Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Meccano, flour and the alphabet.

Sam's been designing away with his meccano set recently acquired from Santa :-)  Here was what he came up with the other day.

I also got hold of this lovely new cookbook around Christmas.  Its' focus is cooking with children and it works through different food groups.  I really like it because it is not at all patronising like alot of books aimed at children.  It really aims to teach children about food and how to cook properly with an understanding of some of the principles behind it all.

At the moment we plan to work through the section on flour.  We're finding out about the different types of flours, why they're different, their different uses, the relationship between flour and the beginnings of civilisation and so on.  The section takes us through all the main uses of flour.  Today we started with bread and raisin bread and had alot of fun making, experimenting and tasting!

                          Mixing the ingredients

                             Is it s'posed to be this sticky?

                 Stretching that gluten!

I hasten to add that baking is not a rare event in our household.  Normally I do it or I tell the children what to do and they do it!  After doing years of food science when I was at college (oh so long ago) it's just never occured to me to help the children see the whole picture...........understanding for example, what was so important about using "strong flour" for bread, what is strong flour anyway, what are we trying to achieve when we knead and so on.  I think I often didn't think to talk about such things because they seem so obvious to me.  But the more we worked together, with this book as a catalyst, the more I realised how much was not obvious to them!

I thought that they may find all that food sciency kind of stuff a bit boring, but they really seemed to enjoy getting a better understanding.  And of course there's no better science lesson than one that ends up with something you can eat!

Over the next few weeks we'll be doing loads more with flour - pastry, pasta, sauces, cakes, pancakes......yum!  And I'll try to remember to share our successes (and failures - not too sure about the pasta already!)

Keira on the other hand is really interested in letters at the moment.  This is not something that we have imposed on her.  She is very much leading the way here.  Currently she chooses two or three letters from the alphabet every day.  She likes me to cut the letter shapes out of card and she decorates them.  She's finding out about the sounds the letters make and can tell you how to spell some simple words.  It's her main activity of the day at the moment.  We'll have the alphabet sorted in no time!!!


                                                             Letter "e"


Big mamma frog said...

Looks fab! Wish I could enjoy cooking with the seems to bring out some deep down control freak in me lol! And whoah! That bread! I want to make bread like that (and not like the flat rocks that I tend to make!)

Carolyn said...

Love the plane, Sam!
We have that book too! Its brilliant, really well laid out and written. We were inspired to make pasta too, but somehow have never quite got around to it.
Will is really into his letters too...he watches David on Wordshark and likes to write them on his blackboard. Keira's cardboard collages remind of stuff I used to do alot with Tom and Jon when they were little....hmm, just need to get my house back together after the decorating and maybe we will do some too!!!