The most important parenting advice I can give you is to give your child a sense of belonging, responsibility and contribution. Since they were very young, my sons always made me tea and snacks, helped me cook and clean, and felt needed at home. They felt they had a lot to contribute, and that I counted on them. I can tell you more about that in another article, but for now, I can suggest this activity as a way for your child to gain many of those skills by making their family’s snacks. You are busy working, keeping the house clean and playing with your child. Your child is growing and in need of stimulation – constantly. This is easy when they are at school, but at home?

One way to show them how they can contribute is asking them if they could prepare “owly toasts” for the whole family, to have with snacks. If your child is a cefa student, Owly (our mascot) will also have a huge sentimental value to them.

How to Make It


  • Bread or bagels
  • A toaster (to toast the bread if you wish)
  • A nut butter, cream cheese, or any spread you normally have
  • 1 banana for 4 people
  • 2 strawberries per person
  • 4 or more blueberries per person

Let’s get started!

  • Your child can, with your supervision and if old enough:
    • Toast the bread or bagel (self-help skill)
    • Spread the nut butter evenly (fine motor skills and S.T.E.M.)
    • Cut the fruit as in the picture (fine motor skills)
    • Calculate how much fruit is required per slice (S.T.E.M.mathematics)
    • Make an owl using the fruit as per the picture shown (fine motor skills, S.T.E.M. and social and emotional development)
  • If your child is younger, you can leave an image of the Owly toast in front of them for guidance (a little like you would the picture of a puzzle as guidance for them to make it)

If you have more fruit and decorating items at home, here are some other ideas:

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn S.T.E.M., fine motor skills, but more importantly, social and emotional development skills. Your child will:

  • Have the opportunity to contribute to their family by preparing a snack for their family
  • Know that they are helping you at home with important work
  • Gain cooking skills
  • Gain a great amount of self-confidence and empathy

While they are preparing the snack and you are supervising, make sure you tell them that this really helps the family, as you have more time to finish your work, and thank them. Tell them how proud you are of them that they are able to cook for the family on their own, and once you taste it, tell them how delicious it is! Ask them what they can make next time for the family. The rest of the family (especially siblings) should of course thank them for the meal.

Get them to deliver the snack to each member of the family, with a napkin and a glass of milk for extra learning! It is a difficult task to balance a plate across the kitchen, pour the milk and carry that too, but these are essential self-help skills your child must learn. You might have to show them where to find the mop and paper towels too.

CEFA tip: Remember to let your child do as much of the process as they are capable of. This means they cut (they can use a plastic disposable knife), spread, wash, plate and deliver.