Most parents may prefer to keep the kids in another part of the house when they’re preparing food, not only so that they can focus on the task but also to prevend accidents and the inevitable mess. But did you know that letting your child help you out in preparing food — specifically, baking — can actually be good for her?
How baking with your child benefits her
There have been lots of research that prove the benefits of baking with kids. For instance, one study published by the Cambridge University Press in 2014 found that involving kids in cooking actually helps increase their food awareness, consumption, and confidence.
Baking, which involves skills such as measurement, creativity, and knowing how to follow instructions, has several advantages for children. It not only allows them to use academic concepts in real life, but it also fosters different skills and values.
Baking allows kids to apply lessons they learn in school
Baking is a complicated process that involves plenty of science and math. From knowing how to measure the right amount of ingredients to be aware of how different types of flour can affect the pastry, baking can be an invaluable opportunity for them to see how the academic concepts they learn in school occur in real life. This activity may be especially helpful for kids who struggle to understand science and math lessons in the classroom.
Baking is an excellent opportunity to develop motor skills
Part of baking is manipulating dough, pouring ingredients, decorating pastries, and more — in other words, activities that require using the hands and eyes together. These simple procedures can also help build strength in your little one’s hands and arms.
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Baking teaches skills needed in daily life
During baking, it’s not just the academic skills that kids hone, but even skills that they will need in real life. These include following instructions and recipes, taking turns, communicating, and being organized. Plus, she gains a sense of accomplishment that will boost her confidence in her abilities.
Baking is a fun creative outlet
Perhaps one of the most fun parts of making baked treats is decorating, whether that includes cutting cookies into cute shapes, adding colorful icing, or adding piping. This, therefore, gives your child the opportunity to exercise her creativity and to bring to life the design of the pastry that she has in her head.
Baking is a relaxing bonding experience
Finally, baking can be a delightful way for you and your child to spend some quality time together. While working in the kitchen, you will have plenty of time just to chat and have a laugh with one another — and what could be better than that?
Baking activities for kids
Of course, you can’t expect your child to be able to do all the baking by herself. What you can do is to provide her with tasks that are appropriate for her age and that she will be able to do well by herself (but still with your supervision and guidance). You can also enroll her in a cooking or baking class for kids. Here are some you can use:
- Rolling dough
- Pouring and mixing ingredients
- Sifting flour
- Decorating (e.g., putting frosting and icing, applying piping)
- Cutting cookies
- Turning the pages of the cookbook
Have fun whipping up those treats!