I remember as a little girl living in France, we celebrated 3 Kings Day with a very special tradition. Although I didn’t grow up Catholic, it was a tradition that my parents did with us every year because to me and my siblings it was so magical.
We call it La Galette des Rois—The Kings Cake. In France, they made this delicious round puff pastry in which they hid a tiny porcelain figurine. We all sat around the table for a slice and whoever landed on the figurine became the king. They got to wear a paper crown and were granted one wish!
This has become an activity that I like to do as a cooking group with my little ones.Cooking activities address so many skills on a sensory level as well as sequencing, following directions and life skills such as measuring, pouring, mixing etc.. Instead of the fancy puff pastry, we make a giant chocolate chip cookie and I hide a little porcelain figurine. I was also inspired by 3 Kings Day to do create “OT” activities.
La Galette des Rois:
Mix all ingredients for your favorite chocolate chip recipe or use the one below but hide a PORCELAINE figurine before baking. However finds the figurine wins a crown and is granted one wish!
- 1 c butter, softened
- 3/4 c white sugar
- 3/4 c brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs
- 2 & 1/4 cups flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 2 cups chocolate chips
In large bowl, beat butter, sugars and vanilla until soft and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour, salt, baking soda, and beat until well blended. Stir in Chocolate Chips. Spread it out on greased pizza pan. (leave a good inch or so around the edge of the pan as it will spread when it’s baking) Bake 375 for 20-25 mins.
Find the King in a Rice Bin:
Here is a wonderful sensory way for children to play. You can use rice, sand, or dry beans and hide all sorts of items in it including a little king. Whoever finds the king becomes king for the day and is granted one wish.
Find the king in the Putty:
This is also a great sensory activity but with the added component of finger strengthening. Children use tactile discrimination to find the little king hidden in the putty using their fingers.
When working on handwriting, instead of working from worksheets, I like children to use their creative side and imagination. For my 3 Kings inspiration I started off a sentence and asked children to finish the idea by writing their own words. “If I was King for a day, I would……………..”
Zig zag cutting takes a lot of bilateral coordination and therefore it’s great cutting practice for young children. What better way to do that than have children cut a piece of construction paper in a zig zag to create a crown!
Start by drawing a zig zag in thick marker across the length of a construction paper.
Ask children to cut on the lines
Stick both ends of the cutouts together to create one long piece.
Have children decorate by coloring, stickers, glitter, jewels etc…
size it to the child’s head and staple together or tape.
The King’s Scepter
This is a fun group activity. Create a kings scepter my decorating a dowel with ribbons and jewels. Each child gets a turn to “draw” a letter in the air and the rest of the group needs to guess the letter! This is a great way for children to practice correct letter formation.