Baking with kids is a great tool for their learning. It’s also an excellent way for the whole family to bond. Baking will require your children to measure, read, and follow instructions closely.
However, it’s not always easy to bake with kids, especially when they get over excited about the prospect of baking delicious treats. If you want your baking session to run smoothly, here are some top tips you can rely on.
Be Prepared For Mess
Yes, there is going to be flour everywhere. They may even drop a few eggs. Baking with kids is messy and there’s no way of getting around it. It can help to have a damp cloth ready to clean up as you go so you aren’t left with a huge mess to clean up when you’ve finished.
An even better idea is to cover your baking area with a plastic sheet. Clean the sheet beforehand so it’s sanitary to work on. When you’ve finished baking, you can either throw the plastic sheet out or wipe it clean to use for next time.
Set Time Aside
It may only take a few minutes to bake some cookies but it takes a lot longer to be patient with excited children. You’ll need to get ingredients ready, measure ingredients, put them together, wait for the recipe to bake, and then decorate.
If you were baking on your own, a simple recipe might be done in the blink of an eye. When you’re baking with kids, it will take at least twice as long.
As we’ve already covered, baking with kids gets messy. It’s wise to have some small aprons to hand to cover up their clothes. The last thing you want to be doing is scrubbing batter off the new clothes you bought for them last week.
If you haven’t got an apron to hand, you could make one from a plastic bin bag. Cut holes out for the arms and a bigger hole for the head. Alternatively, put your kids in old clothes that you don’t mind them getting dirty in.
Try a Baking Kit
If you’re not a proficient baker or just want to make it easier on everyone, a baking kit is the ideal option. Baking kits include all the ingredients you need (except eggs) and usually contain decorations too. It can help you to skip some of the mess that comes from measuring ingredients out.
If your children are young, this is the perfect way to introduce them to baking and you can’t get it wrong.
Let Your Kids Make Choices
Letting your kids make the choices is a great way to get them more involved in the process of baking. Do they want to make cookies, cakes, or pies? What kind of filling would they like to make?
You can ask your children to decorate your baking without supervision as a surprise. This is the best way to spark their creativity and instill a sense of achievement for the finished product.
Bake By Age
Older children will be capable of doing a lot more during the baking process than younger children. You may be able to instruct older children and stand back completely. Young children will need to be heavily supervised.
It can help if you choose your recipe according to the age of your child. Some recipes are quicker and easy than others, making them good choices for younger children.
If you’re planning on making a habit of baking with your children, it can help to invest in kids baking tools. For instance, if you want to make baking Christmas cookies a family tradition, tools for little hands can make all the difference. They can help your child measure correctly, decorate smoothly, and cut pastry.
There are even child sized rolling pins for your kids to help you make pies and more. This can make the process more enjoyable for everyone.
There’s no point in baking if you aren’t going to do a taste test during the process. It’s all part of the fun of baking with kids. If you end up with some flour on your nose, even better.
Although baking calls for precision, kids will be kids. They will want to indulge in the sprinkles and stick their fingers in every mixture. As long as it doesn’t contain raw eggs, let them.
Keep Your Baking Safe
When the baking is done, it will be tempting for your kids to eat everything in sight. Of course, they deserve to sample their own work but if you want to save some for later, you’ll need to invest in some baking tins. This is the best way to keep little fingers off the rest of the baked goods.
For pies, a pie safe is ideal for keeping your pie out of sight and as fresh as possible for as long as possible. It can also help to keep flies or pets away if you’re serving outside.
It can help to follow instructions to the letter when baking but kids like to experiment. You may find that your recipe doesn’t come out exactly as you’d planned. If this is the case, there’s no need to worry.
Most bakes end up being edible, if not exactly perfect. A bit of frosting and decoration on the top can hide a multitude of sins. If it’s a complete failure, don’t be afraid to start again and show your kids not to give up.
Baking with kids can be time consuming but it’s certainly worth it. Don’t let this be a once in a blue moon bonding session. Keep up with your baking and your kids will learn some vital life lessons as you go.
Knowing how to bake from a young age can do wonders for children’s confidence and they’ll know exactly what to do when it’s time to bake with their own children.
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