Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Kids "Cooking" Activities

I adore cooking and I love the idea of doing activities with my toddler.  Sometimes though, that is more of a fun idea in theory and in reality, it's hard work, very messy and takes ten times as long!  I really need to be wearing my patient pants on those days! I often feel guilty that I don't do more activities at home with my toddler - there are so many inspired ideas out in the blogosphere that I know I "should" try, but laziness gets the better of me!

I try to do one activity with him a week where he gets my full attention and he can "help" as much as he likes.  As I'm not as good at kids crafty things, we usually end up cooking.  We have made fettucine, pizza dough, chicken meatballs, biscuits, cakes, vegetable muffins, ice cream, chocolate Easter egg baskets (inspired by the lovely & seemingly patient Planning Queen - http://planningwithkids.com/2011/04/17/how-to-make-an-easter-chocolate-nest/).  The homemade raspberry sorbet was definitely the messiest and the most fun for him!

Here's my attempt to encourage some crafting for Father's Day cards. Note the baby wipes - yes, although I am messy, I don't like mess so much!



Our version of Planning Queen's Easter gifts:





A month or so ago, it was my turn to do the activity at our playgroup. We are a group of 10 toddlers & mums as well as handful of second babies.  We started 2.5 years ago as two separate mothers groups that joined forces.  They are a fantastic group of women - all so incredibly different but really lovely and fun.   I wasn't sure if/how I fitted in to the group to begin with, but I'm very glad that we stayed in contact - thanks to the organisation of a couple of the mums in particular. It's especially lovely to see the babies grow in to gorgeous little people.  Anyway, when it was my turn to do the activity, I thought I'd do a "cooking" session with the kids.  I remember doing these 2 activities when I was little and after a bit of googling and checking out http://www.kidspot.com.au/ I remembered the gist of supplies needed.

We made Orange Hedgehogs and Smiley Face Biscuits.  It was a beautiful day so we set up on the deck.  Some of the kids took ages making their pieces, others ate all of the supplies instead and some just went and played with toys.  I think it's good not to have expectations when doing kids activities - especially with a bunch of 2.5-3 year olds! If they want to join in, they can.  Most of them did.


All set up out in the sunshine:


Supplies - An orange (with the bottom cut off so it would sit flat), cubes of cheese, pineapple pieces, grapes, dried cranberries for eyes and a piece of curly pasta for a tail.


One of the meticulous little girls placing each piece very thoughtfully:


The finished product:


My sample:
My toddler restraining himself for about one minute to spread the icing - straight after that, he just ate the lollies!


One of the other little boy's cute biscuits (with help from his mum!)


More finished biscuits:


My sample - note the neatness of the drawn on smile on the left!


I must remember to do more of these sorts of things with my toddler and not let "life" get in the way.  It can be very easy to get caught up in washing, cooking, cleaning, organised activities, family and friends, but before I know it, he will be off at Kinder and then at school, and I will wish I could spend more time doing the fun stuff.

Love Amy xoxo

5 comments:

  1. I think I might add biscuit decorating to my list of school holiday activities. Thanks for the inspiration and for the very kind mention.

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  2. We are doing biccie decorating for S' party so I'm really looking forward to seeing how the kids' ones turn out. I hadn't thought of doing samples but I like your thinking! xxx

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  3. Thanks Nic & Cat. You both blow me away with your thoughtful & creative kids activities and I try lots of your suggestions! xoxo

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  4. Sounds like a great idea for cooking with kids! Thanks for sharing! I'd like to invite you to our party, Fantastic Thursday. http://www.fivelittlechefs.com Hope to see you there!

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  5. hello! great blog :-) do you mind me asking, where did you get the apple tablecloth from? i've been searching high & low for something like that. thank you.

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