This week we used the book 'Mama Panya's Pancakes' as the inspiration for a whole line of activities culminating with a cooking session in the paddock. I came across this book during a wander around the children's section in Mr B's emporium of reading delights: a wonderful shop which I recommend you head to! The story concerns Mama Panya and her son Adika as they head to market to buy ingredients to make pancakes. What follows is a lovely tale of African village life, the joy of friendship and (perhaps most importantly) how to make delicious food! Over the week we have been reading the story and it has inspired the children to make pancakes using playdough which was scented with elderflowers (follow this recipe to make your own) and to mix sand with a lot of water and cook it in the mud kitchen. I love watching our children taking an idea and running with it, coming together to focus and concentrate on a group aim that they themselves have created, sharing and enjoying the process of adding and mixing ingredients with such a high level of involvement that the adult has to taking a spectator's seat for fear of disrupting the beauty that's happening. I wanted to take this interest to the next level by the end of the week and fortunately it all came together and the children were all keen to help with the process, a group mixed the ingredients to make the pancake batter, another group went with Ed to help light fires and we all sat around the firepit to the end of the session singing songs, telling stories and having banana pancakes in the sun
What really made my day was the fact that we overran so much that the parents had to walk out to the paddock to collect their children, I'm aware of the desire to have the children ready to go home, shoes on, bags packed etc but it means that their parents don't always have a chance to see them during a natural part of the day; focussing on the task, helping with the process and enjoying the company of others. I look forward to more cooking next week!