Joshua is a big boy now. He always wants to be the one to do things. You will hear him say, “Joshua will do it” or “I want to do it”. He even cried several occasions when I did not listen to him and did the chore myself.
It’s a good age. He wants to wash his own hands, he chooses what he wants to wear, he does chores like clean the floor with a broom. All I have to do is ask if he is open to doing it… And most of the time I get a “yes”.
One afternoon, I had to think of a good snack for Josh. Making a home made pizza is one fun activity. Of course it would be under mom and dad’s supervision.
- Pizza dough
- Tomato sauce (you can make your own using whole peeled tomatoes, pepper, white onions, oregano, basil leaves, and a little sugar boiled in a pan until it becomes thick).
- Cheese – mozzarella if you can find mixed with some cheddar
- Ham/ mushrooms/ onions/
The dough we got were the small ones so it would be easy for my toddler to assemble a pizza. He placed the sauce, then the toppings, and then the cheese.
A toaster oven can fit this pizza. After 12-15 minutes we have a a great afternoon snack all made by little chef, Joshua. He made 3 pizzas! One for dad, one for mommy, and one for himself. Kids this age would love hands on stuff because they know they are more capable and willing to try.
Having children brings me back to days when I was a child baking. My grand mother, Lola Baby, taught me how to bake her coconut macaroons. That ignited my entrepreneurial spirit early on. When I was grade 6, she made me consign these macaroons at a favorite palabok restaurant in Iloilo. From there, I got my allowance. I was taught early to bake, earn, and save.
Joshua has interest in cooking. As early as 1 year old we would play cooking and pretend to eat his imaginary dish. But now at 2 and a half, he is more excited to do the real thing!
I am baking in the simplest form with my toddler. So I just bought a box of White King ultimate brownie mix. You just add egg and vegetable oil and mix.
Joshua helps in mixing the ingredients and also sees that there are changes in the composition from powder to a chocolate batter. It makes him realize that it takes a bit of work and some time to bake his goodies. It makes him patient and excited to try his hard work. After about 30 minutes in the turbo oven (yup, you can use a turbo oven), Joshua gets to see and eat the baked brownie he worked hard for!
On another occasion, Joshua was throwing a bit of a tantrum. I did not know what to do to distract him from his foul mood. So I started to cut bananas and mash them. It was not long, he asked if he could be the one to mash the bananas. I of course said “yes”. Soon I had a bowl with 2 cups of oatmeal, a bit of oil, honey, and chocolate bits. We started to mix them all and made teaspoonful balls of this batter. Placing them in a baking pans and putting them in the turbo oven for 15-20 minutes.
Oh did I tell you, that this changed the entire mood of Joshua? He was no longer crying but was superbly excited to see his cookie snack. Yes! It was a successful distraction and one healthy snack!
I am so happy that there are lots of options today for children to do activities at home! Baking is a great bonding experience and a good source of learning, and a great distraction activity for tantrums!!!