Cooking with kids is a fun experience, and Baking is even better! It can turn out to be a great bonding time and even if they mess-up your kitchen it’s okay because they’re learning. So, just enjoy the holiday baking endeavour and prepare holiday treats TOGETHER! Here are a few simple tips for you
Try to plan things out ahead of time. Let your kids decide what treats they would like to make and guide them along. Make a list of items you’ll need based on the recipes. Once you’re done with the grocery list, go shopping with the kids for buying the ingredients and make it a part of the process. Generally, kids aren’t too excited to visit a grocery store as they see it as a ‘boring’ experience, but this time they’re sure to have fun as they’ll be shopping for the ingredients of the treats! In order to run things smoothly, there’s a lot of preparation work you can do. You can crack the eggs into a small sized bowl, keep ingredients aside or even keep utensils for measuring – all at one place, for younger kids. Older kids enjoy doing things themselves so allow them to gather utensils and other items on their own. Make sure you prepare one treat at a time, if you’re planning to make more than a single type of treat. Remember to have enough space for all of you to involve in the process. Spread-out, use a wax paper/plastic table cloth to cover the cooking/preparation counter. Wash all hands and put on aprons!
Choose simple recipes with only a few steps and ingredients. Go for ‘easy to prepare yet delicious’ ones, such as brownies, cookies or muffins. If your kids are too young, know that their creations will not be exactly as your grandmother’s. Don’t worry if your kid wants to eat a cookie with loads of edible glitter on it, let them have their fun-time and you can play along.
If there are going to be more than 2 kids helping in the process, assign duties to each kid, so that every kid gets to participate. Kids enjoy being a part of a process and feel important. There can be a task for each kid no matter what age. For instance, the youngest one can decide the sprinkle colours or keep a watch on the timer. If you wish to share any of the treats with your neighbour’s, you can ask the kids to make cute little tags from old Christmas gift wraps or cards.
Enjoy the process! Play some fun holiday music, sing along and encourage the kids to sing with you. Allow the older children to take turns at measuring the ingredients and let the younger ones put them in the mixing bowl/mixer. Encourage the kids to watch when you bake as kids learn quicker when you demonstrate how to do something. So, they learn and enjoy at the same time!
Enjoy the treats and remember, it will be messy, but it’ll be FUN! You all will have a yummy result at the end while making memories that will last forever!