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 #5: Have fun!
Doing anything in the kitchen with small children can be difficult. There are small people getting underfoot, small people demanding attention and to be picked up, small people screaming if they don’t get to help, small people littering toys that you must navigate like a minefield, small people who decide the time when you absolutely must get something out of the oven is the best time to have the largest poop ever, small people who want to try to touch the oven while it’s on and open.
It’s stressful. It’s difficult. It can be downright annoying. It’s not easy baking, or even cooking, with small children around.
I know. I’ve been there. It wasn’t bad with one child, but adding another suddenly made it twice as hard. Two little ones demanding two different things. Two little ones to keep away from the oven. Two little ones who want to play with everything and grab all the chocolate when I’m trying to make chocolate chip cookies for them.
But! I remember they’re small. They’re young. They’re exploring. They’re learning. And I want learning to be fun. So I try to have fun. I play keep away games when it’s time to open the oven, or hide and seek where I count really slowly. I give them measuring cups to play with. I let my older child choose something we can add in, like chocolate chips, nuts, candy pieces, coconut flakes, etc. I let him mix and teach him to mix in the flour slowly. I use the stand mixer and get to watch their eyes turn into saucers as they watch it go around and around. I take my time baking. If it takes an hour to get it into the oven, it takes an hour.
It’s so important to just have fun. My kids love baking. Not only do they get a treat out of it and it occupies us for a morning, but they enjoy helping me add the ingredients, mixing, and learning how to bake. Baking isn’t a chore to me and I hope to pass that on to them. Baking is fun.
So, have fun while baking!