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Encourage Kids To Bake
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Encourage Kids To Bake

Children love to create in the kitchen. Maybe it’s the sweetness of baking or the sheer fun of making a mess but my experience has been that I’ve never had to ask twice for baking help. I have three children and they all vie for a spot around my mixer when it’s time to re-stock the cookie barrel or bake a cake for school lunches. It's really not hard to encourage kids to bake.

Start Them Young

Many people encourage their children from a young age to discover the fun of baking. Very small children are easily encouraged to pour something into the bowl and give it all a fun mix around.

Usually the little one is so small they’ll be found standing on a chair or delightedly sitting amongst a good dusting of flour on the bench.

Pouring requires a little guidance at times and fingers have to be protected from mix masters but generally it’s a safe and extremely fun activity for all.

It’s a good opportunity to teach kitchen safety and routines. The oven is hot. The dirty dishes go in the sink. That type of thing.

Of course the reward for such diligence to enjoyment is a chocolaty wooden spoon to lick or a buttery beater to smear around their face in obvious delight.

No wonder kids learn to love helping in the kitchen.

More To Do As They Grow Older

As they get older, children progress to measuring simple items and even cracking eggs; which is not only a skill but the ultimate delight in the life of a child.

It does take a fair amount of patience on the part of the adult and this is especially so when more than one child becomes involved. There is a technique to having children helping and learning in the kitchen.

The adult soon learns some basics like;

  • It’s better to crack an egg in a measuring cup than to pick shell out of the cookies
  • It’s important to guide hands that are cracking eggs so the egg lands where it should
  • Scooping flour into a measuring cup makes less mess than ladling it into the cup with a spoon.

I’ve often mused that there really should be a beater made with 3 beaters since I followed my first son up with twins. The beater issue continues to be tricky. Some problems are just beyond an easy solution.

School Age And Beyond

With minimal help a child will be able to start baking simple recipes by themselves. Adults need to be aware that having baked with a child for years does not mean that a child who can now read understands a recipe.

Things to be aware of include;

  • Helping the child turn on the oven. Is the recipe in Celsius or Fahrenheit? Are the oven shelves at the right level.
  • It pays to read through a recipe with the child beforehand and discuss each ingredient – especially the quantities. 1 tsp is not 1 tbsp. A child who is old enough to bake usually hasn’t touched on fractions at school yet.

  • Having all the ingredients out can really help too as children can’t always find them in a busy pantry cupboard. In Australia we have Plain flour and Self Raising flour. It will ruin a recipe if the wrong one is used.

Start very simple. Most households have a simple or favourite recipe that a child will be more confident; with having helped make it previously.

It is a delight, and a great help, when your child can begin doing some of the family baking. It’s also a great healthier option than store bought baking which can be full of additives, preservatives or colours that just don’t taste as good either.

The only other baking challenge left to tackle will be teaching your children to clean up their own mess. Although for hot cookies fresh from the oven a little mess is well worth it!


Street Talk

I am spending a short time with my daughter and son-in-law, and my daughter loves to bake, to watch her two enjoying the make is fantastic, I still enjoy finishing them!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

My daughter is 36 and these are the things she remembers most fondly. I have grandchildren 8 and 10 and I see these joys being passed on. It is just past midnight here in Las Vegas and you have given me most warm memories to go to sleep with. :-) Thanks!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

That is the most beautiful feedback I have received. Thank you Sherry.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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