All three of our boys have birthdays within three weeks of each other, with only two days rest between our oldest two. With birthday meals and parties that can easily mean 6 cakes in close succession. As great as that may sound, none of us particularly like birthday cake. This year, Finn asked if he and Ioan could opt out of a cake for their birthday meals, and model a Toy Story character from icing instead.


  • Royal icing
  • Chopping board
  • Knife

NOTE: Always supervise your child with a knife. Use utensils appropriate to your child’s age and experience.


When it came to picking a Toy story character to make there was no question as to who they would make. Finny was desperately hoping to get Rex for his birthday. When he opened his present, he stood there with his eyes closed, just hugging Rex tightly for a few minutes.

Finn’s birthday was first and he was very excited to model Woody and Rex from icing. He started off by making the legs. He rolled two blue sausages for the legs, then a ball for his bottom. He made brown boots by curving the black icing, then carefully using a knife to cut a triangle out of the bottom to make the heel.

Finn shaped the body and arms out of yellow icing, then used the knife to cut out a white waistcoat. He tore off bits of the brown icing and stuck them on to the waistcoat.

Finn studied his Woody character closely, even paying attention to the way his neckerchief tied at the back.

Finn made hands, cutting out the fingers with my help. He made a pointy nose on the head of Woody, then stuck on two eyes and a layer of brown hair, underneath Woody’s hat. Finn had trouble cutting the mouth with the knife he was using, so I traced over the line he drew with a kitchen knife.

For Rex, he started by cutting out the teeth, because:

“Without Rex’s sharp, pointy teeth, people might think it’s a chameleon!”

Finny modelled the rest of Rex out of green icing. This shape was easier to make than Woody. He was then very excited to place Rex and Woody on a plate of all his favourite party food.

Buzz Lightyear was very happy with the finished product!

Similarly, in the lead up to Ioan’s birthday, all we heard about was Forky. It goes against every instinct to buy a plastic version of a toy Ioan lovingly made a few months ago. Unfortunately as Ioan’s hand made Forky has been played with constantly, his baby brother has managed to stab himself and/or eat the googly eyes more than once. We decided to get a version that was safer for Cian.

As Ioan was at school on his birthday, Finn and I modelled Forky for him. He was meant to stand up in Ioan’s birthday ice cream, but we had trouble with his feet so he ended up footless and leaning against the ice cream. Luckily Woody didn’t seem to mind!

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)

Physical development

ELG 04 – Moving and handling:

Children show good control and co-ordination in large and small movements. They move confidently in a range of ways, safely negotiating space. They handle equipment and tools effectively, including pencils for writing.

Expressive arts and design

ELG 16 – Exploring and using media and materials:

Children safely use and explore a variety of materials, tools and techniques, experimenting with colour, design, texture, form and function.

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, music, dance, role-play and stories.