How did you use Montessori to bake with a group of toddlers ?
- colour matching
- trays of activities/isolation of difficulty
- the children could join in or leave at any point/allowed the children to follow their own interests
- it was age inclusive, children from 15m to 4yrs participated together
- we had a big cleanup session afterwards that was enjoyed by the children as much as the baking.
How keen were the toddlers on baking?
During the first hour of the class I invited the toddlers to cook with me at our group table and we started peeling pre-cut pieces of bananas. Some groups were more interested than others. Having a group activity was something we hadn’t done before and I many toddlers decided to continue with their normal class day, as if to say, “No thanks. I have work to do. See you at snack time!” The children who attended multiple baking days were generally more interested and aware of what we were doing, of course.
It was fun to make sure that each child involved in the process had a task to do that they were interested in. Some preferred wiping up the table and floor, some were very involved in the cooking process, while others preferred to observe or eat batter with a spoon. Some loved pouring in ingredients, but didn’t want to smash the bananas. All the toddlers got to eat their muffins together before the end of class, even if they didn’t help make them. This way every child got to be part of the group. The children were very generous and sweet sharing with each other.
What do you want to do differently next time?
I wish I would have included more language and vocabulary. On the last day a parent was going over the ingredients with two toddlers as they ate their muffins and I realised I could have done the whole workshop as a 3 period lesson: giving vocabulary, letting them explore each texture, taste, and smell, and then give demonstrative instructions of what we do with each ingredient.
What is the BEST thing about baking with toddlers?
Giving the children the opportunity to see the whole process of where their food comes from— from bananas and flour into a muffin. To go even a step deeper, with 3-6 year olds, you could ground dried oats to make your own oat flour. It’s really easy.
Working together on a group project was also interesting. It’s not something that happens very often with more than two or three students at a time.
Step 1: peeling, chopping, mashing
Step 2: pouring, transferring, mixing
Step 3: sorting, scooping
Step 4: sponging, sweeping, drying
Vegan mini-Banana Muffin Recipe
Ingredients (makes 3 dozen mini muffins)
- 2 cups gluten-free oat flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1.5 bananas
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup organic maple syrup
- 2 mini muffin trays
- mini paper muffin forms
- Mix dry ingredients in a bowl
- Mash or puree banana in a separate bowl with milk and maple syrup.
- Stir in dry ingredients
- Spoon batter into paper muffin forms in the baking sheet
- Heat oven to 200℃
- Bake muffins for 10-15 minutes
- Ready when the sides are golden brown. Remove from baking tray and let cool in a separate basket.
- Let the toddlers enjoy and offer each other muffins!
>> recipe tips when baking with toddlers <<<
- Start off with twice as many bananas as you need to make it into the batter. The toddlers will probably first like to sample them and make sure they are tasty enough.
- Mix all the dry ingredients together yourself and then give them the mixture. They can use a spoon to transfer it into the bowl of liquid ingredients.
- Measure out the milk and syrup in advance and pour into 2 separate pitchers
- The muffins will turn out fine even if the ingredients don’t all make it into the bowl, and even if the batter isn’t evenly spooned into the forms. I promise. 🙂
- Flour on a hard-wood floor is a great sweeping opportunity for toddlers. They LOVE it!
Thank you for reading! I hope this was helpful. Comment if you have any recipe ideas for Baking with Toddlers Pt. 2!