Sunday, 13 October 2019


Supermarket Grocery Shopping Pretend Play Set-Up

I saw some toy shelves for supermarket pretend play at the toy shop last week. I thought it is a very good idea to display the products on a shelf and make the set up look more like a supermarket. But the toy shelf cost a bomb. I found some wooden boxes at home and stack them together like shelves. And I display the supermarket goods as below. Some pictures for memory.

I set up two cashiers, one for Little FECS and one for Baby FECS :-)

This activity can get messy with cleaning up, so brave yourself and choose a day, when you have more surplus and are not in the rush to clean up together with your child. Cleaning up is part of learning for your child too, so it's not time wasted :-)

Below is a re-production of the lesson plan from my previous post reproduced here for convenience:

Age: From 4 years old


1. A fun way to learn:

- number recognition
- counting
- addition
- subtraction
- uses of money
- personal financial management

all into one


1. Goods
2. Price tags
3. Toy cash register
4. Money (If you don't have toy money, you can photocopy real money, make it an activity for your child to cut it out, or cut it out for younger children)
5. Shopping basket (optional)
6. Some rough paper and a pen (optional)


1. Collect various empty supermarket goods' packaging such as tea, pasta, rice, cheese, eggs, salt, milk, jam, ice-cream box, can food, etc.

2. Arrange them with price tag on a mat. Start with the numbers you want your child to learn. For example, I am revising 1-20 with J, and slowly to 100. Each day, I will concentrate on 20 numbers at a time.

3. Set up the counter with the cash register.

4. Display the price of the items.

5. Start by being the shopper, then take turn to be the cashier and the shopper.

6. As the shopper, point to an item and ask your child how much it costs. He should read the number and tell you the answer.

7. Say the item you wish to buy and give your child that item to scan into his cash register. Reinforce your child's learning by asking him to enter the price into key pad of the cash register. Verify if he has entered correctly. (J loves this the most. At times, when I could not get him to repeat or write the number after me, I would ask him to enter into the cash register the correct number.)

8. Give your child the right amount of money and ask him to verify that it is correct. To increase the level of difficulty later in the game, give your child a bigger note and ask him how much change he should give you back. This teaches the child subtraction and also money management.

9. Put the item that you have bought in your shopping basket.

10. Continue this for a few items and change roles thereafter.


1. You can buy two things at the same time and ask your child how much they cost in total? For example choose an item costing $2 and another item costing $4. Ask your child how much in total you should pay him, and let him advise you. Then give him the amount of money he asked.

If he asked for an incorrect amount, revise the addition with him by writing down on paper:


2. Increase the difficulty of this game by increasing the number of items you wish to buy at a single time and invite your child to sum them up.

Additional Information:

J requested for to play Grocery Store or Supermaket Pretend Play often, but it is not my favorite activity, because it is time-consuming and boring for me. I realized that it is because our play has been rather haphazard, messy and a little lacking in purpose. After a few rounds of experience, I have come up with a more fun and clear lesson plan and will quickly jot it down here, before I forget.

Since J loves this so much, to inspire me and excite me to play this game with zest and with my whole heart with him, I think it is worth for me taking the time to make it more structured and more educational. Usually everything I commit to making a lesson plan, I am also more commited to play with J, instead of mommy yawning and falling asleep :-)

This game is very useful in teaching number recognition, counting, addition, subtraction, uses of money and even personal financial management. Oh, why didn't I start working on this earlier, instead of simply making J do more Maths worksheet and Montessori! All because I dreaded to prepare this pretend play! I can't wait to try with J tomorrow!

Gauge as you go along, and be careful not to make it too academic that it loses its fun. I have the tendency to be so.


Here are some links to other ideas with Grocery Play:

Without price tags for the younger kids

With price tags for the older kids

Monday, 16 September 2019


Homemade Healthy & Nutritious Whole Wheat Pasta Made from White Whole Wheat Flour


1. 400 g white whole wheat flour
2. 170 ml water
3. 1/2 tsp salt


1. Add flour and salt into the compartment.
2. Turn on the machine.
3. Slowly add water. The machine will mix and knead the dough for 3 minutes and start extrude noodles thereafter.
4. When the noodles reach a certain desired length, cut them.
5. The whole process takes 18 minutes.

Additional Information:

I was at a friend's place today, and she was kind to show me her amazing noodle making machine from Phillips. It makes delicious noodles in 15 minutes, even whole wheat noodles turned out perfect :-) And best of all, they tasted so delicious too!!!

It require just 3 ingredients - flour, salt and water. For water, one can use vegetable juice in place of water too, to provide different color to the pasta. One can add egg too.

For this batch that we made, we use just 100% white whole wheat flour, salt and water.

And cleaning is brisk too. Just leave the noodle shaper to dry overnight and remove the dry dough :-)

Fresh, nutritious and healthy pasta in 15 minutes - This will be my Christmas wish list to Mr. FECS :-)

We will say goodbye to store-bought pasta for good, and goodbye to all the preservatives. It's also hard to buy 100% whole wheat pasta from supermarkets - most contain at most 17-25%. Soon I can make 100% whole wheat pasta with this Phillips noodle maker

Here is the link to the recipe book:


I use white whole wheat flour, which has the same nutritious benefits and dietary fiber as whole wheat flour, but has the taste and texture similar to white all-purpose flour. White whole wheat flour from Valsemøllen is light in color and taste almost like white flour, but at the same time it is rich in fiber, as all the parts of the wheat berries are preserved using a special developed technic for milling the wheat into flour by Valsemøllen Danish company. It also adds wheat gluten to achieve the texture similar to all-purpose flour. It contains specifically 98.5% whole wheat and 1.5% wheat gluten.

White whole wheat flour is also available in other countries apart from Denmark. According to Kitchn, "Whole-wheat flour is made from hard red spring or winter wheat, which has a nutty, hearty taste. White whole-wheat flour is made from hard white spring or winter wheat, which has the exact same nutritional value of whole-wheat flour, but because of the variety used, has a milder flavor and paler color."

Friday, 13 September 2019


How to Make Buck Wheat Flour?

It's easy to make flour at home. Simply use your mini blender and grind the buckwheat for 30 seconds until it turns into flour

Thursday, 12 September 2019


How to Make Multi-Grain Bread?

Makes 1 big loaf


1. 2 TBS uncooked millet
2. 2 TBS flax seeds
3. 2 TBS sesame seeds
4. 2 cups cooked oat groats
5. 1 cup cooked barley
6. 2 TBS sunflower seeds
7. 2 TBS pumpkin seeds
8. 1 1/2 cup (375 ml) hot water
9. 25 g fresh yeast
10. 2 TBS honey
11. 2 TBS malt syrup
12. 1 TBS olive oil
13. 1 tsp lemon juice
14. 1 TBS salt
16. 1 cup (250 ml) butter milk or natural yogurt
17. 4 1/4 cups wheat flour
18. 1 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
19. 1/4 cup rolled oats (for sprinkling on top of the bread)


1. Cook oat groats according to instructions here. Same method for cooking barley.

2. Soak millet in boiling water for 20 mins.

3. In a large mixing bowl, add 1 cup of hot water to flax seeds, sesame seeds, olive oil, honey and malt syrup and mix well.

4. When the soaking mixture is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast and mix well.

5. Add lemon juice, butter milk and salt. Stir and mix well.

6. Gradually add in the wheat flour and mix well.

7. Then mix in the white whole wheat flour and mix well. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.

8. Knead by hand or run the mixer for 10 minutes. Add in sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and oat groats and barley, knead and mix well.

9. Let dough rest in a warm place and rise until double its size, about 1 hour.

10. Punch down dough and knead again briefly.

11. Oil a 9 x 5 loaf pan and sprinkle its bottom with seeds. Place dough in until it is 1 inch below the surface of the loaf pan, to allow space for expansion of the dough during baking.

12. Cover the loaf and let it rise to double its size, about 20 minutes.

13. Pre-heat oven to 175 degree celsius.

14. Spray a bit of water on the top of the loaf to avoid cracking and sprinkle some rolled oats on the top of the loaf.

15. Insert a thermometer into the dough and place it in the middle rack of the oven with another tray containing water just below it to generate steam.

16. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the dough. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the thermometer inserted into the dough reaches 85 degree celsius.

17. Let cool for an hour before slicing the bread.

Additional Information:

I like the store-bought multigrain toast bread a lot, and have been wanting to know how to bake it myself. The first time I tried, my dough was over-proof as I got busy with other stuff. It tasted too yeasty as a result. It is very important to let the dough rise to double its size, no more no less. This time round, I was careful with it. The bread turned out well, and both kids love it. It tasted similar to the store-bought ones, but better. i like the texture of the oat groats and pumpkin seeds in the bread. Next time, I would add even more oat groats and pumpkin seeds.

Multigrain bread is usually baked with wheat flour. The store-bought one contains 17% whole wheat flour. I tried mine with 26% of the flour using white whole wheat flour and it turned out great - soft like the wheat flour bread and chewy, and yet containing more fiber and nutrients. I think it's because white whole wheat flour is closer to wheat flour, while still completely whole wheat.

The store-bought bread contains malt. It makes a big difference to the taste and flavor by adding a malt ingredient. In this case, I have used malt syrup.

As the water was not lukewarm enough, I added half cup of water. I added another cup of white whole wheat flour and 3/4 cup of wheat flour because it was too sticky.


White whole wheat flour from Føtex Supermarket.

In a mixing bowl, add 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water.

Add 2 tablespoon of flax seeds.

Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds.

Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Add 2 tablespoons of honey.

Add 2 tablespoons of malt syrup.

Add 25 g of fresh yeast.

Add 1 cup of the wheat flour first. Stir and mix well.

Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.

Add 3 teaspoons of salt.

Add 1 cup (250 ml) of buttermilk.

Stir and mix well.

Add the remaining 3 1/4 cup of wheat flour.

Add 1 1/2 cup of white whole wheat flour.

Knead and mix well.

Cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Add 2 cups of cooked oat groats.

Add 1 cup of cooked barley.

Add 2 tablespoons of soaked millet.

Add 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds.

Add 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds.

 If it is sticky, adjust with more flour.

Knead and mix well.

Cover and let it rise to double its size, about an hour.

Now it is risen to double its size.

 Spray a bit of olive oil to coat the loaf pan.

Sprinkle its bottom with seeds.
Place dough in until it is 1 inch below the surface of the loaf pan, to allow space for expansion of the dough during baking.

Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise until double its size, about 20 mins. In the mean time, pre-heat the oven to 175 degree celsius with a tray of water in it.

Now it has risen to double its size in the loaf pan :-)

 Spray a bit of water on the top of the loaf to avoid cracking.

Sprinkle some rolled oats on the top of the loaf.

 Insert the baking thermometer into the dough.

Place it in the middle rack of the oven with another tray containing water just below it to generate steam.

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the dough. Bake for another 20 minutes or until the thermometer inserted into the dough reaches 85 degree celsius.

 Let cool for an hour before slicing the bread.

 Now it's done :-)

Cut and enjoy :-)

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