The Joy of Baking...With Kids?
Baking with kids is either a love it or hate it activity. I find that those that love it tend to be more laid back, take it as it comes, and can handle a little bit of chaos. Those who hate it either can't handle the mess, tend to lean more toward product oriented activities, or aren't a baker themselves and feel like recipes were made to be followed.
Baking with kids, while it can be an amazing learning experience, is nothing like the wonderful images documented in this post. It's messy, unhygienic, slightly chaotic, and FUN if you can relax enough to enjoy it. There is going to be broken eggs, spilled milk, and exploding flour all over the floor, but there is also going to be laughter, memories, and joy. Baking with kids CANNOT be product based. You need to focus on the experience rather than the end result. Most of the time, kids are relatively happy with their baking experiments, sometimes not so much! It doesn't matter how it turns out, only that you spent quality time together and maybe learned a little something.
I have always loved baking with kids. I worked in childcare for over ten years and would bake with the infants. The other educators would call me insane while I sat on the floor with a giant stock pot between my knees while I let the babies scoop and dump ingredients into the pot with wild abandon. There was absolutely no guessing how much of anything went into the pot and as long as it was the right consistency at the end and all the right ingredients ended up somewhere in the vicinity of the pot, it always turned out pretty well!
One of the graduates from this program baked with me today at the age of 5. I was dubbed the recipe reader and he was the baker. He managed to make the recipe below entirely unassisted (minus the eggs... that photo on Instagram was real!) with the support of the Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer! It might have had more than a splash of vanilla and the chocolate chips were definitely free poured but he was so incredibly proud of the end result and (my favourite part!) there was VERY LITTLE MESS!
This is the most amazing part - the more you bake with your kids, the better they become! They start learning valuable skills, they start to CLEAN UP after themselves, and the pride that they have in sharing what they have created is UNREAL.
So if you have never dared to bake with your kids, I challenge you, whip out the old mixing bowl and wooden spoon and give it a try. This is how memories are made!
If you are looking for an easy, delicious and kid approved recipe, check out this one below!