Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Wilton, but the story and pictures are all my own.
Growing Up in the Kitchen
Some of our fondest memories are centered around the sights, tastes and smells of the kitchen, especially around holidays. We all probably remember Mom or Grandma letting us lick the batter spoon, scrape the bowl, and perhaps measure out a cup of sugar. The kids are usually underneath our feet anyway when we are busy in the kitchen baking holiday treats. Why not turn holiday baking or any baking time into a special time with kids?
Create happy memories in the kitchen with children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Holidays are the best times to bake with kids. It helps turn creations from the kitchen into long-standing family traditions. Working, cooperating, and laughing together while cooking with kids helps us form strong and happy bonds with them.
Halloween Baking with the Kids
The next major holiday, Halloween, is just around the corner. Cupcakes are a great way to begin baking with kids. They use familiar ingredients and techniques like stirring, spooning and blending. We found cupcake kits from Wilton that make cupcake baking easy and lots of fun. They have tons of ideas to turn cupcakes into spooky treats from spiders and ghosts to brainy monsters, a blood-shot eye, mummy cupcakes, and graves with tombstones.
One of the best things about baking with kids is that along with those memories, we will be imparting some important basic and real life skills. Reading a recipe is a great way to practice reading comprehension, vocabulary, and sequencing skills.
When baking, kids learn how to measure in wholes and fractions and how to divide, all important basic math skills. Watching how heat affects ingredients and how solids and liquids interact are perfect for building curiosity and basic science skills.
Making decisions, organizing, and following through are important life skills that kids can learn while baking. And if things turn out badly, dealing with disappointment and learning from mistakes are character traits that kids will develop.
Baking with kids is also a great way to demonstrate and practice safety skills in the kitchen. Teach them to keep the handles of hot pots on the stove turned to the back. Teach young children not to use sharp knives. A plastic serrated one works fine with most baking projects. Talk about how to make sure cooking surfaces have cooled before touching them. Teach older children to never cook when an adult is not home.
Who Says Kids Don’t Belong in the Kitchen
Most of all, make sure that baking with kids is a positive experience. Assign tasks that are age appropriate, ones that they can be successful with. At age two or three, children can participate in pouring, stirring and decorating. At age five or so, children can use a rotary beater. At around age eight, they can operate electrical equipment like blenders and microwaves.
Be generous with praise when the goodies are done and ready to eat. Happy baking!