There’s a reason why we call it the most wonderful time of the year…holiday baking of course! Hmmm, so maybe that’s not the most exciting part for everyone, but you will be hard pressed to find a kiddo who doesn’t love home-baked holiday delights! Getting your kids involved in the kitchen is key in cultivating confidence with food and ingredients so they can sharpen their cooking skills as the grow. Holiday baking is such a fun way to start this important process (especially with young kiddos)! At the same time, you will be creating long lasting (and delicious!) holiday memories with your children. If this sounds like an intriguing holiday tradition to start, take a read through my top three tips to your kids involved in holiday baking:
- Let them choose what you will bake together!
Give your child the choice between two relatively simple holiday recipes (for your own sanity). We all know that it can be crazy around the holidays, so don’t be afraid to use baking mixes as short cut if your day turns out to be especially hectic! Giving your child the authority to choose what you bake together is a great way to nurture their growing need for independence and autonomy. Now that your child is the one to calling the shots on what’s going in the oven, it’s a lot more likely that they will be invested in its preparation process.
If you need some ideas on what to bake, take a look at these scrumptious 15 Holiday Baking Recipes !
- Deck your child with the right cooking and baking gear!
You do not need to go out and buy a bunch of stuff just so that your kids can bake with you, however there are a few things that can set them up for success when helping out in the kitchen. Keeping your child safe while baking with you is most important. When they are helping measure, pour or mix ingredients, consider their height to the counter. If they are too high up on a tall stool, or reaching up because they are too low to the ground, their control with spatulas, spoons and utensils will be compromised. This not only is frustrating for your little one, but it can also compromise their safety and balance while they are attempting to mix or pour ingredients. Try and aim for the counter to be at around belly button height. There are many toddler kitchen helper stools or towers on the market. This Kids Kitchen Helper Step Stool is an example of a height adjustable standing platform with handrails to improve stability.
My kids absolutely love getting dressed up as “Chef” when they help out in the kitchen. They simply slip on their tiny aprons and all the sudden they are transformed into professional bakers! They always remind me to put on mine on as well… Chef mommy needs to be present too of course. Why not add kid-sized aprons on the holiday shopping list this year? Playing “dress up” adds an extra layer of entertainment to your shared holiday baking experience (and a layer of material to keep your kiddos clean when batter splatters unavoidably happen!)
If you need some more information on age-appropriate tasks while holiday baking with your kiddo, check out My Top 3 Sanity-Saving Tips for Including Your Kids in The Kitchen (and a free printable!)
- Don’t hold back on the delicious decorations!
Decorating your baked masterpiece is certainly the most creative part about baking and possibly the most fun! Maybe your child is apprehensive or uninterested in baking, or is too little to safely help out with the process. If this is the case, decorating is a perfect activity to engage them in the holiday baking experience. Classic baked holiday goods that kids love to decorate are sugar cookies, gingerbread men, gingerbread houses, cupcakes, and cakes! However, you can decorate pretty much any baked good if you put your mind to it. It is easy to “holidify” regular brownie or cookie baking mixes by letting your kiddos add in red and green M&Ms, silver candy sprinkles or spread some white, red and green icing! Spreading frosting and pinching sprinkles over delicious cookies and cakes is a great way for your kiddos to practice their dexterity and fine motor skills. What a way to develop your child’s creativity and coordination at the same time! Of course, the best part of it all will be tasting their holiday masterpiece at the end (yum!)