3 1/2 years old
Imaginative Play is Better with Cake07:30
Spring has arrived and we've had a lovely time over the Easter holidays spending as much time as possible outside running around, as well as playing all sorts of games at home. Then when we were asked to try these yummy Mr Kipling cakes and write about how 'Life is better with cake' we just couldn't resist. After all, there isn't really much that isn't 'better with cake' as far as I'm concerned, so it would be a fun challenge to come up with a creative answer!
As it turned out the kiddies have ended up with a terrible cold and we have had to spend some days at home, and that meant getting creative with activities to keep them busy. But thankfully I had some ideas for play, and a few boxes of cakes! So, if we couldn't get out to a cafe, we would just have to settle for playing cafe at home. I made myself a tea, Ethan a hot chocolate and Ivy a babyccino and put out a plate of yummy Mr Kipling cakes (we have cherry bakewells - Ethan's favourite, Viennese whirls and French fancies!) We sat down at the table and Ethan "ordered" what he wanted to have from the cafe and pretended to pay for his cake and drink. Then I had to order from him, and we had fun making up different prices and silly names for the cakes based on what they looked like (since Ethan couldn't remember what any of them were actually called!)
Then it was time to eat our cakes and chat, just like we do when we go to a real cafe. Ethan loved his cherry bakewell, made a mess of crumbs everywhere and even offered to share with Ivy and I, which was really sweet. I even let Ivy have a little taste of cake, a real treat for a 14 month old!
Because Ethan enjoyed playing cafe so much, what better next step than to play shop with our boxes of Mr Kipling cakes? So I emptied out the boxes (saving a few cakes in a safe place for when the kids are napping!) then taped the boxes shut. I made some price tags for each box (because Ethan is just 3 1/2 years old, I made each box £1, but for older children it could be made trickier.) I also made some £1 notes using green card. Then I asked Ethan to collect some other food items from our play food collection.
Then it was time to play! We took turns being shopkeeper and customer, a great opportunity for Ethan to count out the money for the different items that he was buying. Of course his first choice was to buy a box of cakes! He picked up the cakes and knew right away that he had to give me £1 for it. Then we made things trickier, I bought all 3 boxes of cakes from him (why not?) and asked him how much money I had to give him, and he was able to count out 3 pounds for me. I made the other items cost different amounts of money, and Ethan got really good at counting out the money.
It was a really easy activity to leave out on the table, and Ethan came back to it later, even trying to get Ivy involved in buying cakes from his shop! He loved that these were the same cakes that we had eaten for our 'cafe' snack and told Ivy all about the different cakes just like I had to him earlier, it was really sweet! Our imaginative play activities on a day stuck at home were definitely made better with cake!
* This post is an entry for the #betterwithcake Linky challenge (http://www.britmums.com/2015/03/the-easter-school-holidays-are-betterwithcake/) sponsored by Mr Kipling. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/mrkiplingcakes *