Welcome to March!
As the days grow longer and the weather starts getting warmer, we at Today’s Family’s Greendale location start thinking wistfully about our summer gardens. What will we grow this year? What flowers will the children fall in love with? What vegetables will we be picking for our kitchen?
A couple of years ago, we decided to plant a “Pizza Garden” (you may remember this from our “In the Kitchen” blog post). We planted tomatoes for the sauce and peppers for toppings, and our preschool program helped look after them until they were ready to harvest.
It’s not quite warm enough to start the planting in our garden yet, as excited as we are to start, but we were thinking about pizza, thanks to an activity that took place in one of our toddler rooms recently!
Ms. Shaunna, one of our Early Childhood Educators, has been working hard to foster the children’s interest in preparing food. She’s been talking about lunch and snacks and how our centre chefs get the food ready for them to eat. We wanted our toddlers to actually help make a snack, but having a gaggle of young ones in the kitchen wasn’t very practical.
That didn’t stop Ms. Shaunna, though! She collected paper plates, paints, and yarn for the children to use to make their own pretend pizzas. The activity started with a discussion, to get the children focused and to make sure that they understood what they would be doing soon. “Let’s start with the sauce,” Ms. Shaunna said. “Does anyone know what colour pizza sauce is?”
Several of the children said, “Red!” and so under Ms. Shaunna’s guidance everyone painted their plates red. “What about the crust?” asked Ms. Shaunna. “That’s the hard, chewy part you hold in your hands.”
After painting the sauce and the crust, it was time to add cheese. The children shared glue and put yellow yarn on their pizzas to make the pretend cheese. Then they had to wait for the glue to dry, just as we have to wait for pizza to cool down in real life!
And, what did the children learn? They learned how to make pizza, following the steps (sauce first, then cheese). They also learned about pizza crust and what goes into the sauce. They were able to practice their sharing skills with the paintbrushes and glue.
These pretend pizzas aren’t quite as delicious as the real thing, so we are still looking forward to fresh pizza made with ingredients grown in our garden. Until then, though, it’s good to know that even cold weather can’t stop our toddler programs from having some fresh food fun!