Stress Free, Mess Free...
This is my second year making bread in a bag with my infant learners. It's a really fun activity and relatively easy to do with infants. What I love most about it is there is a lot less mess involved because it's all contained in a bag. In this post I share the 'how to' steps and at the end I'll go through a few different activities you could do to integrate some other subject areas into this lesson!
What you'll need:
First, divide the children into groups of 4/5. Give each group a zip lock bag. As always it's best to be well planned for this type of lesson. You will need to be able to visibly demonstrate to the children as well as being able to move around easily between groups. I set the tables up in a U shape as shown below.
Next... add 1 Cup of flour and 3 tbsp of sugar to a large zip lock bag (make sure the bags are big enough). Don't forget to teach the children about measuring using the cup measurement and how you need to level to flour off to insure correct amount. Don't forget to zip the bag when you're moving onto the next group. Instruct the children to take turn gently massaging the closed bag, while always keeping the zipped end upright. You move around the groups quickly.
Next, add 1 packet of Yeast and 1 cup of fairly warm water (the warm water activates the yeast). Zip the bag and massage gently again, taking turns to pass the bag around their groups. Make sure you have one child hold the bog upward at the zip and another can mush the mixture. This keeps them busy while you support the other groups to add the ingredients.
Wait! Leave the bags of floury yeast to activate for 10 minutes. Watch a video of making yeast bread. Compare the similarities and difference to your bread making. This will pass the 10 mins nicely. Show the children a video of the yeast reaction on you tube. Notice the bubbles? now send the children back to their bags to see if they can spot the bubbles.
Add 3 tbsp oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the rest of the flour (2 cups). Zip and mix again. this is where the mixture gets firmer and the children will really work those fine motor muscles!
This step has 2 options. At this point you can take the mixture out and teach the children how to knead the dough. Or alternatively leave it in the bag to knead (I did this year and it worked perfectly) but children love the sticky mess too so it's up to you.
Now you can pop the mixture into the tins. I line the tins, if you don't have liners maybe rub sides with oil. If you have the time leave the bread rise for another 30mins. If you don't just put them into the Oven at a preheated 200C. Bake for 25 mins.
Finally, remove from the oven. Place on a wire tray or a clean towel. Allow to cool before cutting. f you want to send it home. Simply wrap it in foil! While this bread won't win any artisan bread competitions for it's taste and lightness but it is a great playful activity and the children have a lot fun making and I hope you do too!
Extra integrated activities
The Little Red Hen
Bread and The Little Red Hen are the perfect match. Check out the video I made with my class last year, why not share it with your class!
After this lesson the children made a bakery in their Aistear play hour.
Playdoh in a Bag!
I haven't tried it yet but I don't see why this 'bag' idea wouldn't work perfectly for a simple playdoh recipe? Do let me know if you try it! Here's my no-cook recipe.
Other playful lesson blog you might like!
Happy baking! xx
I would like to thank the children who kindly consented to having their work samples and/or photographs used on this website. Infant Education was granted parental permission for the participation of their children on this website.
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