Mum: Mmm, those cupcakes look delicious. I’ll have two of those please, and can I have a loaf of bread?
Miss 4: Sorry, we don’t sell any bread here.
Mum: Oh? I thought this was a bakery?
Miss 4: It’s a bakery that only sells cakes.
Mum: I see. So you are a baker at a patisserie then.
Miss 4: What’s a pa-sister-y?
Mum: Patisserie. A patisserie is shop where they sell lovely cakes and pastries and little treats.
Miss 4: Oooh, this is sure a patisserie. Can we make a real patisserie one day?
Mum: That’s an awesome idea!
So we did.
I wholeheartedly believe that there is no need to force learning at home. Play is the most natural way for a child to learn! Just look at how much we covered during a child-initiated game with NO pre-planning on my part. Literacy, numeracy, life skills and more. Anything we used was already around the house or in the pantry.
Two Year Old
- Independently select colour of icing
- Stir food colouring into icing with some assistance
- Independently decorate cupcakes choosing from 3 options (sprinkles, tiny bears, mini marshmallows)
- Develop skills in self control (not eating each cupcake when it was finished was very challenging for him!)
- Role play as a shop keeper, copying actions and language of big sister
- Exchange a cupcake for coins
- Count to three
Four Year Old:
- Independently ice cupcakes using a piping bag (!!) and decorate
- Independently write signs necessary for the shop (Patisserie, Open, Shut)
- Set up the shop using our playstand
- Decide on the price of cupcakes
- Count coins
- Perform simple addition with support (one pink cupcake plus one green cupcake)
- Role play incorporating appropriate language (serve, order, change, customer), new vocabulary (patisserie) and social conventions (welcome, smile, polite questioning, good-bye with invitation to come again)
- Wash the dishes after the game
PLEASE don’t think, “Ooh – we must play patisserie at home this week!” I didn’t choose this play. My children did. I encourage you to instead look for an opportunity to extend your children’s play further, based on whatever they are naturally doing.