Making pizza is super easy and fun, and with a bit of planning can be packed full of quick learning easy opportunities for children. Once you get going, you’ll probably think up heaps of them yourself- but here are a few ideas to get started.
What you will need:
- One packet of pita pockets
- Left over veges from your fridge
- Tomato paste or pasta sauce
- A sharp knife
Developing emotional skills:
For very young children; it’s super important for them to develop the skills to understand how they feel, how others feel and how to regulate their emotions. It’s often hard to find ways to discuss emotions with children, so making these pizza faces and talking about how each one feels is a great way to get started! Tell stories while you make the pizza about each character. Name the face and talk about what might be making it feel sad, angry or happy. Help the child think up strategies to solve everyday problems!
What to do:
Preheat oven to 200 °c. Chop up your ingredients in any way you like! Spread the tomato paste or pasta sauce on your pita pocket. Ask your child what feeling they would like to make first. Help them think up new feelings that they might not know about. Happy, surprised, angry, perplexed? Ask your child what might be making the face feel sad? What can we do if we feel sad? Questions like these helps children to develop emotional regulation and resilience. Keep making different faces until you have one for everyone in your family to eat! Put the pita faces on a tray and put them in the oven until brown and crispy. Serve them up and tell your family the story behind each face!
Learning Shapes and Patterns:
Making Pizza is a great way to develop some simple early mathematics concepts like making patterns and learning shape names. Remember the best way for children to learn is through repetition during real everyday experiences.
What to do:
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Cut the salami into triangles. Slice the tomato into circles. Cut the cheese into diamonds, squares or rectangles. As you cut each one say the shape name. Spread the pasta sauce/ tomato paste on the pita bread. Children may choose to sort the shapes, or pattern them across the pita bread. As you make the pattern say the shape name out loud so your child can hear the pattern. ‘Square, circle, square, circle, ……’ This will help them to predict what comes next!
Your child might come up with their own ideas for designs, patterns or colours. Older children might like to practice fractions. You could cut halves, three quarters or fifths! Happy pizza munching!