st martins pretzel

The beloved German tradition to celebrate St. Martin each year on 11. November is also very much alive in the GISS Preschool.

In the weeks before this day the children delighted in singing the songs and dramatic role playing the St. Martin’s story. It goes back to the legend of a roman soldier encountering a poor beggar. Dismounting from his horse he did not hesitate to cut his warm soldiers coat in half to give one half to the poor man and keep the other half to himself. Initiative, caring thoughtfulness and helpfulness are some of the attributes we reflect on by the kind actions of this soldier, who then decided to become a monk and went on to be a Bishop.

In Germany, children eat and share ‘Martinsbrezel’ with their peers, to mark these kind and caring characteristics. The Preschool children shared dialogue, discussing and referring to the story, and inquired into concepts of true sharing: EYLF LO 2 children become aware of fairness and become socially responsible and show respect; LO 5 children are effective communicators, children begin to understand how symbols and patterns work.

The Preschool children baked the sweet and fluffy Martinsbrezel. While the activity started with a handful of children, soon more and more wanted to join in the ingredient measuring, dough mixing, kneading and shaping the traditional form. Learning objectives like pre-reading skills for the picture/word recipe, following a sequence step by step, as well as spatial and tactile fine motor skills of kneading, rolling the dough into a sausage and turning up both ends then crossing them over and back down required the crossing over the body midline, a skill necessary for many capabilities like reading writing, dressing, sitting cross legged etc.
Highly developed social emotional skills like sharing and kind caring were evident in action because the children out of their own accord shared their dough with those who didn’t have any yet without hesitation and without the need of the teacher to ask them to.

The Preschool was soon filled with the enticing smell of golden-brown baking pretzels and the children asked eagerly, "Can we eat them now?"

Before sharing and eating them like St. Martin we sang our St. Martin song once more:

  • 500g plain flour
  • 2 TBS dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 50g soft butter
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • pinch salt

Recipe for 20 small brezel:

“St. Martin, St. Martin, St. Martin ritt durch Schnee und Wind
 Sein Ross das trug ihn fort geschwind ...“

fun on the swing

christmas is coming


skipping ropes and juicy oranges