I've asked around, and there are definitely two camps: cooks and bakers. Cooks love being able to innovate and interpret recipes to create their own dishes. Bakers, on the other hand, find comfort in the exact measurements and science of a recipe.
Me? I'm a baker, and I have my mom to thank for that.
Some of my fondest childhood memories were those with me, my mom, my grandma, and a handful of aunts in the kitchen, baking goodies for our annual holiday gift delivery to our friends and neighbors. We'd bake hundreds of cookies, mini cakes, pans of fudge, and dozens of cupcakes and then package them up in cute boxes to bring a little joy to those we love. It was those cold, wintry nights being warmed by the oven that influenced my love of baking to this day.
If you feel the same and want your kids to follow in your pastry-perfecting footsteps (hey, don't forget — baking develops fine motor skills and helps them with word recognition and math!), check out these tried-and-true tips, straight from confection-loving moms.
Make Playtime Baking Time
Let your kids experiment with baking without the heat! This is a fun and safe way for your kids to get into the groove of baking and makes craft time fun for both parent and child. Set up a fake baking station with flour (or store-purchased mixes), water, mixing bowls, and dry ingredients like dried fruit, raisins, and oatmeal. Add a mini muffin tin to the scene, and let your future baker mix up some unique creations.
Practice the Craft
Spring for child-safe cooking utensils (or plastic replicas), and let your child cut and chop ingredients when baking together. Or use a plastic melon baller, and let them scoop out mini-size cookies from the dough to bake. This is great for fine motor skills!
Take Charge of Ingredients
Give your child a job they can own and be proud of. For example, have your child be in charge of the measuring or being the "official" sprinkle master or frosting decorator. It's a great way to get your kids on board with helping out and to focus their efforts on one element of the process so you can get the job done.
If you want to create edible gifts like my mom, have your little ones be in charge of choosing which cookie combinations each person gets, wrapping them up with a bow, or filling out the label. Not only will they take ownership of the results, but they'll also get to practice their writing, too!
Enjoy Your Creations, Together
Once cleanup is done, make sure to take a moment and share the first bite together. Ask what your child liked most about the process and which flavor is his or her favorite and why. Taking time to reflect on the process and enjoying the fruits of your labor will bring the whole experience full circle. Life is all about enjoying the moment with those you love, and baking together is a great way to learn, be creative, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
More from Pillsbury
Make your next baking memory with Pillsbury Purely Simple™ Mixes. Simple ingredients,
no preservatives, and a simple way to create delicious treats with the homemade taste you love.