I have yet to meet anyone between the ages of two and four that didn’t enjoy spending time in the kitchen with some pre-made cookie dough, a rolling pin, cookie cutters, and a bit of extra flour for dusting the work surface. There’s no denying that’s it a messy job, but that’s part of the appeal for the kids, and if you happen to be looking for a Halloween-inspired activity to do with your little ones in the coming week, baking up a batch of these non-scary seasonal sweets is a guaranteed way to ensure you have a hoot with your toddlers.
Similar to a graham cracker in taste and texture, these cut-out cookies are made with very little sugar, molasses and warming spices that are friendly to the young palate. If you aren’t a fan of molasses’and plenty of people aren’t’you can always swap in honey for a milder flavoured biscuit instead.
Here’s the thing about baking with toddlers: there is definitely going to be a mess to clean up, but once you embrace the fact that your floors with be littered with excess flour, and your counters will be covered with a thin crust of dough, you can get down to the business of having fun in the kitchen with your kids.
New to baking with little kids? Here are three tips for making the process of baking with toddlers a little more pleasant for all who are involved:
- Prep Your Ingredients in Advance: When I mentioned pre-made cookie dough above, I didn’t necessarily mean something store bought (although that’s fine too). Instead, I was referring to the dough that’s already been prepared and had time to chill in the fridge. Toddlers are impatient and if your cut-out cookie dough has a required chilling time (and most do) make the dough in advance so you’re ready to bake something right away.
- Timing is Everything: Choose a time of day when your toddler is happy and cooperative. This is likely after a nap or a snack. Don’t attempt a cooking project when they are tired or in need of some fresh air and physical activity.
- Let Go of Perfection:These cookies definitely won’t look like Martha made them, and that’s perfectly okay. Accept that some will be slightly misshapen, uneven, and perhaps missing a body part or two thanks to little nibbles that are sure to be taken from the finished products. Just have fun and don’t worry too much about how everything looks.
What is your favourite thing to bake with your toddler?