A child I was observing had a spoon and fork in hand mixing food items, which made me think how I could further their development using different role-play activities. I decided to put out several cups, dried pasta and spoons, which they spent a long period of time filling and pouring from one cup to another. I also put out ice cubes with pasta, coffee granules and bits of lemon in them, so the children could explore and use their different senses as well as experimenting with the sensation of the coldness of the ice. The children really enjoyed the ice cube activity as they could use some of the cubes to draw with across paper, enabling them to figure out their dominant hand but with the other cubes they used their touch, smell and taste to differentiate what the ice cubes had in them. To see and remove what was in the ice cubes, some children pulled out bits of pasta using their fingers and others tried to snap the ice cubes in half. As the ice cubes started to melt they then used their fingers to spread the paint around paper, swirling, and splashing the droplets, experimenting with the mixture of colours.
Now the blackberries are ripe and ready to pick from the different areas around the nursery, we thought about an activity the children could be involved in both the making and eating. The children picked some blackberries ready for our cooking activity and tasted a few, meaning we had less than what we started with! We decided to make some cakes, which let the children learn and put into practice new skills, as well as begin to understand how we can use foods from naturally growing sources.
From doing this activity the children learnt and used a range of skills through feeling the different textures of the ingredients as each item was placed on the table for the children to touch, smell, and taste. Also the children developed physical development and gross motor skills from mixing the different ingredients together and separating bits of mixture into a tray to cook. Also, hand-eye co-ordination was developed as they iced their cakes using a spoon to smooth the icing over. The icing didn't last long though as soon as the children tasted it, it began to vanish! The cakes looked and smelt delicious and the children not only had fun making and eating them, but developed some important skills along the way.
We are already thinking about what other delicious creations we can make for budding little chefs!
Thank you for reading.