My children love cooking with me, and I am always looking for new ideas to keep them entertained.  We have a few regular fun kitchen activities, but making dinosaur and flower vetkoek, is one of our favourites!

Kuen and Bella learn so much from cooking with me, and I enjoy teaching them basic life skills which they do not learn in school.  They learn about different ingredients and their consistency, they learn early mathematical skills by measuring the ingredients and spacing the shapes on the rolled out dough.  They work on their fine motor skills when mixing the ingredients, rolling out the dough and using the cookie cutters.  They also love the different textures that they feel, like the flower, the sticky dough and the wooden rolling pin.  But most of all, we enjoy being together and having fun.  The bond between my children and myself gets stronger each time we have fun in the kitchen.

So this is how it works…

First you make the vetkoek dough and enjoy the mess and stickiness, then roll it out as thin as you can with a wooden rolling pin.  Use cookie cutters to cut out the desired shape – in our case it is always dinosaurs and flowers.  Then cook it in boiling hot oil and enjoy with butter and jam!  It’s messy and it’s fun!  Just remember to always be safe in the kitchen and not allow your children to work with the hot oil or come near the hot stove.

It is also important to remember than making memories is more important than a clean kitchen!  And the process is more important than the outcome.

Here’s an easy vetkoek dough recipe:


  • 1 Cup Flour
  • 1 Packet of Instant Yeast
  • 1 Tbs Salt
  • 800 ml Milk or water


Mix all the ingredients together and let it rise for about half an hour.


Once the dough is ready, break it into smaller pieces and give each child and yourself a piece to roll out as flat as possible.  Use cookie cutters to cut the

shape of your choice.  Once you have used up all the space of the rolled out dough, you can make a ball with it and roll it out again.  Do not roll it out more than two times as it becomes hard.  You can make vetkoek snakes with the remaining dough by rolling it like you would with play dough.

Place the shaped dough in boiling hot oil and turn once to make sure the vetkoek is cooked all over.  Place the vetkoek on a plate covered with kitchen towels to absorb the oil.  Once the vetkoek has cooled down, you can enjoy it with butter and jam, or with your favourite soup.

Contributed by Yolandé Powell of Clamber Club Toddlers – Nelspruit
Tel: 082 551 9329