It is, of course, about developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. It is also about mathematics: sorting, counting and measuring. Then it is about science: observing materials, mixing them, and transforming them.
Baking is about rhythm – we have a song for every recipe – it makes the work easier! It is about language development and literacy – see us practising our early handwriting skills below.
Baking has everything to do with the growing imagination. And it is about inviting your favourite dinosaurs round to play!
Of course, you don’t actually have to do any baking at all to get a little flour out – although this is a great way to keep Little Sparks occupied while you perform the oven magic!
Just a fine sprinkling of flour over a table top makes for some intriguing exploration. Toddlers love to make swirly patterns with their fingers or pat a mound of flour to make hand shaped indentations.
Making it ‘snow’ with a sieve is definitely great fun. In fact sifting flour is no mean feat for a toddler. Tasks like this help Little Sparks to develop their motor skills, build muscle tone in hand and arms, and enhance brain development. The Little Spark whose hands are pictured here was very attached to my collection of dinosaurs and they accompanied us on just about every activity I can think of! They hid in the flour, made footprints through the flour and were buried by ‘volcanic ash’!
Another fun flour based activity for toddlers is to fill ziploc bags with flour and water. Let your Little Sparks squish the mixture together. (I must say I find the sensation slightly revolting but Little Sparks love it!) You can make several bags and add food dye, glitter and flavouring – mint works well - to increase the sensory experience. When they have had time to explore and squish to their heart’s content cut a small hole in the bottom corner of the bag so that they can experiment with squeezing the mixture out. Again this will test their fine motor skills as well as providing a creative outlet.
Don’t forget to cover up and make sure you are in a ‘messy’ mindset!