As soon as my daughter could sit on the counter, we began baking together. We bake for play dates, for neighbors, for my husband’s coworkers, and for ourselves. The value of baking with little ones extends far beyond the delicious end product.
Here are some reasons why we bake:
- Bonding: There’s nothing better than spending time together, away from distractions.
- Learning: I can’t think of another activity that incorporates as many teachable moments as baking. From refining motor skills to measuring and counting, baking teaches young kids so much. Even the most basic kitchen rules are fun when baking is involved – washing hands, cleaning up, and so on.
- Creativity: I love recipes where we can customize the ingredients. Muffins are a great treat that are easy to change up based on what we have in the pantry.
- Self Control: It takes a lot of discipline for a toddler to contain their excitement when all they probably want to do is throw flour in the air and eat the entire bag of chocolate chips. Learning to follow a recipe is a great opportunity to work on listening skills. Baking also provides an opportunity to learn about enjoying treats in moderation.
- Getting Adventurous: Enlisting my daughter’s help in preparing a new food almost guarantees she’ll eat and enjoy it. Baking is a multi-sensory experience that is so beneficial to kids.
- Culture: Some of my favorite childhood traditions centered in the kitchen. From smelling hot apple cider warming up in my mom’s kitchen to learning how to make my great-grandma’s ebelskiver recipe, there is something so comforting about sharing food with the people we love.
- Generosity: Baking for people we care about makes it even more worthwhile. Although we don’t have enough money to end world hunger, sharing what we can is a good step toward making the world a little brighter place.
Sometimes we just bake a simple box mix. Other times it’s an elaborate recipe from Pinterest, complete with homemade frosting and a garnish. Either way, the lessons are the same and the value of baking with little ones is immeasurable.