The teacher I work with put flour in the sensory table with sifters and other “baking” utensils to go along with a cooking theme we were enjoying. The kids absolutely loved it. We had them wear smocks over their clothes and put a plastic table cloth under the table for easier clean up. We also ended up with amazing pictures to email parents.
In the sensory table we put flour, oat meal, sugar, raisins and coconut. We add bowls, spoons, measuring cups, And our little bakers have fun mixing and stirring.
Turn your dramatic play into a bakery!
Set up your kitchen area, add a counter and cash register and a menu. put play clay (I use scented) cookie cutters, cookie sheets, candy molds, cook books, aprons etc. This is pretty messy so you may want to cover the floor with a plastic drop cloth. Have a baker from a local bakery come in and do a simple food experience to reinforce the concept.
This month we set up our dramatic play center as a bakery. We provided “slime” in the sensory table that can be poured and kneaded, cinnamon scented dough on the work table, and paper pies that can be sprinkled with pie spice and cinnamon at the art table. We also have patterns for gingerbread people and houses to decorate as well as cinnamon applesauce ornaments to make and save for next year. We made chef hats from a white band of construction paper and a small-sized white garbage bag.
Dramatic Play Bakery… During our bread unit, I make a huge batch of homemade play dough but add no food coloring so it looks like white bread dough. I provide aprons, oven mitts, a make-shift oven, tablecloth, bread pans, muffin pans, various other pans, rolling pins, a large bowl, spoon, measuring cups and spoons, play ingredients: flour (stuff an empty flour package with newspaper and glue back shut), salt, plastic eggs, play milk carton, etc. This play area has been such a hit. I control how many play at a time by the number of aprons. I also encourage them to “sell” their baked goods and add a cash register, etc. Makes for some great photo opportunities!