Baking is a brilliant way for families to bond. It’s also an excellent way for children to boost their motor skills, maths abilities and reading skills. Oh, and you get to feast on some delicious treats when you finish! Looking for some ways to make your time together a success? Here are our top 12 tips for baking with kids!
Ready for the very best baking tips? Here we go…
1. Set aside plenty of time
Understandably, baking with children takes a bit longer than it would if you were doing it on your own. This is especially the case when you’re baking with younger children! Make sure you set aside ample time so you can slow down and really enjoy the process.
2. Be prepared for a bit of mess
Flour, eggs, children… Yep, things are going to get messy! But don’t let the mess cause you any stress. Try covering your work area with a plastic tablecloth to simplify clean-up. Another way to minimise mess is to ensure children take their time as they move through each step of the recipe. You can tidy up as you go–and encourage older kids to get involved with this. Baking and building valuable life skills? Yes, please!
3. Dress for success
Okay, so you’ve accepted that things are going to get messy. Now you’ll need to make sure the kids are dressed in old clothes that you don’t need to worry about. Same goes for adults! After you’re all dressed for the job, put on aprons, tie back long hair and don’t forget to wash your hands!
4. Get the children involved in choosing recipes…
Most kids will be more interested in the process if they’ve played a part in choosing the recipe. Have older kids look through cookbooks, magazines, recipe videos or websites. With younger children, it’s wise to narrow down the choices beforehand and let them choose between two or three age-appropriate recipes.
5. Or to make it easier, try a fun baking kit!
Kits are a great way to get children excited about baking. They’re also convenient, as they come with easy-to-follow directions and pre-measured dry ingredients. For kids who love colour, try this Rainbow Cake baking kit. T-Rex fans will love this Dinosaur Cake kit, or for an even more magical baking adventure, try making this Unicorn Cake!
6. Talk through the recipe before you get started
Ask older children to read out all the steps beforehand. Gather all of the supplies and ingredients you’ll need, and plan out who will do what. With younger kids, you can get out what you need ahead of time, and just explain the steps to them.
7. Invest in some kid-sized tools
Half of the fun of baking is using all the cool tools — rolling pins, cookie cutters, whisks. However, sometimes the adult-sized tools are a little big for tiny hands. Buying some special kid-sized tools or even some teeny-tiny ones, like this adorable Tiny Baking Set, will make children feel like a vital part of the baking process!
8. Keep it age-appropriate
Assign simpler tasks for young children. Get them to dump pre-measured ingredients into the bowl. Ask them to spoon out individual portions of dough, or set them loose with some simple decorating tasks. It’s also essential to set up a work station where they can safely reach everything. Of course, older children can take on more responsibility. For instance, you might show them how to use the oven and how to measure ingredients accurately.
9. Indulge in some taste-testing
Sampling food as you go is one of the most fun parts of cooking and baking. This is also a fabulous way to encourage children to try new foods and teach them which foods are safe to eat raw. In addition, you might prepare some little bits, like chocolate chips, in a small bowl for snacking. For the impatient, this will help keep any meltdowns at bay!
10. Be patient
If something goes wrong, don’t worry too much! Accidents happen, and it’s important to remember that mistakes are how children learn and grow. If someone makes a baking mistake, view it as a learning opportunity or teachable moment. Show kids what steps you can take to avoid the mistake in the future.
11. Don’t forget to have fun–and to share!
Enjoy your time together even more by putting on a fun, family-friendly music playlist. And when your goodies are ready, heap on the praise! After all, we all love receiving compliments! You could also encourage children to share their yummy treats with family members or neighbours.
12. Make baking together a regular part of your routine
Baking together doesn’t just have to mean making extra-special, kid-friendly treats. On ordinary days, encourage children to help you knead dough when you make bread. Have them help with measuring or stirring in ingredients when you make everyday goodies. This is a great way to build connections and create lasting memories!
Looking for more great ways to keep kids entertained? Check out the toys and games on our website!
Why are bakers cruel? Because they whip cream and beat eggs!