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Let's make sandwiches

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Cooking

Duration/age

Duration: 
Suitable for children: 
Location: 
Skills this activity improves: 
Father making sandwiches with young son aged 3-5 years old

Cheese or ham? Brown bread or multigrain? It’s lunch time. Let’s make sandwiches.

Your child can make their own sandwiches. First encourage them to choose what sort of bread and which fillings they would like.

Look in the fridge and see what’s there. Would you like tomato and cheese?

Count out how many slices of bread you will need. We’re making one sandwich for you and one for me. Two slices of bread for you and two for me. 1, 2, 3, 4.

Give your child a butterknife to spread butter on the bread. Talk about spreading the butter right to the edge. Next get them to help you can arrange the fillings on top.

Tomato, cheese and a slice of bread on top.

Talk about the different ways you can cut up a sandwich.You could make squares, triangles or rectangles.

Now it’s time to eat.

Materials you will need

  • Butterknife
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Sandwich fillings

Why does this matter?

As your child is making their sandwich they will be learning to plan. ‘First the bread then the butter.’ They will also be making choices about what food they want to eat.

They will also have an opportunity to understand the use of numbers and shapes.

    When your child butters bread and arranges fillings they are developing coordination and motor skills.

    What does this lead to?

    We use planning everyday in life. ‘How will I get to the shops? What do I need to take on a picnic?’ As children practice planning they will be learning and improving this skill. 

    Children learn to categorise when they use numbers and shapes to organise their world. 

    Good motor skills will help children to move safely, play sport and, later, write and draw easily.

    Language to use

    • Sandwich, bread, slice
    • Brown, multigrain, white
    • Butterknife, spread, edge
    • Ham, cheese, tomato, lettuce,
    • Butter, peanut butter, Vegemite
    • Square, triangle, rectangle
    • One, two, three, four
    • Plate, board

    Questions to use

    • How hungry are you today?
    • What is your favourite sandwich?
    • Are you going to put lots of Vegemite on there or just a little bit?

    Useful tips

    Remember to talk to your child in your home language.

    More ideas

    Use different kinds of breads, like wraps, mountain bread, rolls. You can talk about how you assemble them and the different fillings you can use.

    Variation by age

    Three to five year olds

    • Use your sandwiches to have a picnic with your child. You can stay inside or go outside. Pack the sandwiches and anything else you want to take in a bag or basket. 

    Questions to ask

    • Where should we have our picnic?
    • What else do we need to take with us?
    • What can we use to carry our food?

    Language to use

    • Picnic
    • Food, drink
    • Basket, bag
    • Rug, plates, cups