& Events


Ways to learn with chocolate, icing sugar – and teamwork

- July 20, 2012

The children of Gorton House enjoy a morning making lamingtons and chocolate crackles, especially the part where they lick melted chocolate from their fingers.

When the children of Gorton House aren’t gardening, they’re cooking.

After a recent rainy Saturday planting a new vegetable garden, the children turned their attention to the kitchen.

Tamara hands over the stirring to one of her many apprentice chefs.

Tamara – Agnes’ mum – came to Gorton recently to show the children how to make traditional treats, such as lamingtons and chocolate crackles.

Vin Christanto, the Director of Gorton House, still isn’t sure what the children enjoyed most – making the treats, or eating them afterwards.

English, maths, science and more

But look beyond the simple acts of making and eating and it’s easy to see how a cooking class is about much more than taste and mess.


(L) The chocolate crackles on their way to the oven (R) Getting the dusting for the lamingtons just right.

Vin and her team of educators say such experiences promote children’s ability to use their language to follow simple instructions, negotiate roles with each other, and to use their words to ask for turns.

“They get to explore some early mathematical concepts as they count the measurements and pour ingredients into a bowl,” says Vin.

“Children also get to explore scientific concepts as they observe the physical changes in the mixture of chocolate powder, icing sugar, and milk as it turns into melted chocolate in the microwave and changes form again as it sets on the rice bubbles.”

Parents always welcome

Vin says the Gorton House team love having parents involved in their education program and they encourage all parents to come and share the fun of working with the children.

"We’re always happy to hear from parents who have some ideas," says Vin. "All they have to do is contact our staff to arrange a suitable time."


Lamingtons made easy in three simple steps.

Some other notes of thanks

It seems Gorton House is setting a trend when it comes to parental involvement.

Vin wanted to say a special thank you to Suli (Zoe’s Dad) who came along with his guitar and spent a great afternoon singing with our children during the school holidays.

She also wanted to thank Sean (Eadith’s Dad) who helped the Gorton team to move a garden bed on his day off work.

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