Sipping on my single shot latte, with actual thoughts processing in my head for the first time in awhile, watching my little guy happily squeal with delight as he gets his sensory fingers covered in chocolate dough – I can’t help but find myself wondering why I never thought to do this before.
Just a short drive from our home, I left the house with an excited 3 and a half year old, excitedly anticipating his very first cooking class ever. I often find him begging to bake at home, which I do often allow, but find myself with minimal patience, and cringing about the mess. It doesn’t stop me, but does, at times, make me more hesitant. I also try to minimize the amount of sugar in our home. Baking means an entire batch of something sugary and sweet, which generally means that you’ll find yourself consuming sugar over the next few days.
Baking classes mean that they leave with just a few special treats that they made themselves.
If you haven’t yet heard of The Playstation, you’re likely to be living under a rock, or perhaps just a busy mom who hasn’t had much of a chance to venture out to discover a place such as this. But, you can thank me now, because I am about to change your life!
My son only goes to school three mornings a week, which means that I have a Tuesday and Thursday to play teacher and mom. I love these mornings, they are incredibly special to me, yet, at this age, it is tough and challenging to keep my busy boy stimulated, and to constantly find new, and exciting projects or ideas to keep it exciting. When I heard about The Playstations brand new Kids Pantry, my heart skipped a beat. I knew exactly what we would be doing once a month.
The thought of my son being able to do something that truly makes him happy, with somebody trained to have patience and who has the passion to bake and do messy activities with kids while I work, and sip on coffee for two hours almost seemed too good to be true. I’ve never had somebody to look after my son, so this felt like Heaven. Cher runs the lessons with the kids, and was previously a teacher – which means that she has the experience working with young kids. This is a huge bonus!
Now to tell you about our experience, and, it feels surreal, but I am actually typing this as my son is in the kitchen baking!!!
Kids Pantry begins at 09h30 and ends at 11h30. This class consists of some play time before the baking begins for approximately 15 minutes. They then get called to the table, wash hands and they go through the ingredients with them. Because the classes are small, they are highly interactive, and they get tons of one on one attention, which is ideal for my sons age!
They each get their own little station with their utensils, etc. Perfect for your independent child. In between, they break to play and then return to complete the next task. This is phenomenal for a child like mine who isn’t always capable of concentrating for a long period of time. But, due to the small classes, he wasn’t overstimulated or overwhelmed, and was able to listen and follow instruction so well! Half way in, they got to get on their hair nets and visit the kitchen, where they helped melt their chocolate, safely! He loved watching the cooks preparing other meals while in there.
I arrived at a clean and hygienic baking environment which was beautifully laid out and 100% organized. They use utensils which are colourful and without even being aware, perfect for creating a sense of calm.
I loved that they asked me if they wanted me to have it plated to take home, or if he was allowed to eat one here. I think that is so important – for you to be respected as a parent rather than somebody else making that call. He was, of course, allowed to have one of his cake pops here, and we took the other two home.
The kids were enabled to be independent, make a mess, and unlike how we often are as parents, they were left to just be. This is something I struggle with, I suppose, as a perfectionist. The sticks were allowed to be skew, and the cake pops didn’t HAVE to be totally covered in melted chocolate. And it has made me realize how important it is for kids to be able to do things their way. Imperfection is perfect.
This has been such a special morning for both of us. A learning curve for me, and a wonderful opportunity for me to breath, and to not feel guilty for getting work done because my son has had the very best morning at the same time!
For two hours – the Kids Pantry as well as play time in the main play area at The Playstation, it is only R95 per child. It is every Tuesday, and there are only 10 spaces available. I would highly recommend booking online. The classes are open to kids aged 18 months – 12 years. Each week, they bake something different – cake pops, muffins and biscuits.
For those of you who have never heard of The Playstation before, it is based in Tokai, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town.
Do yourself a favour and check out their social media handles for more information, as well as to see what other exciting classes they offer – such as Bright Sparks, Sensory Kids and Book Worms.
We have had the most amazing morning, and I don’t want to leave.
We will be back!