We prepare delicious meals/bakes etc to take home and cook. Tasting, sharing, enjoying cooking together.
18months – 5 years
Session times and addresses:
Tuesday and Thursday 12-1pm
Located next to Ladysmith Infant School in the Community room (accessed via Pretoria Road, near the bottom of Sampson’s Lane). Heavitree, Exeter, EX1 2PS. Buzzer to enter.
£6 per session payable in 6 or 7 week blocks
How to book:
Email Charlie to enquire
email: [email protected]
or contact Charlie on the Ladysmith Toddler Group Facebook page (private group – please request to join)
Facebook: Ladysmith Toddler Group
Parking: Limited parking on the street outside school
Public transport: G bus stop of Ladysmith Road. Polsloe Bridge and St James Park train stations are the closest.
Food and drink: Hot drinks are provided at the end of clear up. Do bring a packed lunch if preferred.
Buggy friendly: Yes and covered buggy parking.
Baby changing: Yes (please take dirty nappies home)
Ladysmith Cooking Club – a wonderful children’s cooking group in Heavitree, Exeter, where you can get your hands messy, have fun and share a hobby together.
Take a handful of preschoolers; add adventurous recipes such as Thai fishcakes, spring rolls, banana loaf, bread rolls, and summer pudding; mix in ingredients that have the potential to be scattered and cause absolute carnage – like flour, herbs and nearly always an egg to crack; combine with songs to start and end the session, as well as tastings of interesting fruit or vegetables; let sit for 1 hour and enjoy a perfect children’s cooking group in Exeter!
On paper, cooking club with Charlie (the group organiser) at Ladysmith should be mayhem, but it’s anything but. Instead, it’s a well-organised and friendly group and a very enjoyable way to share a hobby with your little one on a Thursday lunchtime. Whatever the ingredients, Charlie has thought about how best to approach the activity for toddlers and preschoolers to ensure they are successful and as hands-on as possible – expect bashing garlic with the end of a rolling pin or using child scissors to snip fresh herbs or noodles.
Ladysmith Cooking Club group outline
First, through song, the children are greeted individually (which they all love) as well as telling them what’s happening next: “first we’ll put our aprons on, aprons on, aprons on, and wash our hands”. Charlie then reveals the recipe ingredients to the children, often using the sense of smell to see if they can guess what they might be. Charlie then guides the group step-by-step with what to do with the pre-weighed ingredients and finally, when the chopping, mixing and squidging are all complete and the children have marvelled at their creations, they head into the den for some tasting (for some this won’t be the first tasting of the session – our banana loaf was a whole banana down and let’s not mention the digestives and cream cheese for the cheesecake!). In the den, Charlie introduces a fruit or vegetable for the children (and often adults) to taste as much or as little as they like and the children are all so engaged, even the fussiest of eaters are often tempted to try new flavours. With many hands making light work, the parents quickly complete the washing and clearing up while the children are busy tucking into their packed lunch. The parents are then ready for a well-earned cuppa tea while the kiddos have a play.
Cooking club is a wonderful opportunity to introduce cooking together without the fuss or sole clear-up duty and the meals are truly delicious and packed with fresh flavours – dinner for the family on a Thursday really is sorted! The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly – we certainly have a ‘grate’ (sorry – couldn’t resist!) time!
“My daughter and I have attended Charlie’s cooking club for over a year now & we both love it! She has grown in confidence & independence and now asks me to call her the ‘famous chef’ when we bake at home! She loves providing the evening meal or pudding for our family every week & in her words last week’s pasties were ‘the most yummiest, scrummiest of them all!’ & we all agreed!”
“Cooking club has really helped my previous ‘fussy eater’ to explore new types of food. He absolutely loves going each week and is always asking to cook at home. I’ve also noticed that his skills at listening and following instructions have improved and the structure of the class does well to prepare him for school. It is also great to meet other mums and Teddy really enjoys socialising with the other children and eating his lunch with them each week.”
“Cooking club with Charlie has been such a great activity to do with my 3 year old. He’s learnt to discover new foods (common or uncommon), he’s become familiar with daily cooking (making a dough, mixing, pouring…) and since we started, he’s been asking more and more to cook with us. It’s also been a good opportunity to teach him safety around the kitchen (although he’s always supervised of course). He’s now more adventurous with food, he often participates in this daily aspect of our lives and most of all he really enjoys it!”
“Both my daughter Ella and I thoroughly enjoyed our time doing cooking club with Charlie. When we started, Ella did not like getting her hands messy when mixing ingredients together – that was my job! After a couple of terms, she didn’t want my help any more and would happily put her hands in to mix and shape the ingredients. She gained so much confidence and also loved the tasting part of each session, trying lots of different foods that I would have struggled to get her to taste myself! I found it to be such a lovely and different group to do with her – and it has had a knock-on effect of making me so much more relaxed about cooking with my children at home. We were both really sad to leave cooking club when Ella went to school!”