Baking with kids (or in my current case toddlers) requires some organisation and an open mind. Here are my tips for a fun experience.
- Pick a simple recipe that doesn’t take too long to make or bake.
- Preparation is key especially if your kids are young (they don’t like to wait). Have all the ingredients measured out and put them in bowls/cups/plates… ready to be used (use plastic so nothing breaks). If your kids are older you can measure or weigh the ingredients together. Get your utensils and baking trays/cookiecutters/cupcake cases etc. ready too.
- Things will get messy. Get them a kid’s apron or use a tea towel/bib/dad’s old t-shirt. Don’t forget your own apron.
- Let them touch, poke, taste, spill. You’re going for the experience not the result. It’s OK if you only end up with one cupcake instead of 12.
- Teach them about safety. Ovens are hot. Knives are sharp. Fingers do not belong in bowls with mixers.
- Forget all the rules for a while and let them create their own masterpiece. Cookies need a mountain of sprinkles and gingerbread houses need to be 100% covered in sweets.
You know your kids best. You know what they are capable of and what not (yet). Judge for yourself but allow them to have a go. At some point they will have to learn how to crack an egg.
Remember to have fun. What you are teaching them is much more than baking cake or cookies. Think about it: weighing flour is pure maths, stirring ingredients together is developing motorskills, having to wait for something to be baked teaches patience, etc.