I make birthday cakes for the boys on their birthdays, so for my birthday they each wanted to make a dinosaur cake for me. Their ideas kept getting bigger and better. I managed to steer them in the direction of a dinosaur world, so we could make use of their dinosaur nests, dinosaur jelly rescue and volcano cakes.


  • Tray
  • Dinosaur nests – ingredients here
  • Mini eggs
  • Jelly
  • Volcano cakes – ingredients here.
  • Rich tea biscuits
  • Icing
  • Food colouring
  • Dried cereal
  • Small dinosaur figures from Poundland
  • Sterile fish tank plants
  • A-Z of dinosaurs


This was the culmination of three and a half hours baking on the Saturday and two and a half hours assembly on the Sunday. Ioan and Finn enjoyed being involved in every stage of the process and Cian enjoyed watching it all unfold.

The first step was adding blue and red food colouring to the icing, to make the water and lava. They iced their biscuits to make ponds, and drizzled icing over their cake to make a volcanic eruption.

Next they added eggs to their dinosaur nests, some cereal, jelly from their dinosaur rescue, some cereal and crushed up biscuits. Finn was provided with the same amount of food as Ioan, but his mysteriously kept disappearing before reaching his tray!

Ioan asked to add sprinkles and sweets to his volcano.

Next came the dinosaurs. Finn lined his orange dinosaurs up and (obviously!) did some counting, adding, doubling and halving with them before adding them to his scene. Ioan identified each of his in his A-Z of dinosaurs.

We went against all the times I’ve told them, “Don’t play with your food!” and had some fun role-playing dinosaur adventures. At the end we had two very happy boys and a very lucky Mummy!

To finish off Ioan asked to do some writing about his dinosaur world. He sounded out all the words himself, listening to the phonemes (smallest unit of sound in a word) and working out which grapheme (written symbols) he thought best represented that sound.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Communication and language

ELG 02 – Understanding:

Children follow instructions involving several ideas or actions. They answer ‘how’ and ‘why’ questions about their experiences and in response to stories or events.

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

ELG 05 – Health and self-care:

Children know the importance for good health of physical exercise, and a healthy diet, and talk about ways to keep healthy and safe. They manage their own basic hygiene and personal needs successfully, including dressing and going to the toilet independently.


ELG 10 – Writing:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.


ELG 11 – Numbers:

Children count reliably with numbers from 1 to 20, place them in order and say which number is one more or one less than a given number. Using quantities and objects, they add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer. They solve problems, including doubling, halving and sharing.

Understanding the world

ELG 14 – The world:

Children know about similarities and differences in relation to places, objects, materials and living things. They talk about the features of their own immediate environment and how environments might vary from one another. They make observations of animals and plants and explain why some things occur, and talk about changes.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 17 – Being imaginative:

Children use what they have learnt about media and materials in original ways, thinking about uses and purposes. They represent their own ideas, thoughts and feelings through design and technology, art, role-play and stories.