Spending quality time in the kitchen with your child can be fun and rewarding to both of you. Children love to work with their hands because they can see the results instantly and they are always very anxious to eat their results.
Whether I was in the kitchen with my children or now my grandchildren, I know I am creating fond memories of what becomes a permanent lesson in learning a life skill. Learning to bake is a happy experience.
Some of the skills I think of when I think, â€śBaking Time Togetherâ€ť is organization and planning. First, check your supplies to see if the necessary ingredients are available. Have your child make a list of what is needed if they are old enough to write, or have them draw pictures. It truly is your time together.
For a small rambunctious 5 year old, like my grandson, learning to listen will be a great accomplishment. Whether your child is 5 or 10, it is invaluable for them to know how important accuracy is when making the recipe. I tell them it is important to spoon the flour in the cup, then level with a spatula for an accurate measure. I take their hand and show them, so they have the opportunity to actually do it; NOT â€śShow & Tell.” I compare measuring brown sugar like packing sand to make a great sandcastle. Compliment frequently when a job is well done. Remind them how delicious those chocolate chip cookies will be.
A child learning fractions and multiplications may now understand why they need to know those applications when you let them apply it to baking. If the recipe says optional, ask for other suggestions for substitutes. It makes your child feel important, but give an honest answer, why it will or wonâ€™t work.
Set a timer, donâ€™t open the oven door. Teaching a child patience is worth everything.
And finally the part no one necessarily enjoys, â€śthe clean up.â€ť Make it an adventure, make it fun, be creative in allowing them to clean up. Itâ€™s part of the process of baking. It makes a child understand the importance of finishing the entire job.
Plan a small party, something simple. Itâ€™s worth celebrating their accomplishments. Small girls love tea parties; older ones love impressing their friends. My grandson loved going to the park. We pretended we were going on a safari and needed to take our freshly baked chocolate chip cookies for survival. Donâ€™t underestimate boys; they like to impress their friends too.
Valentineâ€™s Day is coming up soon. Why not create a special holiday treat with your children? A few easy-to-decorate ideas are Heart Highlights Brownies, Jumbo Heart-y Cupcakes, Hearts Desire Cupcakes, Going Buggy Over You Cupcakes, or Sparkling Romance Cupcakes.
We also have some delicious “any day” cookie recipes that can be ready in just minutes. A few projects to get the children involved include Kiddie Cookie Pops, Gooey Peanut Butter Bars or Graham Cracker Bars. If your child is over the age of 10, they might be interested in our Creative Cake Decorating for Kids class.
What fond memories do you have as a child in the kitchen?