September 7, 2013

Pat-a-cake: Five Reasons to Bake with Toddlers

Hello everyone,
We've had somber news in our parts this weekend that have made us sad for our family. So I thought I would simply post on something that happened earlier in the week.

I baked bread with my toddler.

I think it's really valuable to give your toddler real responsibilities. Remember the yogurt cake?  From time to time Claire and I make it.

We've also made the occasional cookies or muffins. But this week we went all out, yeast, kneading etc. And I have to say- yeast bread is the BEST to make with a toddler!

Think about it.. throwing flour on the counter, rubbing it around and repeating. Toddlers are the perfect sous-chef when it comes to this! And don't even get me started on the kneading (a.k.a. pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake). Claire was soo happy!

Then we had to let the bread rest. Claire was thrilled to cover it gently with a blanket (towel) and let it "sleep".  I tried to lure her away from poking it by saying she could watch tv to which she replied, "No TV... I bakin'!!"

Five Things to Consider (when baking with a toddler)

1. Perfection is not the end goal. Think flour everywhere. Expect it and then laugh at it.

2. Give your toddler real responsibilities. Let them stir. Let them hold the sugar bag etc.
3. Expect a mess. Remember their limitations and plan accordingly. You're making memories, not perfection.
4. Let the end product be an after snack treat. Nothing is as exciting for Claire as seeing "her" cake come out of the oven. We praise her and talk about it a lot.

5. Document your time together! Take pictures! These are such fun times. Messes and all!

Why should you bake with your toddler even though it's a huge mess and not as easy as baking alone?

Five Reasons to Bake with a Toddler

1. Baking with your toddler teaches them invaluable life skills. Simple skills like stirring (this was what we focused on with our first few cakes), holding measuring cups "over" the bowls,  dumping successfully into the bowls etc. Don't underestimate how important and proud your toddler will feel when they learn these tasks with you.
2. Baking with your toddler creates special memories. Toddlers like to feel included and involved. When they are given tasks to do they are distracted and feel productive and happy. This makes mommy happy too.
3. Toddlers are more likely to try different foods when they are a part of their production. I can't tell you how many times Claire has tasted entirely new foods simply because I let her help or watch as I chopped and cooked.
4. Baking with your toddler teaches them to... bake! People who make their own food tend to be healthier. Set your child up for success by letting them see the process that goes into making food.
5.  Baking with your toddler builds confidence. My toddler is so proud when we bake together. It's amazing to see her go from a little child to really feeling like she is contributing. I promise, it makes a difference to them.
She is sooo proud!

Happy baking friends!

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...