It started out with me wanting to make some dough for little Miss Gwen (13 months) to knead for fine motor skill development. Let's just say it escalated quickly and we ended up making a pizza.
Pizza Making Sensory Activity for Toddlers
And having done it, I think this is a must-try activity for all toddlers! Can you say no to quality time in the kitchen? If you're afraid of the mess (which I guarantee there will be, but remember no pain no gain), here are the benefits of dough and culinary play for young children.
Benefits of Pizza Making Sensory Activity for Toddlers
- Develops fine motor skills critical for later skills like writing. Manipulation of dough (such as rolling and kneading) builds strength in the muscles in fingers and hands
- Early culinary involvement builds a lifelong interest in cooking and nutrition
- Being part of the process of food preparation leads young children to take pride in meals and enjoy the food more
Easy Pizza Crust Recipe
It's as easy as it can get! Found this gem of a pizza crust recipe at All Recipes that doesn't require waiting time for the dough to rise (just 5 minutes of resting).
The outcome is a decently soft and chewy crust.
Ways to Involve Young Children in Pizza Making
- Demonstrate how dough can be kneaded and ask for help in flattening the dough into the pizza base either with fingers or a rolling pin. Gwen actually picked up how a rolling pin should be used through this activity and has been repeating the action in her play kitchen ever since!
- Give little one her own kid-friendly knife to slice toppings (I chose a dessert pizza so I had Gwen cut up bananas). Her experience with Melissa & Doug velcro fruit toys served her well in this
- Get little one to spread the pizza sauce on the flattened dough (My choice was Nutella to complement the bananas. Funnily Gwen didn't like the sticky feeling of Nutella so I had to help more with this)
- Get little one to watch the pizza as it bakes in the oven
This sensory activity isn't the tidiest (you can probably tell from the lack of photos) and I definitely had much better tasting pizza, but the experience and quality time with Gwen in the kitchen made the hard work worthwhile.
I hope you and your little one enjoy this culinary pursuit and the pizza of that labour! Tell me your experience via instagram at miraculove_sg and join my exclusive Facebook group to exchange more play ideas!
You might also like:
Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.