One look at the baking section in our local supermarket, tells me we are not the only ones to have enjoyed a lot of baking during lockdown! We’ve all heard stories in the last few months about the difficulty of getting hold of flour and eggs and baking ingredients. Luckily, on the times we found what we needed, we had fun with the ingredients making some of our favourite recipes.
We all know that cooking is a great learning experience for children which covers a multitude of learning areas, so whilst it may not have been so good for our waistlines, we can be satisfied in the knowledge that the children were learning!
Check out some of our other favourite lockdown activtites:
This morning we enjoyed a cooking session and made these easy Chocolate Cornflake Cakes.
“Hand up who likes Cornflakes?” I asked them – their hands shot up in the air, “Hands up who likes Chocolate?” – Again, both hands shot up in the air!
The children (Aged 35 months) lined the cake tin with cases, helped me weigh out the cornflakes, broke up the chocolate into pieces, helped stir the cornflakes, golden syrup and butter on the hob and finally helped combine the mixture with the cornflakes and spoon out in to the individual cake cases.
We had to wait 5 minutes for the mixture to cool down before transferring to the cake cases so to make this wait more fun we turned the 5 minute sand timer over and I told them to watch until all the sand had passed through before we could move on to the next part. This proved a fantastic visual aid that really helped them to wait patiently for the required length of time.
They had great fun and really enjoyed the whole process.
Areas of Learning covered: Communication & Language, Mathematics, Physical Development, Understanding the World and Personal, Social and Emotional Development
After the success and popularity of our chocolate cookies this time last week, today we decided to make chocolate brownies. I baked these with my 4 year old mindee this afternoon and my after schooler was able to join us in enjoying them when she finished school.
We love baking here at Aston Childcare and after hearing how much the children loved cookies I thought we would have a go at baking our own. We’ve spoken before how cooking is great for covering many areas of learning so it’s the perfect excuse to make some yummy treats. The children enjoyed the cookies for their afternoon snack and the remainder were sent home with them for them and their families to enjoy.
This afternoon we turned our hand to making flapjacks. I’ve recently acquired a new flapjack recipe and was keen to try it out. I love cooking with my mindees, it’s not only therapeutic and interactive but arms them with a wide range of skills too. They were a roaring success and (after retaining a couple myself!) were sent home for parents to enjoy too. Baking, other than producing yummy things to eat, provides the children with a great opportunity to learn –
Cooking provides great opportunities to help children learn mathematical vocabulary such as ‘more than’ or ‘less than’ than when weighing ingredients.
Children gain experience in counting and recognising numbers. Children also learn about shapes such as cutting flapjacks into rectangles and discussing how many corners or sides they have.
Children can learn lots of new words whilst cooking. They can learn what a recipe looks like and learn that you need to follow instructions in order to achieve the required result.
Children can learn the names of ingredients and words like sieve, whisk, stir, mix, roll and melt. They can look for words on packets like eggs and sugar and try to find these words in the recipe.
Science plays a big part in cooking. It involves the concept of changing materials: liquid cake mix becomes a solid through baking, juice can become ice lollies when frozen and chocolate melts when heated.
Children love to get involved in weighing ingredients and mixing. Tasks such as holding a spoon, mixing, beating, shaking, pouring, rolling or cutting help develop their fine motor skills. They can also smell and feel the ingredients which help to improve their senses.
Emotional and Social Development
Children learn to share and how to take turns. When the cooking is over, you can sit down and enjoy eating together.
Cooking offers children a variety of learning experiences. It’s a practical way to teach children basic life skills, as well as academic skills involving reading, science and maths so what better excuse for making and consuming fairy cakes! We went for pink icing and chocolate sprinkles today!