With summer vacation here already, are you looking for something to do with your little ones? Especially on a rainy summer day when you can’t get outside? These recipes to bake with kids are great starter recipes and are easy to make even for little hands.
We started teaching our kids to bake and cook at young ages. We believe that kitchen skills are very important skills to learn and starting kids at a young age gives kids the confidence to cook for themselves when they are older.
These tips and tricks can help get you started in the kitchen with your little ones.
When it comes to teaching kids in the kitchen, patience is needed by both parents and kids. Baking is a science and it takes time to prepare and bake. Waiting for the oven timer can be the hardest part of baking.
My kids started in the kitchen when they were around 3 years old. It took a lot of patience because, for one, 3-year-olds have a lot of questions. They question everything and sometimes we don’t know the answer. Be prepared for these types of questions.
Reading through the recipe with your kids before starting the recipe gives you an idea of what to expect. I have always made the recipe myself before introducing it to our kids, just to make sure the recipe turns out. Until our kids were older and had experience in the kitchen, we always stuck with recipes we had made before.
Safety Is Important
Baking is a lot of fun, but safety is a very important lesson to teach them. Teaching your kids the basic rules of the kitchen can avoid burns and cuts.
Having a designated workstation that is clear of clutter is a good idea. And having a stool that is sturdy for a child to stand on helps. We like these from Amazon.
If your child is wearing an apron, make sure the strings are not too long. You don’t want to get them caught in anything, especially in something like an electric mixer.
Keep It Simple
The first and even the second and third recipes you decide to make with your child should be simple and easy to make.
Kids have a short attention span so quick and easy recipes are best to start with. Cookies and muffin recipes are usually the easiest to teach kids and they are treats kids like to eat. Chocolate Chip Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins were the first recipes I taught our children.
Cut-out cookies are also a big hit with kids. Our Vanilla Almond Sugar cookies are still a favourite with our kids. They love to cut out all kinds of shapes and decorate the cookies afterward. Cut-outs are perfect for any time of year and we have stocked up on cookie cutters of all shapes and sizes.
Having everything ready to go when you start is key. Have your child help you gather all the ingredients and line them up on the work surface in order of use. This way everything is ready to go.
Do this with utensils and tools as well. Check the recipe to see what size measuring cups you’ll need and take out only the sizes necessary to avoid questions about why some sizes weren’t used.
Also, it’s a good idea to have a kitchen towel or hand towel ready for spills or wiping hands.
Bake and Share
The best part of baking is sharing afterward. Our kids always enjoyed baking cookies or cupcakes before going to a friend’s house. They loved showing off what they baked.
When it comes to birthday cakes, there have been years when our kids have baked their own birthday cakes with our help and then decorated it themselves. They loved doing this and were very proud of the work they put into their cakes.
Celebrate with Praise
Celebrate your child’s accomplishment with lots of praise. They are learning and although the finished product may be the furthest from expected, it’s important to praise them on completing the task.
I’m all for clean as you go, but when you’re teaching a child to bake for the first time, clean up can wait til the end. Have fun and leave the cleaning for last, unless it’s a hazard like spilled liquid on the floor.
Make a game of cleaning up with the little ones. Always include them in the cleanup since it teaches them responsibility along with kitchen skills. Have them rinse measuring cups and utensils or have them help load the dishwasher.