Winter is the ideal season to break out the mixing bowls and measuring spoons and get baking with your kids. The idea of letting your little ones loose in the kitchen might seem stressful, but in reality, it can be a ton of fun; and once you accept that there will inevitably be a massive mess to clean up when you’re finished, you can relax and enjoy the time together.
Here are some helpful hints to make baking with your kids an enjoyable endeavor for everyone involved:
1. Slow down your pace. If you normally whip up 2-3 dozen cookies in the time it takes the kids to get through an episode or two of their favourite TV show, I can assure you that your baking speed will be much slower when you’re surround by the kids. Embrace the pace, and enjoy the time in the kitchen with your little people.
2. Learn to live without perfection. Welcome the project and not the appearance of the end result. Learning involves making mistakes and there are sure to be many when you are working with kids. Also, stress takes the fun out of cooking and you want your kids to have a good time when they’re baking so they’ll be interested in doing it more often.
3. Read through the recipe thoroughly. This will give you both an idea of how long your desired project will take, and will also allow to you to note important steps in the recipe, like a chilling time for cookie dough. Also, reading recipes is a great way to get kids engaged with books and words.
4. Prepare your mise en place. In other words, collect everything you need to make the recipe and lay it out on the counter. Measure each ingredient into a small bowl before your begin baking.
5. Clean as you go. Teaching kids to clean up after themselves is an important life skill. Also, if you clean as you go you’re more likely to be finished with the mess by the time the cookies come out of the oven.
6. Snack as you go, too. Sneaking a few chocolate chips from the package is part of the fun. By indulging in a little treat yourself, you’ll show the kids just how much fun you can have when you’re in the kitchen.
7. Use stable stools. Letting the kids sit up high where the action is will keep them more engaged in the activity. Use a safe, stable stool or chair, or let them sit on the counter if there’s room.
Now, with all of that valuable information tucked into your back pocket, here are a few of our favourite recipes. Have fun!