Christmas break is an exciting time spent with families and friends! We know that the school holidays can be a long period of time for some families so each room (Mohi Kete, Te Ruma Ako and Tuhura) came up with some easy, fun and cost effective holiday activity ideas for you to try. These activities are for children of any age and can be adapted to suit your needs – how cool is that!
First up we have Tuhura’s awesome idea of making bread together, now if you have little ones Mohi Kete (infants and toddlers) have said that they put the ingredients into a big zip lock bag and it makes it less messy but still gives them the same enjoyment as they work on their fine motor skills squeezing the bag with their little hands, we call this bread in a bag.
Easy bread recipe for children
Baking bread is such a fun activity to do with children. Measuring, scooping and kneading provide so many wonderful sensory and fine motor opportunities. Encouraging your children to spread their own condiments onto the bread once it is cooked, is also a great way to support early food skills, and promote independence. Eating the bread is the delicious added bonus too! Here is a simple recipe for you to enjoy making with your children.
450 g strong white bread flour (or just normal plain flour)
7 g sachet fast action yeast
40 g butter melted
1 tsp salt
300 ml warm water
Mix everything together
Measure out the flour and add it to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer. Measure the butter, then melt it in your microwave, before adding it to your flour.
Add the yeast and the salt to separate sides of the bowl.
Finally, add the water – it should be warm, but not too hot.
Make the bread dough
Mix everything together until it comes together into a soft sticky dough. You can either do this with wooden spoons, hands or the dough hook on your freestanding mixer.
Once your dough has formed, you need to knead it until it forms a soft, sticky ball of dough – it'll take around 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, use your mixer with the dough hook for 4-5 minutes.
Prove the dough
Oil a bowl then pop the dough in it. Cover it with cling film so no air can escape then leave it in a warm place to rise. Leave it for an hour or two until it has doubled in size.
Make the cob loaf
Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface, and knock it back. Basically you need to knock the air out of it by folding it in on itself.
Once you've done this shape the dough into a round ball. We did this by flattening it into a rectangle then folding the ends under. We then turned the dough round, trying to smooth the top by tucking the ends under.
Pop the round dough on a baking tray and cover loosely with either a large plastic bag or cling film and leave it in a warm place for 45 minutes or so until it's doubled in size again.
Bake the bread
Preheat your oven to 220C / 200C Fan
Bake your bread in your oven for 20-25 minutes. It's ready when it's browned nicely and if you tap the bottom of the loaf it should sound hollow
Thanks Tuhura for this awesome idea! We would love to see your finished bread product! Feel free to comment with a picture of you enjoying your bread or just a photo of the finished product on this Blog post.
Methven walkway adventure
Another great Idea that Te Ruma Ako have suggested is that if it’s a super nice day and you want to get out and explore with the family, is visiting the Methven walkway where you can go on the Piwakawaka walk to see if you can spot the fantails which were made and painted by the locals. Or take a walk through the enchanted forest where you might spot a fairy door or two. Let the imagination run wild with these awesome walks. They are family friendly and have pram access, why not make it a day and make a picnic lunch to have out there, what could be better than a nice sunny day, exercise and family fun? Methven is only a 25-minute drive from Ashburton which is an added bonus- it’s so close! Here is the link to the Methven walkway website just click here.
Now our last suggestion is from Mohi Kete and we all know how the infants and toddlers like to get messy while at preschool so here is their suggestion for an easy and fun messy play activity…
Have a go at making your own gloop at home with this easy recipe and ingredients from your pantry.
Gloop is an interesting mixture with a unique texture that we often make in Mohi Kete for the children to explore and play with. Gloop will seem solid when it is touched, but then it can be moulded and becomes wet. It’s a great sensory activity for moulding and developing their fine motor skills. Gloop offers young children a range of sensory experiences, and the opportunity to learn about different textures and materials. Gloop can get messy, so you might want set this activity up outside to play with it or on the kitchen lino.
To make your own gloop you will need:
1 cup of cold water
2 cups of cornflour
Food colouring (optional)
Food essence (optional – peppermint, lemon, orange, raspberry, vanilla or you can grate orange or lemon rind into the mixture) Just keep in mind that children LOVE to mouth and eat this slimy mixture so it is important to not add essential oils as they can be harmful to children.
You will also need:
A bowl for mixing up the gloop mixture
A spoon for stirring the gloop mixture
Large shallow container for playing with the gloop
Utensils, spoons, cups, small toys etc for your kids to use when they're playing with the gloop
How to make gloop:
1. Slowly add one cup of cold water to two cups of cornflour in a bowl.
2. Stir the mixture until the water is absorbed by the cornflour.
3. Add a few drops of food colouring to brighten up the gloop and to add some colour to the mixture (optional).
3. Put the gloop in an ice cream container or large container with the spoons, cups and other utensils and you’re ready to go!
You can also add the gloop mixture to small container and freeze for an added experience - great fun for a hot day!
And there you have 3 super awesome Christmas holiday activities that have been tried and tested by the children and teachers at Preschool. We hope you have a lovely, relaxing and enjoyable time off with your family and friends. Take care and keep safe