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Baking With Children And Creating Great Memories
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Baking With Children And Creating Great Memories

In many families, baking traditions, recipes and family heritage are handed down through each generation not only as a way to share the family’s past but to share time with children as they grow and learn. Baking is a great way to spend quality time with your children and instill in them a sense of family, caring, sharing and fun and sneak in a little education as well.

Think back to your early childhood experiences in the kitchen. Helping your mother measure ingredients, straining to stir the mix with a wooden spoon, using a mixer for the first time, cleaning the bowls with your fingers and/or tongue and licking the beaters! The aromas, the mess, the fun, the time with your parents... Think now how a scent can bring back those cherished memories. Many people have a story of baking with parents or grandparents that we happily remember and share. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly baked goods when you come home, these memories can lighten the hardest days. Now you have the opportunity to recreate those happy times with your own children. Baking with your children is a great way to spend quality time with your children, teaching, sharing, learning and connecting and additional bonus: when you’re finished, you have a tasty treat!

Baking teaches children about the processes of cooking, plus it's messy and therefore fun. Baking with children is a great opportunity to augment their math lessons in a fun and positive way: with weights, measuring, fractions etc. A large part of all recipes involves basic math functions which are very important (especially if like our family you multiply the recipe to be able to feed friends and family). Additionally, children must learn how to read and follow instructions in the recipes.

Creating something that turns out wonderfully and is enjoyed by others can lift the spirits and provide a sense of achievement, instilling a sense of acceptance, strength and pride in your children that will help them stand up to the adversities of life. Since many recipes cannot be rushed, they help you relax and bring stability to your time with your children without entirely wearing you out.

Baking produces memories for all the senses: smell, sight, sound and touch. Associating these memories with positive times and lessons can help you help your child to learn and grow. We use baking to help associate math with good times, lowering the stress of math classes for our little girl; she actually enjoys math. It is up to you to make sure each baking experience is a positive one, even if the results aren’t quite what you expected, thus keeping it positive for your child regardless of the outcome. You want to encourage them to learn and to keep trying to improve if they fail. Keeping it positive will keep them coming back to do and learn more: keep your temper and your sense of humour.

Personal memories of baking can shape perceptions of food, family and home and these positive memories can be associated with whatever you teach your child at these times.

Shopping for ingredients = list creation, money management, budgeting

Healthy life choices = reading ingredients to avoid, products with too many chemicals etc.

Preparing and mixing = basic math, patience, consistency, textures

Baking = temperature and time

Every stage of baking has potential to create positive, motivating memories. Children will also learn to plan, organize and clean up. I teach that once you are done with an item clean it and put it away to keep your workspace clear of clutter, making it easier to continue and it sure saves on trying to get everything cleaned up at the end ;-) We need to teach our children to follow through: from shopping for ingredients right through to cleaning up. Baking shows children the value of doing a job properly and getting good results from their planning and efforts. You never realised that baking cookies and cakes could be so powerful did you?

Children love decorating (exploring their creativity with slashes and splashes of colour everywhere) and mixing (throwing things in a bowl and using hands or a mixer is fun and exciting) - just make sure that they are wearing an apron first! Most children have more fun when they are making a mess ;-) My little girl likes to decorate everything, even herself sometimes ;-) Baking together doesn't have to be a daily or even weekly occurrence - although it can become addictive (at least eating the results usually is). My Cute Baker will want to bake a few days in a row and then forget it for a week or so as she finds something else to focus on, but always comes back to baking her favourite recipes and trying out some news ones.

It is likely you already have all the tools you need for baking. If not, a bit of shopping for some good mixing bowls, a whisk and wooden spoon and a few pans and measuring tools should not cost much and can produce many great returns in food and memories. That’s the wonderful thing about baking: with an oven, a recipe and a few simple tools you can get started on new adventures and creating great memories with your child. So, what’s keeping you from starting? Get to your kitchen and create some great memories and foods with your child! (You never know, these memories might be the ones that keep you out of the old age home later in life ;-))


Street Talk

That's right. I remember my and my grandma making cookies :)

Reply
  about 3 years ago
AC  

As a teacher I love reading things like this. There is so much that children can gain from working with their parents in the kitchen. It's great to see that you're involving your daughter in the kitchen!

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Thanks, glad you liked it!

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Al8  

A good article to inspire us to involve our children in a fun and rewarding time which then produces a dessert treat as a reward for the whole family. Parents wonder what to do with their children to get them away from electronic 'traps' which waste their time and physical well being. Here is a great idea for spending fun, educational and quality time with our children.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Thanks, baking is helping to fill the void of other things we used to do - after a car accident I could not play as hard as before We use it for fun, food, education and family time.

Reply
  about 4 years ago
Ms. M  

What an awesome 'family friendly' article. Very uplifting to read a positive article promoting spending quality time with your family! Loved it!!

Reply
  about 4 years ago
  

Thanks, glad you liked it, hope you enjoy all the time you can with your family

Reply
  about 4 years ago
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