For our ongoing “Barnyard Treats and Reads” series, we’re sharing a creative way to can transform Nutter Butter cookies (the treats) into one of our favorite farm animals! We’re also giving you suggestions for fun and informative books (featuring the same animal as this week’s treat) to share with your children! What could go better together than a treat and a good read?
This week, we’re going to talk about llamas! In fact, this article is full of all kinds of llama activities for kids. After you take a look at these llama Nutter Butter cookies, keep reading for lots more llama activities!
Llamas: Barnyard Treats and Reads
It seems like these adorable and fun creatures are extremely popular right now! Did you know that some farmers keep llamas because they make excellent guard animals? They will sound an alert if there is a sign of a predator or intruder.
Llamas can also be raised for their wool, and they make good pets. (My apologies in advance if your children want a pet llama after this. Haha!) There are also many books featuring llamas that would be wonderful to share with your children if you are studying these animals!
But before we talk about books, let’s start with your llama-inspired “treat!” Kids and adults alike will have a great time decorating Nutter Butter cookies to create little edible llamas. Making these together would be a great way to kick off (or wrap up) a study of llamas.
The Treats: Llama-Inspired Nutter Butter Cookies
Aren’t these little llama cookies adorable? I warned you that your kids may want one after learning more about them, but I didn’t warn you that you may want one too, right? If you can’t have the real thing, you can at least enjoy some super cute llama cookies. These would also be awesome as a make-and-take for a birthday party or even a girls’ night! You could even make them for a spring celebration or a fun treat on Easter.
As with the other cookies in our Barnyard Treats and Reads series, you don’t have to actually make cookies for this recipe since you’re using a base of Nutter Butter cookies. It’s all about the decoration, which is the part that kids seem to enjoy the most, anyway!
NOTE: If you need to simplify the decorating process, there’s a note above the recipe telling you how.
ALSO, you’ll want to keep reading (underneath the recipe and the suggested book list) to find more ideas and activities related to llamas!
To get started, you will need:
- 10 Nutter Butter cookies
- coconut oil
- white melting chocolate
- black melting chocolate
- pink melting chocolate
- red food coloring (to make dark pink)
- white round sprinkles
- any other small flower candy sprinkles you’d like to add as extra decoration (as shown)
You’ll also want:
- some ramekins (or small ceramic bowls)
- piping bag tip
- a dipping wand
- a wire cooling rack
- some parchment paper
(For the full recipe with more detailed ingredients and instructions, be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post!)
Place a shallow pan of water on top of a double boiler. Set several ramekins inside the pan and add each color of melting chocolates to its own ramekin.
In addition to black, white, and pink, you will also create dark pink by adding one drop of red food coloring to the ramekin with light pink melting chocolates.
Add a tiny bit of coconut oil to each ramekin and stir it in. This will help your chocolate get nice and smooth. Take your dipping wand and lower each Nutter Butter into the white chocolate until thoroughly coated. Then set each one on the wire rack.
However, don’t let the chocolate harden all the way at this point, (as you have with the other Nutter Butter animal cookies). That’s because you are going to add some textural “wool” to the cookies in the form of round white sprinkles.
Apply the round white sprinkles all over the cookie except for a small portion at one end of the cookie that you will block off. (This will be the face of the llama.) You may use a very small (about 1/2″) round cookie or pastry cutter to block the area off (as pictured). Or you may want to use the large end of a piping tip.
Once you are satisfied with the wool on your llama cookie, remove the cookie cutter or piping tip. You should have something like this:
At this point, let the cookies settle and harden for just a few minutes so that your sprinkles adhere well. Once the chocolate has set, fill your piping bag and fill in the faces with some light pink melting chocolate.
While that sets, make the ears by piping small triangle shapes onto some parchment paper. A good rule of thumb when making small delicate shapes from melting chocolates is to make more than you think you will need because some will break.
You can use a toothpick to help you get the shapes right. When you are finished (but before they harden), cover the ears with white sprinkles so that they match the Nutter Butters.
*Optional* If you are into the small details, you can also go in here and add a strip of pale pink to the inside of each ear.
Put the parchment sheet in the refrigerator to harden.
Next, you will work on the llama faces! This is the part that really makes it come together, and you are going to use a piping bag and toothpicks to help you achieve it.
- Pour white chocolate into a piping bag. Carefully create a round nose/mouth area. Let this set. (By the time you’ve done all 10 cookies, the cookie you started with will have likely set up.)
- Add the pink cheeks and nose by dipping a toothpick into the pink chocolate and placing three dots, as shown, on each cookie.
- Add the eyes and mouth by using a toothpick dipped in black chocolate.
Last, pull the sheet of ears you created from the refrigerator and attach them by dabbing a toothpick in white chocolate and using it as glue.
Once the face is done, your llama is complete! If you want your llama to look extra-festive like ours, the only thing left is to have fun embellishing your llama with candy flowers and nonpareils, using the melted white chocolate and a toothpick as glue!
These little llama cookies are like mini works of art! But don’t worry: even though they look too good to eat, they’ll still taste great! Store them in a cool place in an airtight container until you are ready to share them! (Or to eat them yourself. I won’t judge you!)
The Reads: Books About Llamas for All Ages
For ages: 0 – 5
The Llama Llama books are a big hit with the little ones! This collection of four board books offers simple rhymes and discusses daily activities and routines that young children are often trying to learn, which makes them very reassuring and comforting. If your young one enjoys this collection, you’ll be glad to know that there are many, many more Llama Llama books to enjoy! (Seriously, SO MANY).
For ages: 4 – 7
This sweet book is inspired by the true story of a llama who was separated from his pack and ended up atop Pike’s Peak!
For ages: 1-3
This book is perfect for parents who are looking for a sweet bedtime story for young children. Children will understand the baby llama’s need for comfort, and parents will appreciate the reassuring message from the mama llama.
For ages: 3-5
This scratch-and-sniff book is all about Llama Llama and his mama cooking up some treats! Read along and make your own llama cookies too!
For ages: 7 – 12
This fun, informative book contains many photos of real llamas and great facts about them. Llamas are one of those animals that all kids seem to love immediately. They will definitely enjoy learning more about the behaviors, traits, and needs of this animal. NOTE: Keep reading to find a playdough sensory activity that’s related to this book!
Though it’s not a book to read, this llama-themed gratitude journal is perfect to help your young writer (or even teen writer, or even YOU) get into the practice of being grateful, every day. It features thoughtful organization and prompts to help the words flow. This not only makes for great writing practice, but it also helps cultivate a great attitude! No “drama llamas” here. Who couldn’t use more of that?
We hope you enjoyed this week’s “Treats and Reads,” all about llamas! We’d love to know how your treats turned out and which books you decided to read!
NOTE: If you’d love to make these cookies but need to simplify the process, you can use Wilton Cake Decorating Icing (in 9 oz. squeeze bottles) instead of using the melting chocolates as described in the recipe. Some icing in tubes/bottles doesn’t harden well, so be sure (if you use a different brand) that you choose one that will harden.
- 10 nutter butter cookies
- 1 cup white melting chocolates
- 1⁄2 cup pink melting chocolates or pink chocolate coloring gel
- ⅛ cup dark pink melting chocolates
- ⅛th cup black melting chocolates
- 1⁄2 tsp coconut oil
- tiny white round sprinkles
- candy flowers, nonpareils, etc for decoration
- Set up double boiler with shallow pan and ramekins for each color chocolate.
- Fill with water till half way up side of ramekins
- Be careful not to get water inside them as it will seize the chocolate.
- Turn heat to medium low.
- Add chocolates and smidge of coconut oil to each, stirring to combine as they melt.
- Using wand or fork, dip nutter butter cookies in white chocolate until thoroughly coated.
- Hover above dish as chocolate drips off. Set on wire rack to harden.
- Place circle cutter/decorating tip where face will be and spoon tiny white sprinkles
- Leave in place for a few moments as the chocolate sets.
- Pour pink melted chocolate into a piping cone and fill in face area.
- To create the ears, tear a strip of parchment paper.
- Pour white melted chocolate into piping bag, work quickly to create the ears
- Sprinkle with tiny white round sprinkles.*make extra and put in refrigerator to harden.
- Add a strip of pink chocolate to the inner ears with a toothpick.
- Pour white chocolate into piping bag and fill in a round nose/mouth area.
- Add eyes and mouth by dipping a toothpick into the black chocolate.
- Attach the ears by dabbing toothpick in white chocolate and use as a glue.
- With a toothpick, add dots of dark pink for rosy cheeks, nose and to add curly hair.
- Embellish with candy flowers and nonpareils, using the melted white chocolate as glue.
- Set to dry and harden.
- Store in airtight container.
More Llama Activities for Kids!
YouTube Videos About Llamas
Have you ever wondered what’s the difference between alpacas and llamas? Many people get them mixed up! The video below explains the differences. NOTE: I always suggest that parents watch videos before showing them to your children! Please be aware that, at 4:03 in this video, the narrator explains that many people think llamas spit “just for the h*ll of it.”
The video below shows how to start training baby llamas. It’s a fun video, and you can tell how much Beau (who owns Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas along with his wife, Kirsten) loves his llamas! You can find lots more videos from Wilderness Ridge Trail Llamas, so be prepared for all kinds of fun and educational entertainment from them. (I won’t tell you how long I sat here and watched their llama videos…)
How about some llama craft activities?
Under the description of each craft activity, you’ll find a simple suggestion for another way or two to tie the activity in to another subject or activity.
Even older kids will enjoy making these paper plate llamas! Make them as simple or as fancy as you like. They could even be used as illustrations for your own llama story!
You and your kiddos can make these cute llama puppets just for fun, or you can use them to act out your own llama story or one you’ve read together! (There’s no better way to find out what your kids are thinking about a topic, book, etc. than to have them act it out!) These are the kinds of activities that make for lots of fun and many teachable moments.
Or some llama math?
This free llama pre-k math pack is adorable! It includes graphing, number puzzles, counting practice, tracing, and number recognition.
Or try this llama sensory activity if you have little ones!
If you’ve read Llama Llama Red Pajama with your little ones and would like to engage with the story with your children a little more, try this easy sensory activity!
I know this article is all about llama activities for kids, and I know alpacas and llamas are different animals, but I couldn’t resist sharing these adorable alpaca-themed activities and crafts from our sister site, Only Passionate Curiosity!
These worksheets are a fun activity whether you’re learning about farm animals or just want to practice word recognition. They’re great for kids from about kindergarten through 2nd grade. You’ll find activities to teach word recognition, reading and spelling, and vocabulary. NOTE: To get your 5-page printable set for FREE, just put in 0.00 when you see the pay-what-you-can option.
Alpacas are generally friendly, pleasant farm animals. They are known for providing soft, warm fleece. If you’re studying alpacas or the differences between alpacas and llamas, or even if you just want to have fun crafting with your kids, you’ll love these cute (but easy) alpacas you can make using embossed paper. NOTE: To get your printable template for FREE, just put in 0.00 when you see the pay-what-you-can option.
I hope you love the yummy llama cookies, book suggestions, videos, extra worksheets and lesson ideas, and even the alpaca-related activities I shared with you in this article! Homeschooling can be fun, and it’s great to do activities and read with our children as a way of building a strong (and positive) relationship with our kids. Enjoy!
If you’d like to try more treats and reads from our barnyard treats and reads series, take a look below!