When I had a little time over the mid-term break I made some great salt dough bakery items for our role-play area. I made them with my own children as a fun activity. What I love about the salt dough is they look sooo realistic, they're not plastic, they're relatively cheap to make especially if you have some paint already and they last for years! (I hope!) So without any more chat I'll get straight into how I made them...
One InfantEd follower sent me photos of her fantastic bakery produce to share. She followed the steps below to make these Amazing cakes and breads! What a great job from @jaimiwynn over on Insta!
How to make salt dough cakes & breads
*Before you start this project bear in mind that they do take some time to make. Allow up to 5 hours for cooking in the oven as well as drying time after painting and varnishing. It's a weekend project but I promise you they are worth every minute! It's a weekend project 😊
2 cups flour (I used Tesco cheapest)
1 cup salt
1 cup of water (*add an extra quarter cup if the mixture is too crumbly)
The rest of the items are pretty easy to make. Altogether I made:
Once you pop the into the oven on a low heat you can keep an eye on them but I don't think they burn. They turn a golden colour with the white salt appearing on the surface. The thinner items cook quicker. Below are the cooked goods and you could easily leave them like this and the children would be delighted to play with them!
I used acrylic paint as it is a bright, shiny and long lasting. I painted over the white salt because I'm too fussy. Then I painted the icing.
The toppings add an extra real life factor. I used real toppings below. Once the acrylic paint had dried I added a layer of gloss varnish. I used artists varnish from Art & Hobby because I already had it but any varnish would work. I only varnished the parts I painted. Varnish is sticky so I sprinkled on the the toppings at this stage.
Once the first layer of varnish dried I added an extra layer over the toppings to make sure they were secure in place.
These are not difficult to make but are a little time consuming. But they should last me for years and I can use them for other subjects like Irish, maths or literacy.
Bringing them into the classroom!
A Day of Integrated Learning when introducing a new topic.
Whenever I am introducing anything new into our play I spend the day developing their knowledge on the subject. This is my teacher-led, playful but structured teaching time. Every morning we do some sort independent writing workshop. This morning it was a comprehension about the bakery. My TP student made the comprehension sheet below by simply finding getting an image off the internet and adding some questions (I do a comprehension like this every Tuesday morning. Same structure, only the content changes to link into our topic). The children write their answers into their copy. My TP student then went onto do a fantastic Irish language lesson, teaching the same vocabulary in Irish. And so the day continues... you could use the buns for counting, sorting and shapes for maths. Why not set up a still life for art. Review the Little Red Hen for story. Possibilities for integration are endless.
The focus of this activity below is not handwriting but rather comprehension and independent writing. They worked on their own. During this activity I am not fussy about handwriting and only asked them to try and remember capital letters and full stops. (*FYI: these are a senior infant class mostly 6 years old)
Bringing the Bakery into Our Play!
The theme is The Farm and together we've created a Farmers' Market. Week one we focused on fruit and vegetable stall and this week we've added the Bakery stall.
After our Aistear plan I sat down with whoever wanted to join me in setting up the bakery. Having the children build the role play areas on their own or with you is really important because it models how creative design works and encourages them to have a go themselves. We decided how we would display the baked produce and we worked together to make some display boards. The children decided what price they would charge for each item.
I've done all the structured teaching during the day and this is their time to explore or expand on their learning however they choose!
Now this is the important part. Once it was all set up to go I take a step back! I've done all the structured teaching during the day and this is their time to explore or expand on their learning however they choose! It is so important to allow this freedom because they will come up with ideas that you would never have thought of. This is how we support children in becoming creative and resourceful young people. So the rest of the photos below are completely 100% their ideas.
Instantly they start to use the cubby hole in the role-play area again. This helps to prevent crowding by separating the sellers from the buyers. All roles are chosen/allocated by them. Money is exchanged daily during play.
There was a variety of containers, tubs and bags available for them to use (one of the most important roles the teacher can play in Aistear play is building your bank of open-ended play resources, which should be available to the children to take as they want)
One of the children started to set up a 'Picnic Table'! What a fantastic idea, which would not have happened if that child had been assigned to some other play area of the class. Within seconds the other children started to join her and this worked really well as a separate role-play scenario to extend their play space (somewhere for you to go when you bought these lovely buns!).
They were only too delighted to offer our lovely TP student gifts of their delicious treats!
Hope you enjoyed this post! Happy Baking 🧡
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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