The Best Way to Teach Your Kids to Bake
by Margie Manion
Baking with your children is something that always sounds really good, but then when you are in the middle of it you’re not feeling the joy.
Baking with your kids provides a time for learning, creativity, and connection.
The key is to approach it in the right way.
Set aside all expectations of perfection when it comes to your cookies and your kitchen floor! Here are some tips that will help you
Get all of your ingredients ahead of time so that you can pull it out on a snow day or weekend. Depending on the age of your children, you know they only have an attention span for so long no matter what you are doing, I suggest not making the dough, or making it ahead of time. There are so many great products of “ready-made dough”- take advantage. The best part is cutting out shapes and decorating anyway!
Get everything out that you will need ahead of time (cookie cutters, colors of icing, and a variety of decorations) in separate bowls. Kids love choices. The more choices, the better. You can have sprinkles, chocolate chips, candies, pretzel piece, and whatever else you desire. For younger children, go ahead and have the cookies already baked!
Take the opportunity to teach and model while you are baking. For older children, it can be measuring and mixing colors. For younger children, it can be as easy as counting the number of eyes and buttons you put on your snowman cookie. Teachable moments aren’t always academic. Take the time to talk to your kids and find out what is going on in “their world”.
Provide and separate container for each child. It is okay that they don’t want their cookies mixed in with a sibling’s. That means they took ownership in what they were creating. Watch for the smile on their faces when a grandmother or neighbor comes over and they are able to offer them one of their cookies!
I hope these tips make your “cookie baking day” a tradition in your family. I still get together with my mom and make Christmas cookies. It is easy to skip things that seem like they would be a lot of extra work, but your kids look forward to it in the years to come!
Margie wants you to know that, "I am very passionate about what I do. I know that parenting is the hardest and most important job in the world! I would like to reach as many parents as possible to help them to take extra steps to make their parenting experience a positive one! There is no such thing as the "perfect parent" it is an ongoing process and it is never to late to try something new!"