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The baker’s shop

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Set up a baker’s shop role-play area and watch the children’s imagination rise!

Hot cross buns

Communication, Language and Literacy

Early learning goal

Use talk to organise, sequence and clarify thinking, ideas, feelings and events.

What you need

‘Strips of white card; sticky tape; salt dough or another malleable material; tray; role-play area or home corner; white cloth; toy till; real or pretend money; paper bags; blank labels; pens or pencils.

What to do

Sing the traditional rhyme ‘Hot Cross Buns’ with the children:

Hot cross buns, hot cross buns.

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons.

One a penny, two a penny, hot cross buns.

Help the children to make a simple headband to represent a baker’s hat, using a strip of white card and some sticky tape. Invite the children to wear the hat while they make batches of pretend hot cross buns using salt dough or another malleable material. Store the buns on a tray.

Encourage the children to share ideas, views and feelings about how they can turn the role-play area or home corner into a baker’s shop. For example, they could cover a table in a white cloth to display the tray of buns and place a toy till, real or pretend money and paper bags on a second table for purchasing the buns.

Talk about suitable signs and labels for the shop. Help the children to write or copy price tags and labels saying ‘One a penny’, ‘Two small buns for a penny’, ‘Open’, ‘Closed’ and ‘Lovely hot cross buns for sale’.

Encourage the children to join in role-play that involves buying and selling the buns for ‘one penny’ or ‘two pennies’.

Further ideas

  • Help the children to turn the role-play area or home corner into a chocolate shop or chocolate factory. Invite them to make and decorate pretend chocolates and Easter eggs using brown Plasticine to display and sell in the shop or factory.
  • Help the children to set up a farm shop in the role-play area. Share idaes about the types of products they could pretend to ‘sell’, such as Plasticine eggs, toy fruit and vegetables, resealed empty food packets, or clean pots and tubs with new paper lids and labels.
  • Invite the children to create an old-fashioned sweet shop with weighing scales, brown paper bags and plastic jars of pretend sweets. Stress that nothing in the shop must be eaten.
  • Explore the theme of ‘Spring’ by helping the children to make pretend plants and flowers for their market stall.


Provide younger children with only 1p coins.


Encourage older children to handle 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins.

Find more activities like these in Christmas and Easter (Festival Fun for the Early Years series), available from Scholastic Ltd, priced £15. Call 0845 603 9091 or visit