Recipes

Holiday Baking With Kids: Keeping the Kitchen Organized and Fun

The holiday season is in full swing, which means kids across the country are heading for winter break. If you want to keep your kids engaged while the weather outside is “frightful,” baking holiday treats is a wonderful way to do it! Baking lets you spend time with your children while also teaching them important life skills. As a bonus, your efforts will be rewarded with tasty treats!

Cooking with kids can be a ton of fun but also somewhat chaotic, especially if you have younger children. To make sure your baking adventures go off without a hitch, take some time to prepare and organize for the activity. A little forethought will ensure that your kids get the most out of the experience. (It will also prevent your kitchen from becoming a disaster zone.)

In this article, we’ll help you prepare your kitchen for a wonderful day of baking with your little ones.

The Benefits of Baking with Kids

It Works for Every Age

Even the youngest children can participate in baking by cracking eggs, whisking batter, and rolling cookie dough. Older children can take on more responsibilities by choosing recipes, making grocery lists, and using the stove and oven (with appropriate supervision). Tweens and teens can get into the groove of baking by letting their decorating creativity shine.

It Teaches Math Skills

Baking is a wonderful way for children to use their math skills in the real world. Encourage your children to weigh, measure, and count ingredients. Help them understand why using too much or too little of an ingredient can mess up the recipe.

It Teaches Important Life Skills

You might think that you’re just making cookies, but you’re actually teaching your kid handy life skills. Baking requires focus and patience. Children learn the importance of reading, interpreting, and following instructions. Even baking mistakes can be an opportunity to figure out what went wrong.

You Get To Spend Time With Your Children

It may sound cliche, but it’s true that children grow up fast. During the hectic holidays, it can be difficult to spend quality time with your children. Baking allows you to catch up with your children, share stories, and simply be a part of your children’s lives.

Preparing for Baking With Your Kids

The best baking adventures center on good preparation. Here’s everything you need to do to get your kitchen organized and ready for baking up a storm.

1.  Choose Your Recipe

It might sound fun to bake from inspiration, but it’s usually best to work from a recipe, especially if your children are just learning to bake. Consider letting your kids pick a recipe to gain more ownership of the activity. (We list some of our favorites below.)

If your kids are working on reading and writing, encourage them to copy the recipe on a sheet of paper.

2.  Inventory Your Ingredients and Supplies

Using the recipe, work with your children to create a list of all the necessary ingredients and supplies. Making a list is a great way to help your children learn about good project preparation. Next, inventory your kitchen and pantry to see what you have and what you’ll need to buy.

3.  Buy Needed Ingredients and Supplies

If you don’t have all the ingredients and supplies, ask your kids to create a shopping list. Head to the grocery store and pick up everything you need. Let older kids take the lead on finding the ingredients and baking supplies.

4.  Set Out Everything You Need

Once you have all your supplies, it’s time to prepare your kitchen. Start by defining your workspace. You may need to clear off countertops, a kitchen island, or a table to create a clutter-free kitchen.

Next, set out all your supplies, including bowls, spoons, measuring cups, a food scale, etc. Set out all your ingredients and make sure everything is visible. A good setup will make baking faster, easier, and more fun.

5.  Keep Things Clean

Baking can get messy, especially with little ones. You can help protect your kitchen by placing a tablecloth over your workspace and putting aprons over your clothes.

6.  Stay Safe

No one wants a fun baking activity to end with an injury. Here are some ways to ensure everyone stays safe:

  • Make sure your kids are wearing shoes so that a dropped spoon or bowl doesn’t land on vulnerable toes.
  • Use plastic children’s knives if you need to cut ingredients.
  • Pull back long hair.
  • Make sure ovens and stoves are locked until they’re ready to be used.
  • Wear oven gloves.
  • Remind your children about stove and oven safety before the baking begins.

Our Five Favorite Holiday Baking Recipes for Kids

Now that you’re prepared to bake with your children, it’s time to pick a recipe that engages them and fits their abilities. Below are five excellent holiday recipes from the Food Network that we love.

Holiday Monster Cookies

Cookies are an all-around favorite holiday treat and are a wonderful option for younger bakers. Little kids can combine ingredients, mix batter, and roll out cookie dough onto sheets. This recipe is filled with extra goodies, including white chocolate chips, salty pretzels, and peppermint chunks. Get the recipe.

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths

Does your child need to bring a treat to a holiday party? These crunchy Cornflake Christmas Wreaths will stand out on the snack table, and they taste great! They’re also lots of fun to make and appropriate for younger kids. Get the recipe.

Gelt Peanut Butter Blossoms

If you and your family celebrate Hanukkah, try this treat that puts a tasty spin on the chocolate gelt coin. The cookie itself offers peanut butter goodness, while the coin gives the treat a yummy chocolate center. Get the recipe.

Reindeer Brownies

Silly, fun, and magically delicious, these reindeer brownies are always a hit. Kids of all ages will love decorating these brownies to look like Rudolf (or Dasher, Dancer, Donner, or Vixen). They’ll enjoy biting into the chocolaty goodness even more! Get the recipe.

Christmas Tree Cheesecake Pops

Save this recipe for older kids who won’t mind waiting six hours for the cheesecake pops to freeze before decorating. What makes this recipe so fun is that kids can let their creativity shine. Provide lots of decorating materials like sprinkles, icing, and nonpareils, and see where your children’s imagination leads them! Get the recipe.

Making Holiday Memories

As soon as your holiday treats are cooling on the counter, it’s time to tidy up! Washing mixing bowls, sweeping floors, and putting back left-over ingredients will teach your children to clean up after themselves (something every good baker needs to know).

Once the kitchen is back in order, the treats should be ready to taste. The best part of baking is enjoying the fruits of your labor together.

The holidays can be incredibly hectic, but it’s important to carve out time to spend with your children. Baking together is a wonderful way to create magical holiday memories that your children will remember forever!

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