We have recently had a birthday in the house. On Friday, I got A (2yrs 10mths) involved in making some desserts ready for the party. We made White Chocolate and Strawberry cheesecake and Rainbow Jelly – yum!
The budding baker enjoyed:
- smashing the shortbread biscuits into crumbs with a rolling pin for the cheesecake base
- chopping up the strawberries (this was quite tricky – tricky cutting them up with the knife and tricky remembering not to put them straight into his mouth!)
- mixing up the fromage frais, cream cheese and melted white chocolate.
- scooping up and adding (most of) the strawberries and tipping the whole mixture on top of the biscuit base
- tasting the (almost) finished product
Once the cheesecake was in the fridge, we set to work on the Rainbow Jelly.
This time he enjoyed:
- choosing which flavours to use: strawberry, blackcurrant, orange and lime (I had bought lots of different flavours to give him a good choice)
- having a good go at cutting up the jellies with the scissors but this was quite difficult
- demonstrating “how strong” he was by pulling them apart with his bare hands (this was very confidence-building and he persevered until every last cube was separated)
- marvelling at the way the jellies slowly set (we looked in the fridge every hour or so to observe them)
- mashing the four jellies very enthousiastically with the potato masher!
- mixing them together in a bowl to make “Rainbow Jelly”
Baking is a great sensory experience for children. They can see it, feel it, smell it and taste it. It introduces them to counting and measuring and also a bit of science, eg. melting (butter, chocolate, jelly). It gives them an understanding of where their food comes from and can help to encourage fussy eaters to try new foods (no encouragement was needed on this occasion!) They also gain a real sense of achievement when they see the finished product and thrive on the praise they receive from those sampling the fruits of their labour.