When you are a mum to a very active and inquisitive toddler it can be quite difficult to find different ways to entertain them that doesn’t include watching Peppa Pig (again!)
I find this particularly difficult as a stay at home mom- because I am with Joe 24/7 things can become stagnant very quickly and I can find myself struggling to keep him entertained.
There’s only so many times in one day you can read “The Gruffalo” before you begin to feel like you are going to go insane.
So now Joe is a little older, has a decent vocabulary and understanding and reasonable fine motor skills I have decided to try out some different activities and ideas to keep him happy and engaged and to stop my brain turning to smush.
Baking and washing up
We were watching Cbeebies on Sunday and Joe said “Joe wants a chocolate cake.” Usually I would get him something to eat to satisfy his hunger and then we’d all go back to watching the TV, but I decided that we would do some baking together instead!
We made chocolate muffins and had a great time!
Here is the recipe if you fancy making some at home with your little one:
250g plain flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp caster sugar
175g chocolate chips/chunks (we used some smashed up white chocolate easter egg)
125g full fat yoghurt
90g melted butter
- Preheat oven to 210 degrees and line a muffin tin with cases of your choice.
- Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl (flour, baking powder and cocoa) and then stir in the sugar and chocolate bits.
- Mix together the wet ingredients (yoghurt, milk, egg and melted butter) and pour into the dry ingredients.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.
- Spoon mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 12-15 minutes until firm.
- leave to cool (if you get chance!)
As Joe is only 22 months old he obviously was limited as to what he could do, and he is far too short to reach the work surface, so I put him in his high chair and set about getting the ingredients ready (the older the child is the more they can obviously contribute to the baking- this activity can be good for any age of child.)
His first challenge was to put the muffin cases in the muffin tin holes, we used reusable silicone cases which are a bit easier to grasp for little fingers. He was very good at this and it took him no time at all to master this skill.
Then I weighed out the ingredients and we practiced saying the words together (flour, sugar, butter etc). He watched as I sieved the flour and then he got busy stirring the dry ingredients to combine (stirring was one of his favourite bits.) and spent a while examining the cooking utensils- the sieve was quickly identified as a “net” for catching fish.
He then enjoyed stirring the wet ingredients together and combining them all in the big bowl to make the cake batter- this smelled quite tasty and I had to stop him from eating it all before it went into the muffin cases.
After the cakes were in the oven I filled up a large cake tin with water and washing up liquid and he helped me to clean up- he did get bubbles all over his face and was soaked by the end of it, as was the kitchen floor, but he really enjoyed himself and it gave me a few minutes to clean up.
He could not wait to try the cakes when they came out of the oven and when I said he had to wait until they are cooled down he protested
“No mummy. Mummy chop up and blow!”
So he tried the cake still warm from the oven with a little bit of chocolate hazelnut spread on the side to dip the cake in (extra calories needed as he is poorly at the moment and has been losing weight)- this was his favourite part- the eating of the cake!
All in all a very successful and satisfying toddler entertaining activity!