Thursday 28 January 2016

Cookie Tots - Lovely little hedgehog is a hit

Sometimes I worry that my boys will never be able to do simple daily tasks like brushing their teeth, tie their shoes or cook a meal for themselves.  Cooking is a great way for all kids to learn and involves valuable skills for any child like measuring, sharing... and waiting.  Some of these can be difficult for kids with autism because they involve motor skills, sensory feedback and seeing things from other people's perspective like in Theory of Mind.  So I figured it was about time I think about these issues and what might work for them when doing recipes.

We've been visiting Cookie Tots, a kids cooking club, with Jane who is two and half years old.  At the club they sing and do actions to songs that teach them about cooking, hygiene and different ingredients. This can be engaging for some kids with autism who may also appreciate the structured the sessions.  

For anyone who likes their senses stimulated, there is hands on fun squashing, squeezing and learning how to cut, mix, tear and enjoy food. If your child is at the stage where they are following instructions then they may like that you get a recipe to take home with you and a special stamp too!  We make the recipe at the club and then take it home to cook. If your kids have difficulty waiting during the session you could try giving them a 'wait' token/card to hold and at home use this or an egg timer to watch while the food is cooking in the oven.

Recently we made: Seeded Tomato Bread Hedgehogs

Jane loved making this bread hedgehog. There was no kneading necessary but a bit of shaping of the dough.  If that's too sticky for your kids then you can help with this bit or use lots of flour to stop it being sticky.  Alternatively if they love getting their hands in a mess then make lots.  Adding the pumpkin seeds on top was challenging and a great fine motor skill and counting task. 

Some kids with autism avoid gluten.  If your kids are avoiding gluten you could try switching for a gluten free flour like rice flour but add in some (gluten free) baking powder to make sure your hedgehog doesn't go flat!  Picky eater Anthony enjoyed eating it.  He likes breads, pasta and pizza for comparison to your kiddies likes.


  1. This looks like great fun and the no kneading would go down well with my big lad who doesn't like to get his hands messy. We'll definitely give this a try! Thanks so much for linking up with #FamilyFun

  2. This is really fab and such a good idea. My brother is special and i may use this idea when he comes to stay with us in april as he doesn't like messy hands. Angela x #FamilyFun

    1. Recipes in a bowl, that's the answer! Thanks for stopping by.

  3. This looks great fun. I'm generally useless at bread as I'm rubbish at kneading so this recipe is a win for me! I think my kids would love a little hedgehog with lunch. Thanks for sharing.
    Dawn x

    1. It was a lovely bun share, no kneading so super easy. Just as well if there is any chance of me doing it!

  4. I love this idea and I think my 3 year old would love to make a hedgehog!


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