While baking with kids can be messy, there are a lot of benefits to breaking out your favorite cookie dough recipe and bringing your children into the kitchen with you.
In fact, baking is an excellent way to stimulate your child’s physical, intellectual, and mental development – and it’s also fun to spend some quality time with your little ones and make something delicious.
Here are five reasons to call your kids into the kitchen the next time you decide to bake.
1. Practical Math Skills
Baking is all about math, whether you’re making a loaf of gluten-free bread or a birthday cake. When kids start baking, they learn about units of measurement and their practical application in the real world.
To get their brains working next time you spend some time with your kids in the kitchen, ask them questions like: If we use one egg instead of two, do you think we should use more or less flour?” Or “How should we measure fluid ounces and pounds?”
Baking is also an excellent way to teach older kids about relative comparison – for instance, the volume of a cup of oats vs. a cup of butter.
When you try baking with your kids, you’ll be surprised by just how much math it requires! And even better, the correct equations result in a sweet payoff.
2. Reading and Comprehension
For a child to make a batch of cupcakes or cookies, they’ll need to be able to comprehend the recipe and follow the instructions step-by-step.
In fact, baking requires intellectual and physical skills to produce something yummy – whether it’s measuring and adding ingredients, combining them by folding or whisking, and baking the raw materials for the right amount of time at the right temperature. Even decorating the finished products with icing requires hand-eye coordination and concentration.
3. Science Skills
Putting on an apron and getting in the kitchen is a great way for children to learn and experiment with scientific reactions.
The results of the final product will speak for themselves if someone used too little flour, too much baking powder, left the cake in the oven for too long, or forgot to add the eggs – which creates a valuable learning opportunity for children to try and understand where they went wrong and how to fix it.
4. Life Skills
Baking and cooking food are essential life skills that will help your children become more independent – and it’s never too early to start learning in the kitchen!
As your children get older, being able to handle food preparation and being comfortable in the kitchen is extremely helpful – not only will they be able to feed themselves, but they’ll also become more confident and resilient and have higher self-esteem.
5. Communication Skills
The environment is naturally conducive to conversations when you spend quality time in the kitchen with your kids. Take the opportunity to ask your child about everything – encourage them to express their views and nudge them to open up about any problems that have arisen in their lives in a relaxed, non-judgmental environment.
Spending time in the kitchen is a perfect opportunity to talk to and bond with your child and help them grow into well-rounded adults who can express their emotions.