One of the many challenges of parenting is finding fun activities to keep your kids engaged. In the summer, it’s easy to spend afternoons at the park, but during the winter, you may be cooped up inside. If you’re short on ideas, Mr. Appliance® is here to help!
How about creating something in the kitchen together? There’s no better way to spend time with your kids on a cold and/or snowy day than baking a treat for the entire family to enjoy. This activity is affordable, teaches your kids an important life skill, develops math and reading abilities, and promotes bonding better than watching TV.
Still, there are some challenges to baking with kids. Here are some helpful tips to prevent your patience from wearing thin.
Let Your Kids Pick the Recipe
Children are more likely to be interested in baking with you if they choose the recipe themselves. For little kids, let them pick between two or three simple treats, such as:
- Pancakes, brownies, cupcakes, or muffins from a box (All you need to add is milk, oil, and eggs!)
- No-bake goodies for a finished product in less time
- Pudding or Jello mix
- Sugar cookies to incorporate decorating after you bake them
Direct older kids to your favorite cookbooks or websites and let them pick out a recipe from there.
Prepare to Bake with Your Kids
Start with a clean kitchen and spread out everything you’ll need on the counter. Read the recipe before you call the kids into the kitchen to get familiar with it. If your children are old enough, have them read each step out loud before you begin.
Find Age-Appropriate Tasks
Small children often do best with simplified tasks, such as:
- Adding pre-measured ingredients
- Helping you stir
- Spooning out portions of dough onto a cookie sheet
- Adding simple decorations to the finished product
Older children can be given more freedom and responsibility in the kitchen. For instance:
- Preheating the oven
- Running the mixer
- Measuring and adding ingredients
- Following the recipe with less help from you
- Trying advanced decorating techniques
Don’t Mind the Mess
When baking with kids, getting flour everywhere might be unavoidable—but so is having fun! Don’t let a little mess stress you out. If you’re worried about it, take some preventative steps:
- Cover the work area with a plastic tablecloth
- Keep a towel handy to wipe up spills right away
- Put all ingredients out of reach until it’s time to add each one
- Dress yourself and your child in an apron
Encourage Your Kids to Help Clean Up
Once the treat is in the oven, many children lose interest in cleaning up and putting things away. However, this is an important final step of baking with kids. If you struggle to get reluctant children to help you clean up the kitchen, use these tips from Molly Maid, a fellow Neighborly company.
If something goes wrong, don’t lose your temper over the wasted ingredients. Instead, think of the burned cookies or overflowing muffin pan as a learning experience. Talk to your kids about how to make the next batch better.
Schedule Kitchen Appliance Maintenance
Sure, not every baking idea for kids will end with perfectly crafted, delicious results, but rest assured that the time you spend in the kitchen with your kids never goes to waste!
If you need help maintaining or repairing your appliances so you can bake with your kids, let Mr. Appliance lend a hand. We make kitchen appliance maintenance easy, so you have more time to do what matters most—like bonding with your children. Contact us today to arrange the services you need.