Baking is one of Little G and my favorite things to do together. Maybe you and your children enjoy it, too. Or maybe you’ve never tried it before. But if you have some extra flour and sugar left over from your holiday baking … and your kids have a few more days of winter break, too … then give it a try. Here are nine tips to help you along, especially if your kids measure in at three feet or shorter. 🙂
1.) Pick an easy recipe. Little G and I love this one for Orange Dark Chocolate Blossoms, which my Mom passed along to us. Nine ingredients—that’s what I’m talking about!
2.) Know that things might get messy—and that’s OK. As Harriet van Horne said, “Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
3.) Also know that everything will take longer: prep, cleanup, everything. That’s OK, too. P.S.: Don’t hurry to preheat the oven anytime soon.
4.) Enjoy your time together, you and your child. No need to rush through mixing the butter, flour, and sugar. Chat; laugh; steal a dark chocolate kiss or two from the ingredients list.
5.) At the same time, make sure your child doesn’t eat too many of the ingredients. (Yes, I speak from experience, friends!)
6.) Give your kiddo a job, maybe even a few jobs. For our Orange Dark Chocolate Blossoms, Little G’s main job is to unwrap the 40 dark chocolate kisses. She also likes to stir the dough using a wooden spoon, and roll the dough into circle-shaped cookies-to-be.
7.) Use this time together to teach—about kitchen safety, for example. “The oven is hot, Little G, so you need to stay right there while Mommy puts the cookies in.” Another worthy lesson: “Mommy’s mommy made these cookies every Christmas, and now we’re making them, too. We’re carrying on a family tradition. Those are important.”
8.) Baking with kids is a wonderful mommy-and-me activity, for any season. It encourages conversation. It teaches skills. And it makes your house smell homey.
9.) Most of all, baking with your kids creates memories. I’m no Cake Boss, but I love baking with Little G, and I’m excited for us to make cookies (and memories) with her little sister one day, too. Happy baking, friends.