Let's Get Baking! 🍰
We’ve just been chatting about fun activities for moms and dads to do with the Sparkle Squad, and we all agree that ‘baking’ should be right up there at the top of the list! Not only is it a great way to spend time with the kids, but it also helps them with a whole heap of skills. Best of all, they won’t even realize they’re learning…and everyone gets a yummy treat at the end! 🧁
Here are some of our thoughts on how to get the most out of baking with the Sparkle Squad, making sure everyone has lots of fun and the kids get some tutoring at the same time!
Decision Time 🛒
Ask the kids to look through some recipes and decide what they’d like to bake. If you’re torn between a few things, have a fun vote! Write a shopping list together, gather the ingredients and get ready to bake!
Weigh, Measure and Count ⚖️
As you measure out all the ingredients together, speak about how light the flour is, or how much heavier butter is than sugar, and so on. There are lots of chances to count as you cook too! For example, get the kids to count down as the 3 cups of flour or 2 teaspoons of baking soda go into the bowl.
Follow the Instructions 📒
Read the recipe through together, following each stage carefully. Show the Squad how to follow step-by-step instructions, and practice their reading at the same time!
Talk Time ⏱
Baking gives you a great opportunity to talk about time and use clocks to set timers. For instance, keep track of how many minutes you need to whisk the batter for, or how long the muffins need in the oven. Or even how many minutes the Squad need to wait for their cookies to cool down before trying them… this is also a fantastic lesson in patience!
Practice Motor Skills 🥣
While the kids are having fun mixing, measuring, rolling, spreading and chopping, they’ll be developing their all-important motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination at the same time! Be prepared for a messy kitchen AND messy kids at the end of the session, but try to be cool with that – everything and everyone will wipe clean!
Get Creative 🍰
Encourage the kids to decorate their bakes. Fill a ‘baking box’ with a fun selection of icing, sprinkles, mallows, chocolate and sweets that they can use. Perhaps suggest a theme, depending on the time of year, such as Christmas Thanksgiving. Halloween or a birthday surprise! Or they might want to decorate their goodies inspired by one of their favorite brands or shows, like Strawberry Shortcake!
It’s great fun to try out different recipes. This will encourage the Squad to be adventurous eaters, as they’ll hopefully want to try everything they bake! Experiment with both sweet and savory baking, and perhaps use different fruits and flavors to introduce the kids to new tastes. And make sure they know it’s not a problem if a recipe doesn’t work out or they don’t enjoy a flavor, it’s all great experience!
Charity Bake Sale 🎗
After all this practice, how about baking to raise money for a good cause?! Choose a charity and have fun cooking up your favorite bakes together. Invite friends and family round to enjoy them, asking for a small entry fee or donation for each yummy treat! The kids could even design some invitations, giving all the details and saying which charity the tea party bake sale is supporting.
So have tons of fun together while you fill your homes with delicious, sweet-smelling baking! But remember to teach safety too – perhaps get a set of kids’ chef knives and of course teach care around heat. Give lots of praise to the Sparkle Squad as they start to learn this life-long skill… let’s encourage those budding chefs and make memories in the kitchen that they’ll keep for life!
Watch Ellie Sparkles, Jimmy and Coach Rocco practicing their baking skills in the latest episode...