The holiday season is here! The winter months are filled with opportunities for the family to gather around the table. With a little planning, they are also ideal opportunities for families to gather in the kitchen. Holiday baking may conjure up images of children being shooed away from cooling racks filled with fresh cookies or pies, but there are plenty of ways for kids to help out in the kitchen with holiday baking.
The trick to keeping kids in the kitchen (where they can learn, play, and bond with family and friends) is finding tasks that they can do on their own. Here are a few of our favorite age-appropriate baking activities to get kids involved and help them enjoy holiday baking this year!
Choosing a Recipe
Picking out a recipe together is a good way to include children and get them excited about the baking process. Take it a step further and can ask kids to help find all the ingredients for the chosen recipe in the kitchen or at the market.
Point out that the proportions in baking recipes are pretty important to the final product! Help kids understand this real-life value of math and measurements with a hands-on application.
Show a child how to use a hand sifter, and you’ve just introduced them to a fabulous new toy! Have younger kids sift flour and other dry ingredients together in a separate bowl or over a paper plate before combining with the rest of the recipe.
Breaking eggs can be messy and fun for kids of all ages! It’s also an opportunity to talk about the science of baking, and talk about all the parts of the egg: shell, membrane, yolk, and white.
Mixing Ingredients Together
If kids will be holding the bowl as they stir, be sure to use a plastic or metal one that will survive being dropped. You can also place a folded dishcloth on the table under the mixing bowl for added stability.
Show children how to use a rolling pin and dust the dough with flour. If dough needs to be a specific thickness for cookies or a pie crust, let young kids get the process started and then measure it together till it’s just right.
Using Cookie Cutters
Let kids choose their favorite cookie cutters and show them how to press the cutter into the rolled dough to make a cookie. Challenge them to cut as many cookies from the rolled-out dough as they can – this turns baking into a bit of a puzzle game.
Who doesn’t love sprinkling decorations? Spread wax paper or paper plates under the items to be decorated and you’ll catch any the excess sprinkles that don’t stick to your finished treats.
Get kids in the kitchen for the holidays and not only will you have fun, learning experiences together; you could start a new holiday tradition and give them the confidence to help out making meals every day of the year.
Ready to get started? Try our Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies!