Ready, Set, Bake!
Baking with kids can be a learning experience for everyone. Your kids can learn a few valuable skills disguised as nothing more than fun. While you can hone your patience and perfect the delicate art of letting go.
Here at the Twin Cities Kids Club, we believe you should make baking with your kids a regular activity. To help with that, we’ve come up with a few tips and tricks. Plus, join for more tips, advice, and discounts.
Our goal is to encourage you and your family to do things together. Join Twin Cities Kids Club for great discounts, advice, and information on events.
Here are six fantastic things to remember when starting your baking journey with your kids. For more information about baking with kids, check out these great tips from Betty Crocker.
1. Kids Are Messy!
A child doesn’t have the awareness or coordination that an adult has. Your child is going to make a mess, accept that before you begin. Here is where that patience and ability to let go come in.
Use this as a chance to teach them how to clean up after themselves. Gently remind them to work clean. Have them clean up after themselves as they are working.
Concordantly, let them know that messes are not the end of the world. Perform your cleanup tasks together, and not only will you grow closer, but you might also have fun doing it!
2. Have Your Child Pick the Recipe
Encourage your child to have an interest in health and nutrition. Watch cooking shows together. Look at cookbooks. Take your child along when you go grocery shopping. Have him or her help pick out food and ingredients.
Carry this passion for food over into your baking. Go through a baking recipe book together and have your child pick out one he or she finds interesting. Help him or her to feel more engaged in the process.
3. Find Age and Skill Appropriate Tasks
Know your child. Every child has strengths and weakness. If your child has poor hand-eye coordination, don’t have him or her pour milk from the carton into the measuring cup. Possibly pour a small amount into a smaller container and have your child measure from that.
Pick out tasks for your little ones, such as dumping flour into the mixing bowl after you measure it or stirring with help. For your slightly older kids, have them crack eggs, use an electric hand mixer or measure out ingredients.
Whatever you do, make it fun and keep it low stress. The last thing you want to do is turn your kid away from wanting to bake. Be wary of complicating his or her relationship with food. Keep it light and bright, and you’ll be fine!
4. Turn Baking into a Fun Math or Science Lesson
One thing’s for sure: school is not always fun. Kids can have a hard time with math or science because they can find it unrelatable. What could be more relatable than baking cookies together?
Here are a few ways to incorporate math or science into your baking:
- Have your child count out the cups of flour as you both measure them.
- Teach your child about fractions by demonstrating the ½ cup measurer against the full cup measurer
- Teach your child about volume by using the displacement method.
- Fill a liquid measure with 1 cup of water.
- Measure 1 cup of butter by adding butter chunks until the water reaches 2 cups
- Explain that the butter has displaced 1 cup of water and that is how you know you have 1 cup of butter
- Explain how baking soda helps your baked goods to rise by releasing carbon dioxide when it reacts the heat or acid. Point out the difference before and after the pastry is baked.
By introducing a practical element to your child’s studies, he or she will have something to anchor that new knowledge. Every time he or she eats a cookie, you can bet your child will remember your time together and the lessons you imparted.
Bonus! The result is a delicious pastry you can enjoy together
5. Teach Your Child Discipline and Focus
Baking can be exacting work. Improper measurements or techniques can lead to inferior products. It is essential for your child to learn this life lesson, and baking together is a relatively painless way to teach him or her.
Before you begin, go over the recipe, step by step, with your child. Go over your ingredients together and talk about the order in which you are to do things.
Help your child to gather all your ingredients and utensils before you begin measuring, ensuring a smoother process when you start.
Try not to have any distractions while you are baking. Keep the TV off. Turn down the radio. If you have other children who are not participating, find something for them to go and do elsewhere.
Try to devote your full attention to your child and the task at hand. If nothing else, your child will be grateful for the time together.
Most importantly, if something goes wrong and your recipe doesn’t turn out as you hoped, don’t get mad or upset. Teach your child that it is fine to be disappointed, but mistakes can happen. When they do, you try again.
Find a new recipe or go over the old one and make sure you did everything correctly. Show them that adults make mistakes as well as children, and the trick is not to give up.
6. Share Your Successes With Loved Ones!!
The best part of baking is sharing the finished product with special friends. Here is a fun way to help your child become more thoughtful and generous. Have your child think of a few people who he or she thinks would enjoy the delicious goodies you just baked.
When you’ve selected your lucky recipients, help your child make personalized boxes or bags. Encourage them to decorate however they want. Make it personal, and the gift will be that much sweeter.
Take your child with you to personally deliver your goodies. Have them witness the smiling faces and gracious compliments of the happy recipients. He or she will feel good about the job well done while learning that sharing with those you care about can be a reward itself.
At Twin Cities Kids Club, we bake with our kids all the time, and we encourage you to share in this rewarding experience with us!