Baking is an excellent way to teach young children about cookery, basic science, mathematics, healthy eating, culture, concentration, and safety. It makes a wonderful topic for pre-school children, whether they are at kindergarten, nursery school or at home, because baking covers so many elements of learning. One way to introduce the topic or involve baking in more aspects of a child’s life is to sing some baking songs together. For older children, these familiar songs can provide an interesting way into oral history.
There are many nursery rhymes about baking.
“Pat a Cake Pat a Cake Baker’s man
Bake me a cake as fast as you can
Prick it, pat it, and mark it with B
And put it in the oven for baby and me.”
“Sing a song of sixpence a pocket full of rye,
Four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened the birds began to sing,
Oh wasn’t that a dainty dish to set before the king?
The king was in his counting house counting out his money,
The queen was in the parlour eating bread and honey
The maid was in the garden hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird and pecked off her nose!”
The previous songs are nursery rhymes sung to generations of children. Their origins go far back into history and they are part of the rich oral tradition. Whilst for pre-school children they have a meaning, for older children, their hidden messages might prove a familiar means to access history, and English themes.
Another favourite British nursery rhyme illustrates tradition
“Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns
If you have no daughters, give them to your sons
One a penny two a penny – Hot cross buns”
Hot cross buns in the United Kingdom are spicy, yeasted fruit buns, with a cross on the top. People traditionally eat Hot Cross Buns at Easter.
Other nursery rhymes about baking include “The Queen of Hearts” and Little Jack Horner.
Another song is “Buns in the Bakery Shop”, which helps with numbers.
Baking is an everyday experience, which provides a learning opportunity for little children. There are some brilliant songs about baking pies, bread, and cakes on the Internet. One site has songs about bread making and different names for bread around the world. There are also lesson plans as to how baking songs can for part of a topic, covering maths, language, science and other curriculum areas. The Internet contains all sorts of resources, help, and advice, for parents or teachers on baking songs, lesson plans poems, books, and activities with pre-school children. Baking songs open a door into learning, gently introducing children to maths, science and other useful basic knowledge.