Sometimes the best messy play is given to us by good old mother nature: puddles to jump in and mud to play with!
Making mud pies can keep children entertained for hours and is great for the imagination: turning mud into chocolate cake, sprinkling with leaves & stones, mixing it all with their wooden spoons/ sticks!
However, leaving your little one in the garden to make mud pies can be quiet daunting.. as the name suggests you may return to a mud filled child!
Younger children tend to explore using all of their senses, including putting whatever they can find into their mouths! So mud proper mud pies probably aren't the best idea's. But chocolate mud pies… FANTASTIC!
Start off with a base of "mud" (chocolate mousse) and supply options for them to create their very own mud pie!
We had CRUNCHY cornflakes that they could squeeze into their pies… bread crumbs that they can sprinkle.. herbs.. flour and even our own wiggly worms (pink spaghetti). Combine this with some bug toys and voila.. a safe.. but just as fun version of messy mud pies!
I had it in my head that I wanted to make bread rolls with the children, so I set about finding bread recipes that didn't need to rest for hours before cooking. I tried a couple, but it was more the case of 'forcing it down,' rather than savouring every mouthful.. and that's not really the aim!
The aim is for little chef's to learn about new ingredients and how to cook GOOD food
…. and what's better than cheese scones?
These scones are so simple, yet so delicious and a great alternative to bread rolls. The recipe below makes about 10 scones with an average size cutter and can be stored for a good few days.
At the end of the class we turned our scones into sandwiches, cutting them in half and filling them with our very own homemade cheese!! (Recipe also below..)
FOR THE CHEESE SCONES…
YOU WILL NEED:
-225g Self raising flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 55g butter
- 100g cheddar cheese, extra for topping
- 120ml milk, extra for glazing
FOR THE CHEESE:
YOU WILL NEED:
- 1/2 Pint of whole milk
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- Pinch of salt
This recipe was given to me by a family who attend my cooking classes and the children loved making there own cheese! Now I may be wrong, but I bet that if you give most children a lumpy cheese with herbs in to try, the majority would turn their noses up at it.. but after seeing the magic of turning milk into cheese and adding the herbs themselves 95% of the children gave it a try.. and ALL of those enjoyed it! HURRAY!
Great job little chefs!!
For those who are carrot cake fanatics and those who just can't understand what a carrot is doing in a cake.. this recipe is for YOU!
I was never 100% sold on the idea of carrot cake until I tried this recipe.. and now, I'd go so far in saying that this is my favourite cake! With its moist, light texture it feels like your not eating anything too naughty.. plus, it has a shed load of carrots in; surely we can count it as one of our 5 a day?
The children loved making this cake, mixing all the bits together then returning once the cake is cooked and cooled, ready to ice!
Whilst we waited for the cake to bake the children went on a carrot hunt. Simply printing out images and hiding them around the play room; lots of fun, getting everyone involved and allowing the children to practice their counting skills when tallying up how many carrots they found!
We also took advantage of the "wastage" from the carrots and did carrot top printing, throwing in a few potatoes as well to create little masterpieces!
What are your first thoughts when looking at the photo above?
I can just imagine it... the horror and fear' "WHAT A MESS" and more importantly "how would you clear that up?"
As adults we tend to stay away from messy play because, lets face it; parents are busy enough without the added mess. However messy play for little ones is such an important learning experience; below are some tips and recipes to try and make the mess as stress free as possible!
My top tip is BE PREPARED!!
Messy play doesn't need to be extravagant. The best 'mess' for babies and toddlers is edible so they can explore using all of their senses without any worry. Below are some ideas I found successful:
Hopefully this has inspired you to get messy with your little one… and if you really can't bear the thought of mess, look for your local Messy Play class; all the fun without any of the stress of clearing up!
I will be running my classes weekly with new ideas; keep your eye's pealed for more edible messy play you can try at home :)
Last week was the first official week of Poppies Daycare doing Stay and Play classes.. and it was just SO much fun!
On Thursday we opened the barn doors to budding little chefs.. and this week we made scone pizzas.
I was so impressed with this recipe, it's great for getting the little one's involved and they are just SO YUM, so I thought I would share it with everyone so they can do it at home.
YOU WILL NEED:
For the dough:
500g self-raising flour
250g ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons mixed herbs
For the topping:
Your little one's favourite toppings!
- Literacy: Mark making in the flour thats on the table
- Physical Development: Mixing ingredients in the bowl, kneading the dough, rolling & cutting the dough
- Communication & Language: Talk to your child as much as possible when cooking, they will be learning words for new ingredients, smells, textures.
- Understanding the world: It is so important for children to be educated about food and cooking so that they are able to make healthy choices later in life. When cooking explain where the ingredients come from, whether they grow in the ground or come from an animal.
- Expressive Arts & Design: The most fun recipes allow the children to use most of their senses:
SIGHT: Seeing the cooking stages and how they change.
SMELL: Discovering new smells of different ingredients
TOUCH: Using their hands to experience the feel of new and different textures
TASTE:Getting to taste their yummy creations!
- Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Cooking in a group is great fun, and teaches your child to take turns, respecting the other children. Also by giving them small responsibilities and supporting them through these will build their confidence.
(RECIPE FROM ELLAS KITCHEN)