Baking, Children, Parenting, Parents

Baking with Kiddos

I’ve written before about how much I enjoy baking with my kids.  It’s such a great activity for us to do together – perfect for days when we can’t get outdoors for one reason or another.  Yesterday was one of those days.  I’ve had a nasty cold since Saturday and it seems quite content to hang out with me for the time being.  It comes with the added bonus of a hoarse voice and sore throat, meaning that doing other quiet activities, like reading stories to Joe and Jack, are out.

But baking?  Baking is totally in.

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My little mad scientist!

I love to bake with the boys for a variety of reasons.  For starters, it fascinates them.  Adding different ingredients into a bowl, stirring them, measuring things… it keeps them focused and tuned in to the moment.  They learn about hygiene and food safety (“We need to wash hands before handling ingredients”, “We don’t cough into the bowl!”, “We can’t lick raw eggs!”… oh my!).  For another, it’s a great way to teach them things.  Things like counting, listening to instructions, taking turns (“It’s Jack’s turn to stir… now it’s Mommy’s turn.”), and patience.  Patience in waiting for whatever we made to bake, to cool, and then waiting for afternoon snack time or after-dinner dessert.

It’s also such fun for me as a mother to see my sweet boys interacting and enjoying themselves.

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Licking up some spilled ingredients and observing their reflections in the metal bowl!

As you can probably guess from the photo above, I make sure that our baking projects are for the family only – we are very hands on and it’s not uncommon for Jack or Joe to randomly decide to stick their entire hand into the bowl.  Or sneeze.  Definitely don’t want to share those germs with anyone else!  I’ve also started allowing Joe to crack the eggs.  This sometimes means that I have to take the bowl scraper and scoop the egg into a saucer, fish out the egg shells, and then put it into the batter all while saying, “Don’t worry – it’s still good!” :-p

I’ve learned some things, too, such as how little of a deal it is to clean up a mess in the kitchen.  I used to be worried about flour getting everywhere, batter spilling, and so on and so forth.  I certainly don’t let the boys toss sugar around the room or intentionally waste ingredients, but I no longer sweat the small stuff.  Like an entire egg ending up on the floor.

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That little accident happened during the roughly 15 seconds it took me to carry the bowl of batter from one counter to another.  Jack apparently really, really wanted to crack an egg!  I’m surprised he didn’t drop the entire carton, honestly.  And no, my floor isn’t dirty.  That’s the state of our oh-so-lovely vinyl.  Yet another reason why I don’t care too much about scuffs or spills on the kitchen floor!  And that rug?  It’s reversible and machine washable and I am so glad that I made the decision to buy a rug like that.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve just picked the whole thing up and shoved it in the washer!

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Thankful for oven locks – this one by Munchkin is my favorite(and the only one Joe can’t figure out)!

Last but not least, it teaches them to take pride in their accomplishments.  I can’t communicate to you how happy and proud Joe is when I tell his daddy, “Guess what – Joe helped make these brownies!  Aren’t they delicious?  Didn’t he do such a wonderful job?”  Joe listens and quietly beams, waiting for his father to praise him, which Chris immediately does.  We praise Jack, too, but he’s more interested in cramming brownie in his mouth!

I’m thankful for my boys, for my kitchen, for ingredients with which to make fun treats like brownies, and for moments such as this 🙂

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