For Parents

For Parents

Birthday Cake

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** Our research group has not accepted any monetary incentives for our recommendations

Who doesn’t love cake? Here are a variety of play ideas we have done with this wooden cake toy. Suggestions for words and phrases you can say while playing are in italics. Please see the introductory page here to learn more about the different play levels and which one may be most appropriate for your child. As always, get creative and follow your child’s lead!

Simple Play:

  • Pull apart the cake pieces. (It’s off.)
  • Push the pieces back together as a puzzle. (Cake.)

Combination Play:

  • Stick toppings and candles on the cake. (Candy. Candles. They’re on.)
  • Pull topping and candles off the cake. (They came off.)
  • Cut the cake apart with the knife. (Knife. We’re cutting.)
  • Putt the toppings into a container and shake them. (We’re shaking the box. It’s loud!)
  • Put the toppings in a bowl and stir them and/or dump them out. (We’re mixing. They came out.)

Beginning Imaginary Play:

  • Sing “Happy Birthday.” (You’re singing.)
  • Take a big breath and pretend to blow out the candles. Hint: You knock them off while blowing to start the routine over. (We blew the candles. They came off).
  • Pretend to eat pieces of cake. (We’re eating cake. It’s yummy.)
  • Pretend to feed pieces of cake to a puppet. (The dog is eating. He’s hungry.)

Advanced Play:

  • Pretend to bake the cake in a toy oven before decorating it. Hint: You can use a box or the space under a chair as a pretend oven. (The cake is baking. It’s in the oven. Ouch, the pan is hot!)
  • Put the pieces on plates, pour some imaginary drinks, and pretend to eat with utensils. (It’s a fork. The cake is on the plate. We’re drinking.)
  • Create an imaginary party by making birthday hats and unwrap fake presents. Hint: You can wrap up small items in your house with construction paper. (It’s a present. The hat is on your head. The paper came off.)