Baking with Young Children Tip #2

In lieu of a daily question on Fridays this month, I’ll be giving a baking with young children tip. I’ve switched up Fridays this month to highlight dads, but I can’t bring myself to forego food entirely.

Baking tip #2: Practice counting by using the smallest measuring up and counting each one. For two cups of flour, use a quarter cup measure and count to 8.

I know the rule to baking is to use exact measurements, so this might sound weird and perhaps you don’t even want to try it and risk the end result. However, I have been baking since I was a small child and neither my mom nor I have ever perfectly measured the dry ingredients. I have never leveled off the measuring cups and have never had a problem. People usually rave about my baked goods.

So, I don’t have a problem with using different measuring cups. Besides, my son likes to claim the biggest one, often leaving me to use the half and quarter cup measures.

He wants to make me use the quarter measuring cup to measure out 2 cups? No problem. I’ll make him help me count. However many quarter cups go into what needs to be measured out is the number he needs to count to. I get my dry ingredients measured and he gets to practice counting. Win-win.

Though if your child doesn’t want to count, I use a musician trick to counting. I play the harp and sometimes have had agonizingly long pauses before I play again. No joke, I once had to count a 30-something measure rest.

For the first measure (first cup), count 1 2 3 4 (if using a quarter cup measure; 1 2 if you’re using a half cup).

For the second measure (second cup), count 2 2 3 4 (if using a quarter up measure; 2 2 if you’re using a half cup).

The idea is that the first number is the number of the measure (or cup, in this case). That way you know how many measures (or cups) you’ve counted.

Though it’s easier if your child is agreeable and does the counting for you.

Happy baking!

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