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  • Melanie Patric

Restaurant, Bread Making, and Follow the Leader

This morning the children were full of imagination, so after our morning routine, we played out several pretend restaurant scenarios. I'm usually the diner who orders, but I don't mind playing this role becuase the big kids are so eager to whip up things like "orange-mango-watermelon-cucumber tea" and "tomato and tuna fish" sandwiches. Even the littles delight in bringing empty plates to me and pretending to feed me. It's simply amazing how much the littles' imaginations have grown over the past few months!

After we cleaned up our restaurant, it was time to make some real food. I gathered the ingredients for bread making, and the children took turns dumping the ingredients into our big yellow bowl as we named them.

The children also took turns stirring until the dough was too stiff to stir. I finished the kneading and let the dough rise.

While we waited for the bread, we played a few fun clapping games like "Miss Mary Mack" and "Bim-Bum." These games really challenge the big kids on many levels- they have to remember the song, feel the rhythm, and move both sides of their bodies in a coordinated fashion, and at times even cross their midline. That's a lot to think about at once, but the big kids do their best.

When it was time to give our rolls a second kneading, we washed our hands and set to work singing the bread kneading verse to the classic children's song "This is the Way [We Knead Our Bread]." I encouraged the more timid children to knead the bread by really pressing and pushing the dough forward and pulling it back with wide fingers.

It's a tough action to coordinate, but with lots of practice it becomes second nature, and kneading's rhythmical nature can be very soothing for children.

Once all our rolls were on the pans and in the oven, it was time to head outdoors into the unseasonably chilly air.

We had lots of fun playing Follow the Leader.

I started the children off by having them mimic me as I performed a range of silly ways to walk, then we worked on taking turns as leaders and followers.

The kids had a blast making up crazy ways to move and there was lots of laughter!

Later in the day we read Are You My Mother and some nursery rhymes. Our favorites were "Hush Little Baby" and "Baa Baa Black Sheep."

See you tomorrow!

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