A wonderful part of living in Brisbane is that with the warm weather (even in winter) our dough always rises. Always. We've been using the dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen and it's the best. Ever.
Each child makes their own pizza. It takes them five, ten minutes at the most. Squishing the dough in-between their fingers. Licking the tomato sauce off their hands. Gently dusting the finished pizza with cheese. Sweeping and brushing off all that flour.
So many things we make with the children (baking, bread, pasta) take such a long time. Pizza being so quick is a great one for the children to have in their recipe books.
Children can choose their own vegetables to put on the pizza and I've almost had my boys eating artichoke and eggplant. They can choose their own herbs and they can identify (pronounce) and choose their own cheese (cheddar, bocconcini, mozzarella and/or a touch of parmesan). It's kind of like choose your own adventure!
Children can strengthen their concentration, refine their fine motor skills, develop their sense of smell, taste and touch. We can show the child love by being patient and kind, and only providing assistance when it is needed. All in the process of making pizza.
"It is that both the impressions the child's mind receives, and the emotional consequences they provoke, tend to remain permanently registered in it… children in this period retain what they learn for the rest of their lives." - Maria Montessori.
Let's make what they learn be good, warm and really tasty. Give them the space and time to make their own food - just how they like it. Let's allow them the time to feel the texture of the food and the time to really taste. All the toys in the world cannot compare to the five, ten, fifteen minutes alongside their loved ones preparing a meal.