Baking with Young Children Tip #4

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 #4: Utilize the measuring cups you aren’t using to entertain your little ones.

I don’t know what it is about those little measuring cups, but my kids are obsessed with them. I can’t open the drawer and take one out without having to give one to each of them. Of course, sometimes I have to negotiate with them so I also get to use the one I need. Which can get tricky, but the alternative is no measuring cup and that doesn’t usually go over well.

My toddler is easy. I put some chocolate chips into his measuring cup and he’s happy as a clam. We almost always bake after his morning snack and he doesn’t get any sweets as a rule before noon, so, on baking days, it’s like a little treat. He happily snacks on his chocolate and I get to stir in the flour without having to worry about a white cloud. He’s also always very enthusiastic when I say it’s time to bake…

My 1 year old is a little trickier. She always wants a measuring cup, too, and will whine until I give it to her. The easy part is she’ll take any of them. The hard part is putting her down with it. I’ve mastered baking while holding her, but sometimes it hurts when she decides she’d like to drum on me. Though, when I do get to put her down, she loves drumming on everything in the kitchen and then will wander away just in time for me to open the oven. And then I get to play hunt down the measuring cup. Oh well. At least she was entertained long enough.

I really don’t know why those cups are so popular with my kids, but it definitely helps make baking fun for them and they’re entertained long enough for me to do things like stir in the flour and open the oven.

11 Comments

  • leahalexanderlife

    Ah, the humble measuring cup. My son has to sit on the counter when we cook – he’s happy giving out instructions (he’s 2), but I’ll remember the measuring cup trick for next time!

    • kat

      So cute! My son likes to tell me what to do, too and it’s always fun when it makes no sense. I’m not sure what it is about measuring cups, but they work like a charm with my kids. Happy baking!

  • healthyhousewifesite

    I don’t know how you bake and hold a little one. I have yet to master that skill. Mine is still a ways off from one. I put him the walker while I cook and do the Mexican hat dance to avoid my feet getting run over. Next time I will hand him a measuring cup though and see if it occupies him enough to stay in one spot 😄

    • kat

      My daughter has always been incredibly attached and used to scream when I tried to put her down, so I learned to do everything while holding her. It wasn’t easy, but at least I can get things done, though dancing sounds like good exercise! Those measuring cups have been something like a lifesaver to me in the kitchen. I don’t know why, but they’re like magic to my kids! Maybe it’ll work for you, too!

    • kat

      It can be a little scary to bake with a toddler. I know I had some misgivings! But at least your daughter can play with her kitchen while you bake and learn to mimic you. My son started doing that earlier this year with his kitchen and it’s been kind of hilarious since he mixes the weirdest foods together and sticks them in the oven, saying he’s making brownies!

      • kat

        It’s cute and strange at the same time! My son uses a chair, but, if there’s enough room, he also sits on the counter. I’ve read a lot of other moms also have their little ones sit on the counter and one just did everything on the floor.

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