Homeschooling often provides us with time with our kids that other parents envy. We’ve used that time to visit local parks, serve our church community, and often times, baking together. Besides being fun and yummy, baking with your kids can bring some decidedly positive results.
Pausing a difficult lesson for a muffin break. Packing cookies for a picnic. Capitalizing on a rainy afternoon to bake up something warm. You won’t regret a minute of it.
Being intentional in spending time with our kids will, I think, mean more to them than just about anything. When we set time aside, put our phone away, and focus just on them– we are showing them their value in a very tangible way.
Think of the best memories you have from childhood. For me, many of these were everyday activities spent with people who loved me. Making memories with your kids will strengthen your relationship. Not only in the here and now, but shared memories strengthen the bond you have for years to come.
- Tip: Keep a real or virtual ‘scrapbook’ of your baking adventures together.
Girls and boys tend to have different communication styles. Baking with your kids is an activity that leans into each of their strengths.
For boys, the side by side communication of being active doing something while you talk can help them open up. Try bringing up a topic of discussion as you both scoop cookie dough. Ask an interesting question while you frost or decorate.
Girls will open up just being one on one with you in the kitchen. Depending on your daughter, you may or may not even need to have some discussion starters on hand.
There was one summer that we had chocolate chip cookies at least once a week. My eldest son had learned to make them and made it his mission to keep us stocked. Since then, he hasn’t made them much, but he certainly has the skill down pat!
Learning to follow a recipe, becoming confident in safely tweaking recipes, and even knowing some recipes by heart are all important life skills. And it’s our job as parents to apprentice our kids in gaining the skills they need. Remember, skills are developed through lots of practice, not by doing them once.
- Tip: Schedule a once a week baking day with your child.
I know I can’t be the only one who only truly understands fractions because of baking.
Listen, I know that baking isn’t a math curriculum, but it is perhaps the best real life application of adding, subtracting, doubling, and halving fractions that I’ve found. So why not be intentional in passing this useful practice onto our kids?
How about giving them a simple recipe to make a double (or half) batch of? Maybe add your white sugar on top of the brown and seeing how much the two measures combined equal. Or combine your liquids into one large measuring cup to see what they total.
And here’s a list of some more fun recipes to try with your kids:
- Brown Sugar Cookies
- Chewy Cookie Bars (with 3 variations)
- Cinnamon Stick Cookies
- Gooey Rice Crispy Treats
- Frosted Shortbread Squares
- Freezer Friendly Scones
- Or try something savory with these easy Cheesy Chicken Roll-Ups
I think baking (and cooking) is so important with kids! When they were young my husband I had monthly cooking dates with them.. we would pair up and cook an entire meal together. It was a great bonding experience and they learned a lot. Last year we did a whole culinary unit study (https://templeofnoticeandwonder.blogspot.com/2017/02/culinary-unit-study.html) and they became really accomplished chefs! Now they can make dinner themselves, do the dishes and plan a menu!
My middle son is going crazy making cupcakes of all kinds and has really gotten quite good at experimenting with flavors and following recipes. I love watching him bake up a storm! It’s been great bringing my boys into the kitchen.
I have made homemade bread all of my married life (over 29 years). I loved it when my college son asked one summer to learn how so he could provide the bread in his apartment the next year. His wife now appreciates those lessons!