Here is the final installment in our special series featuring activities for toddlers. We’ve already covered sensory play, maths games, art and craft, reading, writing and song, and outdoor play, science and active games and today our last edition is all about cooking. Can toddlers cook? You bet they can! It might get just a little messy, but it’s great fun and packed with opportunity for learning. Here are some simple recipes, all tried and tested with my own kids.
Exciting news to start the month :: you can now download one of the NurtureStore free kids apps, which means you can use all our ideas, straight from your phone, any time you need them!
If you’re wondering what to do with the kids tomorrow, you’re planning a playdate, you need some ideas to help your kids with their spellings or you’re stuck in on a rainy day in need of a rescue idea – NurtureStore is here!
Follow these easy-peasy instructions and you can have a nice little NurtureStore app on your iPhone or iPod Touch, which with one click brings you straight here, to see our latest ideas and to dive into our huge archive of kids activities.
How to get the free kids apps
One of my favourite memories from childhood is going blackberry picking along the lanes near where we lived. The scrapes we got from the brambles were worth it once we’d collect a bucket full of berries for mum to turn into a crumble. I remember always finding the ripest, juiciest, plumpest berry just a little too high to reach.
And one of the best things I think about being a parent is sharing your memories with your children and getting to do all the fun things again with them. This week we’ve made the most of a few sunny evenings and been blackberry picking on the lane nearby. B and L had a little wicker basket to fill – although most of theirs were eaten before we got home.
(If you haven’t got any wild blackberries near you, how about visiting a pick your own farm?)
And what to do with your blackberries?
The girls wanted to make juice so they squashed and sieved some berries and mixed it with apple juice. It tasted great (and gave you a wonderfully purple moustache when you drank it!)
I love to make a blackberry and apple crumble with a topping made from 3oz butter rubbed into 6oz flour, with a 1oz of butter and 3 tablespoons of oats sprinkled in – maybe some cinnamon too.
English Mum has a recipe for blackberry jam I’m going to try.
Do you have any blackberries growing near you? Or any recipe ideas to share?
One of our favourite summer treats is homemade ice cream cornettos. Great fun to make and ever so yummy.
To make some you will need: wafer ice cream cones, soft scoop vanilla ice cream, raspberries, icing sugar, chocolate, fudge
Keep the ice cream in the freezer until you need to use it – you don’t want to melt it and re-freeze it.
(The quantities given below made 10 small cones, with some tasting and nibbling as we went along)
Chop up 100g chocolate and 100g fudge into small chunks.
Melt 200g chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water.
Whizz 100g of raspberries and a dessert spoon of icing sugar to make a raspberry sauce.
Wrap each cornet in a strip of greaseproof paper, held in place with sticky tape.
Paint the inside of each cornet with melted chocolate using a pastry brush. Make sure you get a nice pool of chocolate in the bottom so you get a chocolatey treat at the end of your cornet.
Wait until the the chocolate has set inside the cornet (about 5-10 mins)
Fill with layers of ice cream, raspberry sauce, fudge and chocolate. Work quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt. Fill over the rim of the cornet, inside the greaseproof paper for that authentic cornetto style.
Pop back in the freezer for a little while so the sauce can set, then remove the greaseproof paper and…
You can’t beat home made cornettos for a great summer treat.
It may be a cliche but, in our house at least, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach – which makes these Chocolate Chip Cookies the perfect gift for Fathers’ Day. The recipe is easy, and very yummy, so with just a little help your children should be able to bake some ready to give this Sunday.
You will need:
4oz butter (at room temperature)
8oz self raising flour
1 dessert spoon golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 dessert spoons of milk
2 handfuls of chocolate chips (white, milk or dark chocolate)
To make them:
1. Beat the butter and sugar together.
2. Add the syrup.
3. Warm the milk (10 secs-ish in microwave) and add the bicarbonate of soda.
4. Add in the flour and chocolate chips and stir to make the dough.
5. Make balls of dough and press them onto a greased baking tray.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes* in an oven at gas mark 3-4 / 160-180C.
* This will depend on how big your cookies are. We think less (baking time) is more, as we like chewy rather than crunchy cookies.
Wrap them in cellophane and add a hand written note, and have a happy Fathers’ Day.