cream cones. You will need animal crackers, teddy bear-shaped graham crackers, small pretzel twists, yogurt covered raisins, small chocolate candies (or chips), and colorful ice cream cones. Mix all ingredients with the children's help and serve this snack in ice cream cones. Easy to tote, and the holder is edible as well! Store the remaining mix in a covered container.
Children love to dip animal crackers into warm chocolate and peanut butter—try making a fun fondue. You will need the following:
- ¼ cup margarine or butter
- ¼ cup chunky or creamy peanut butter
- 1 (four-serving size) package of chocolate pudding and pie filling
- 2 cups light cream or half & half
- Animal crackers, pound cake cubes, and fruit pieces for dipping
Microwave the margarine or butter and peanut butter in a 2-quart bowl on high for 30 to 60 seconds, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir pudding mix and cream or half & half. Microwave another minute and stir. Continue to microwave again for 4 to 5 minutes or until the mixture is thickened, stirring every minute. Cool slightly (cover pudding surface with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming). Serve warm with animal crackers, cake cubes, or fruit. Yum!