What a mess- but what fun! Baking with the kids- yes or no?
Three Reasons Why you Should Bake with your Children
Do you ever allow your kids into the kitchen when you’re baking a cake? If the answer is no, why not? I have so many fond memories of rainy Saturday afternoons baking cakes with my mum, and know that much of my passion for baking comes directly from her. Baking with children can be a wonderful way to spend good quality time together, and that’s just one reason why we think you
should be doing it. Here are three more reasons…
It’s good fun
Ok, so kids+flour+eggs= mess BUT hear me out for a moment! Kids learn best when they’re having fun, and baking cakes really can be great entertainment! It might be tempting to mix the bowl for them, or to hover over their shoulders with a cloth, but trust me there really is no point.The best bit about the mess they make is that they can help you to clear up!
A recent survey of school aged children found that almost 80% said that baking cakes with their parents was good fun, and almost half wished that they could do it more. So what are you waiting for?
It’s not all mess either, because baking can actually help children with basic numeracy and communication skills too. Weighing ingredients, reading recipes and flexing their gross motor skills all come into play when they’re baking a cake- so we say, let them! Here are our three top tips for containing the mess, if it really bothers you:
- Set a few ground rules. The best one being, you make the mess, you tidy it up. Ok, so the kitchen might not be as clean as you would leave it as a result, but you’d be teaching the kids valuable lessons about responsibility
- Make sure you encourage good hygiene. Its so important to wash hands before you bake!
- Help them to weigh out ingredients so that the only real mess comes with the mixing and pouring.
It feeds their inner curiosity
Baking is, essentially, a scientific experiment. And for children, it can be quite amazing to see what happens when you mix one ingredient with another. It can be wonderful to see their faces as they realise what it happening to egg whites and sugar as they’re whisked. And it can be such a delight to witness their joy at tasting their own creations too. So use your baking time as a chance to encourage lots of questions, and lots of experimentation too.
Our three top tips for encouraging creativity in the kitchen:
- Make it a game. Instead of making a well for eggs when you’re making batter, turn it into a volcano. Instead of whisking cake mix, make it a race to see who can get the smoothest consistency first. Let them have fun!
- Encourage lots of tasting. Let your child see what happens when ingredients are mixed, and let them learn which flavours work well together.
- Conduct a few scientific experiments just for the fun of it. Make some bread from scratch and learn about the wonders of yeast. Mix colours with jelly. Make a baked alaska and talk about how on earth the ice cream doesn’t melt!
It creates a passion for food whilst developing crucial skills
Let’s face it, one day our kids are going to leave home. And you’re probably going to feel a lot better about it if they do so with a few life skills under their belt. And since eating food is one necessity we all need in order to stay alive, teaching your child to cook is always going to be a good skill to pass on. Lots of kids who bake with their parents at home develop a real love for food, and for cooking, and many go on to develop their skills even further.
Baking with your kids not only means they will know their way around a kitchen, but it actually helps them with many other skills too:
- Reading and comprehension: reading recipes and understanding instructions
- Weighing and measuring, and working out different types of measurements
- Changes of state as ingredients react in different ways when heat is applied
- Real world maths: fractions as the cake is cut up etc
- Organisation skills: buying the ingredients, planning the recipe and baking the cake
So, now tell me why you don’t want to bake with your kids?
Check out our cake club for some recipes to bake with your kids.