Baking with kids is not something all parents try. They say it’s messy and that they don’t have time to be wasting in the kitchen at the weekend. Well sure, kids do baking at school, but it’s not the same as spending time in the kitchen with mum or dad. Baking is fun, especially if you make use of online baking bingo games, so why not give it a go?
There are lots of great benefits to baking with kids. Younger children enjoy doing ‘hands-on’ creative things. It’s why children like to play with playdough, do potato prints, and splash paint around on large sheets of paper. There is something very cathartic about using our hands to create nice things. It’s also fun to watch, which is why The Great British Bake-Off has proven to be such a massive success. But to make baking with kids as successful as TGBBO, you need to be prepared.
Baking can’t be rushed. This is not something to squeeze into a half hour session between CBeebies and bath time. You can try, but it will probably end in tears because both of you rush and make a mess. Instead, plan a baking session for an afternoon or weekend when you have all the time in the world and the dog doesn’t need a walk or the ironing pile isn’t growing legs.
Prepare for Mess
Prepare for mess. Mess is part and parcel of baking. Sifted flour has a habit of coating every surface and butter gets everywhere. You have to be prepared to cope with mess in your kitchen and be willing to do all of the tidying up after you finish).
One way to prevent the mess from migrating is to cover the floor with a plastic sheet. It won’t help you if the dog comes in and paddles it all over the house, but at least you can avoid sticky sugar everywhere. You might also want to invest in cute aprons for everyone, to protect clothing and avoid multiple garment changes mid baking.
Choose a Suitable Recipe
Don’t be too ambitious when baking with kids. Most kids are happy to make buns or biscuits, and then decorate them. You don’t need to start creating wonderful cakes or cheesecakes, although you can certainly progress to this type of baking once you have covered the basics. Pick age appropriate recipes and progress through different techniques.
Have a Chat about Food Hygiene
It is important to make your kids aware of basic food hygiene. Kids must always wash their hands before they do anything. They also need to tie their hair back and avoid eating or touching raw foods.
Make Baking Fun
Encourage kids to have fun by being relaxed about the mess and not expecting the results to be perfect. It’s OK to create a few flat cakes or rock-hard biscuits. The more your kids have a go, the better they will get at baking.
The skills you teach your kids now will last them a lifetime. Baking also gives you plenty of opportunities to create hand-made gifts for Christmas and birthdays.