Children at Rachel Keeling Nursery School are really involved in the life of our school: they care for our environment, the garden, the aquarium, take responsibility for each other and themselves. Staff will always make as many of the children's experiences meaningful and first hand, where possible. Regularly children will shop for the ingredients for our daily cooking experiences.
Last week children were making their own books and drawing pictures in them, ascribing meaning to their marks as they did. One child, who is part Italian shared her drawing where she talked about pasta she likes: this sparked much conversation about pasta.
The children demonstrated they already knew lots of information and had formed opinions on pasta. They decided to cook some pasta to share. Children researched the ingredients needs, made their lists and estimated how much money they might need to buy the ingredients. They then went to the office to collect their money and went out shopping.
Linguine was the pasta of choice during the first week: children followed the recipe, cooperated and took turns in skillfully measuring and mixing the ingredients before sustaining for quite for time kneading the dough. Children were introduced to the pasta machine and worked hard to turn the handle and extrude the pasta.
Many children showed they have skills using one handed tools and their dexterity was good. Finally they cooked the tagliatelle in some vegetable stock and enjoyed it together.
This week, the focus was ravioli: children created their pasta dough (after shopping for it) and cut out the ravioli shapes. They created the ricotta, sundried tomato and oregano filling, Like chefs, the children were encouraged to smell, handle and taste the ingredients first. They made their ravioli packages and cooked them before sharing them with a large group!