Muffin Creations


Inside and outside the toddlers have shown a strong interest in assembling and "cooking" meals and treats for each other, themselves and their educators. These dinners may consist of play food, sand, loose parts or other toys, as the children engage in their imagination to create the meals!

As a special day, Mother's Day, was approaching and a social for the moms was being planned, the educators took this time to plan a real baking activity for the toddlers to get involved in. With their love of bananas, banana muffins was the go to recipe for this special holiday.

The morning of the social the children, with freshly washed hands, gathered around the table as educator Heather brought out a large bowl and the dry ingredients to start the baking process. From start to finish the children in the class were involved as little or as much as they wished. Some preferred to stir the ingredients together, and others wanted to assist with measuring, adding and taking turns mixing all the items in the bowl. Baking takes a while, has many steps, but holds the attention of many toddlers as it provides several hands on opportunities. The take away for the children is huge, as it begins building early math concepts, such as counting for turns, measuring, and volume. Their senses are engaged, as they see new ingredients, touch some, and smell fantastic spices, like cinnamon. After the cinnamon was added, the children took turns smelling some on a spoon. Most agreed its scent was wonderful! When children are involved in making and also growing their food, (we are starting an outdoor garden- our zucchini has especially been successful indoors) they develop a sense of ownership and pride, often wanted to at least try the foods they helped create, expanding their pallets with each bite!

After all the dry ingredients were mixed into a large bowl, the toddlers then were given the ripe and previously frozen bananas. Wow, they looked different from the regular ones they eat at snack time! They noticed the difference immediately! Heather explained that these bananas are very mushy, and may not be great to eat on their own, but taste really good in the muffins. The bananas were peeled, and the children helped use a fork to mash them up! Whew, that was hard work for the group! They finished the recipe by adding the rest of the items into the bowl, stirring them and then listening to the loud sound of the mixer. They found that noise exciting! But best of all, was seeing and stirring in the mini chocolate chips! They couldn't wait to eat them later at the social gathering with their moms!

Overall, the toddlers loved the process of baking a delicious treat, sharing the treats with their families, and getting to eat a whole muffin too!

This activity, on a smaller scale, can be recreated at home, a simple recipe, extra time and a family to enjoy the baking and snacking, are all you need to try this activity and all the fun and learning that go with it, at home!

You can find the recipe we used for Eggless Banana Muffins here :

child smelling cinnamon on a teaspoon

child putting in flour into a mixing bowl