This was an activity which aimed to fill the potentially crotchety time just before dinner. N and I had made pizza dough that afternoon (another fun and sensory exercise involving measuring, weighing, mixing, kneading the dough and learning about yeast),
…and when L got home from school I set it up as an “Invitation to Create” and let them do their own thing. I set out two pizza bases with two knives, a selection of vegetables, cheeses and quorn ham, some sauce made with passata, garlic and red pesto and we were away! I tried to give them a variety of colours, textures, smells and flavours, but really we just used what was in the cupboard and obviously any combination of toppings would work well.
I like this in that it combines a lesson in independence, which I believe boosts children’s self-esteem, and creative, multi-sensory play. The perfectionist in me has to be silenced and told firmly that it doesn’t matter whether the toppings are evenly distributed, but I bit my tongue and let them get on with it.
There was spreading, sharing out toppings fairly (counting and division going on), tasting, and careful art work.
All in all, the pizzas looked pretty damn fine, and it did avoid that post-school, pre-dinner hour of doom, and as a bonus, dinner was sorted! It is always good to remember that simple everyday activities can provide the play experiences that children need – and they prove it by loving cooking and housework!