Lets Make Cake


In the outdoor classroom we have spent an abundance of time engaged in cake making in the sandbox. The children look forward to creating their pretend play as they run towards the shovels and pans early in the morning. Anna identifies the cakepans as “makers”. She, along with others, have used their pretend play set up as a means to practice social skills. For example, Caiden gathered two shovels and a bowl. He approached a friend to pass along his shovel. He passed one to the child and one to an educator. He requested them to “scoop” as he pointed to the bowl and the sand. Many friends have continued to join in on the fun as they gather around the large table and cook together.

Group of toddlers making mud cakes in sandboxOur play has continued to grow since our first interaction. We have focused on the steps of building a sand cake such as how to fill it, pat it, flip it, cut it, and serve it. These five instructions have created a process the children have been continuing to explore and adapt. Our cake making has invited conversations such as what flavours of cakes we like. Ruby notes that she like chocolate, while Anna enjoys strawberry.

Toddler group baking a cake together

 We extended our play by creating an edible cake using ingredients such as water, eggs, cake mix, and oil. The children appeared interested in learning more about the ingredients. They each took part in adding an ingredient to the bowl which we then mixed together using a mixer; Ashton and Samuel were surprised at how loud the mixer was. It created a bumpy feeling in our hands as we held it and watched the ingredients blend together. After it was all mixed Audrey gasped while watching Henry pour the mixture into the cake pan. We worked together to transfer it to the kitchen where Kenzie carefully placed the pan into the hot oven.

Toddler girl eating cake

Toddler boy eating cake

We enjoyed our cake at snack time the next day, devouring the savoury treat. We wonder how our cake making activity will extend to our outdoor exploration? Maybe we will include some new steps into our processes or maybe we will start to make something new. We are excited to see where our learning takes us next.