Patisserie Play

The whole thing came about with a simple conversation.  Miss 4 shouted from the dirt kitchen “Mummy! Come and buy a cake from my bakery.”  I headed up to the nature cubby and placed my order…

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.

13 thoughts on “Patisserie Play

  1. I love your daughter’s chef outfit, it’s beautiful. She really looks the part, as does your son. Is that a cape he’s wearing (the green garment draping down his back) as well as the apron?

  2. “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.”


  3. Our kids love to play “restaurant” and set up a little table with flowers (sometimes from the dress up box, sometimes weeds from the garden) on the balcony. Sometimes we’re all strangers and have to set up a few small tables (!). We let them put their food on the plates and carefully carry the plates to their tables. Recently we extended this play and had an impromptu ‘restaurant’ with another family one Friday night. Our guests were slightly bemused but played along! Zander (5) was the ‘asker’ (still won’t go by waiter) and asked, “Do you want chicken, or…errr… chicken?” brought out all the kids plasticware and laid the tables. Natalie (4) is more interested in calling for the ‘waiter’ all the time ;) but enjoyed helping to make the dessert and ask for those orders (ice cream with 3 choices for topping and three different types of sprinkles). They asked about ‘lists’ (menus) last time we ‘played’. I guess that’s a job for next time! Life is so much more interesting with a couple of small people around, that’s for sure!

  4. Parent:

    – Takes time from her busy day to allow her children to learn through play
    – Then finds even more time to share this joy with the rest of us in her blog


    Love it. I always enjoy seeing the way your children play, but the truly inspirational part for me is to see what a wonderful parent you are. So often, I don’t allow these requests for play to eventuate.

    I could sure take a leaf out of your book more often.

  5. Well said!! And I love how you add the post script, asking your readers to follow their childrens’ interests, rather than set up a patisserie. And look at all that your children learned without one worksheet to “teach” them something. Bravo!

  6. And they even washed the dishes!! How gorgeous :-)
    I very rarely ‘decide’ what my kiddos play either (which is the way I like it) – I love to just join in whatever is happening and see where it takes us

Comments are closed.