Baking me crazy!
In the years since having kids, I have had to adjust my baking strategies to include some out-of-the-box ideas to keep the kiddos entertained and not get too overzealous about our baking adventures! Here are my tried and true strategies to keep my sanity and not loose my biscuits over some spilled flour - bahaha, see what I did there - classic mom joke!
How to have amore chill experience baking with kids - Expert edition
OK, so we bake with the kids a lot – and I’ve managed to learn some tricks to help them have fun, and keep me sane, so here you go - please know that this works only about 50% of the time, the other 50% I am left in the kitchen to fend for myself, with half naked children running in 4 different directions pretending to be cheetahs or bears, already asking for snack #34456677 - having exploded the flour, dropped and egg and me already having lost my ever loving crap.... bless.
Step 1 – PREP PREP PREP –
I know that the kids have a hard time with sharing tasks and learning to be patient. So I break out the steps for each kid, and usually, I give them each 1 job as part of the baking experience, and also age-appropriate (even though the baby wants to do all.the.things!) So for instance, I set out the ingredients in order and in separate bowls for each kiddo to help with. Flour, sugar, eggs, oats, applesauce, chocolate chips, whatever we are making. If all 4 are helping, then I let the big kids do the heavy lifting, and the littles do smaller jobs, but usually, only 2 or 3 kids help at one time. It may not be overly fancy, but it keeps me sane, and helps them avoid meltdowns when they feel they are being slighted in any way by their siblings for any un-even sharing or job duties, and trust me, I have tried lots of different ways and this works.
STEP 2 – Color code the baking utensils –
I have a lot of baking stuff, random cups, bowls, etc. So I try to give each kiddo the same color utensils so that they visually have a cue to see what their jobs are. I try to keep the colors consistent so that they always know their jobs. STEP 3 – Make it fun! Put some music on, use fun add-ins – they can choose if they want oats, coconuts, chocolate chips, m&m’s, all that good stuff! This is a way for them to experiment and have fun, and try stuff they might not usually like. I also love adding in dried fruits, bananas, cranberries, blueberries, they think its so fun to see all the dried fruits!
Step 4 - Enjoy!
PS - if you want to try this recipe, we used this one - My food and Family Chocolate Chip recipe. Have fun and don't worry about the spilled milk, or eggs, or flour, trust me I know it is hard to do - I will promise you I have yet to come out of a baking sesh with my kids going oh wow that was exactly what I planned it to be... but the best part of being able to bake together, is just being present and together! With so many things happening in the world, the chance to connect and be with your littles is such a privilege - and I will always be here for that, mess and all!