“Go ahead, take chances…make mistakes…get messy!”, Ms. Frizzle, The Magic Schoolbus
Most days there is something crafty happening at Sweet Pea Path. Baking treats together, painting, drawing, pasting, creating homemade natural gifts for parents. In addition to days where we paint and colour, here are some past activities we have enjoyed!
Dilly beans and carrots are the childrens’ first venture into fermenting. Gut healthy probiotics abound in these brine pickled veggies. Their tangy taste combined with pride of work are a surefire way to convince the children to eat them! We tasted the carrots and beans, counted them together, smelled the individual spices & herbs and oh so carefully added the ingredients to the jars.
Learning that a little bit of patience goes a long way and the value of work were key lessons during our strawberry patch planting day. Clearing out the old plants, throwing away the weeds, feeding the soil…these were all jobs we needed to accomplish together before the fun of digging and planting our strawberry patch could begin!
We love making and playing with homemade playdough. Adding the ingredients to the big bowl, stirring and mixing and adding rainbows of colour lead in to creative play with rolling pins, cookie cutters and more to make cookies, cupcakes, animals and shapes. Toddlers who take a little taste are quickly put off by the salt flavour of this non-toxic dough.
Our baking basket allows us to have everything we need at our fingertips… this lets me keep my eyes on the kids instead of gathering supplies, and the leader of the day is in charge of taking out the baking basket. Its also a lot of fun for play baking
Cookie bracelets were loved by all. We made gingerbread dough, taking time to smell and taste the different spices. Everyone ate their cookies right off of their wrists. Fun!
These breakfast bars were a cinch to make…the children loved rolling the dough flat with mini rolling pins and that they didn’t have to wait long to taste their creation…measure, stir, roll, freeze, eat! A delicious morning snack for all.
In addition to making ornaments and little gifts, the children created winter window boxes with just a little guidance. I could hear their proud comments each morning when they arrived, reminding Mommy, “I made that!”
All of the ingredients in this scrumptious sugar scrub are edible, so measuring and stirring them wasn’t a risk for the smallest of my little guests. A few furtive tastes were taken, too!
A nutritious alternative to regular, sugar laden jam, we used fresh fruit from the garden and omega 3 rich chia seeds to make a thick and flavourful jam. Sweetened with just a hint of pure maple syrup, the kids all loved eating great globs of this yummy jam on crackers, bananas, apple slices…it has become a staple!
Growing our own sprouts, such as sunflower and alfalfa is a sneaky way to get them into your child’s diet! The kids love to find fun containers to grow their little sprouts and we love to eat them on sandwiches, soup, or on their own.
During the warmer months, we very often pack up a picnic lunch to enjoy outside. No worry about a mess! We frequently follow up picnic lunches with water play to get squeaky clean.
We love to harvest the veggies and herbs we grow to make meals together. The children are more likely to eat food that they have grown themselves, which is great if you have a selective eater or a little one who is inexplicably afraid of any green food! Above are our climbing cucumbers, crunchy kale and a little corner of our herb garden, where the children are encouraged to rub the leaves of the herbs to note their texture and scent. They pick their faves and we add them to yummy lunches!
Everyone smelled a selection of essential oils and selected their favourites to create little bath sachets to soothe itchy winter skin. The measured and scooped oats, baking soda and sea salt into bowls and added drops of their fave scents. I helped them pour the mixture into a funnel to fill empty teabags. No bathtime resistance that evening!
Treats aren’t always nutritious…though this one featured whole grains, oats, pure maple syrup, egg nog, currants and chia seeds to boost it a little! We practised size ordinals, using various sizes of snowflake cookie cutters.
We always make enough to bring home when we have baking activity days.. A pretty package makes it extra special for the little ones!
The spices of gingerbread with the ease of no-bake granola bar…a match made in heaven for hungry monkeys in winter time! We made these for snacktime and I let the kids choose their favourite shape…gingerbread man was an inspired choice by a precocious 3 year old!