Written By: Samantha Walter-Cano for Kaitlyn McCarty
With the holiday season in full swing, what’s better than enjoying fresh baked goods with your family? Making them yourself! Baking during the holiday season can be the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your family. It will become an activity you and your kids will enjoy every year!
Kids and Baking
Baking isn’t just a fun activity for kids; it can also be a teaching tool. Baking and Cooking with children have shown significant benefits for both your child and you! The most apparent benefit of baking with children is increasing language development. By reading ingredients and instructions, kids can learn new words and what actions go with them. For example, if the recipe calls for dough rolling, children can learn what dough rolling is and the importance of that action when baking. Following a recipe can also teach children how to follow directions and how not doing so affects the result. Another significant benefit of baking together is that it can improve motor skills. Fine motor skills like spreading toppings and sprinkling spices are needed when cooking, and holiday baking is the perfect opportunity to help children improve their fine motor skills. Rolling, squeezing, cutting, and flipping is ways your child can get physical during baking and improve hand-eye coordination.
Other benefits include:
- Making memories they’ll remember for years to come
- Stimulating their focus and attention
- Improving life skills
- Learning about a healthier lifestyle
- Boosting their self-esteem and confidence
Baking Recipes to Try at Home
Choosing the right recipe to use with your family can be tricky. Start with simple and easy recipes to teach children how to incorporate ingredients. After learning this, they are ready to attempt the famous family recipe!
Three-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
These delicious and easy cookies are the perfect thing to make for first-time bakers. Although there are only three ingredients, you can spice up these cookies with your own ingredients! Children may want to add items such as chocolate chips. After learning this recipe, your kids will be ready for the big stuff in no time!
Recipe by: Francie, Allrecipes
- 1 cup of Peanut Butter
- 1 cup of white sugar
- 1 egg
* Makes 1 dozen
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees C). Have your child line the baking sheets with parchment paper. Teach them why this step is essential.
- Mix peanut butter, white sugar, and egg in a medium bowl until smooth. Encourage your child to roll the mixture into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on an ungreased baking sheet. You will want to flatten each with a fork, making a unique crisscross pattern.
- Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are barely brown on the bottoms, about 6 to 8 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets briefly before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.
What’s better than making your own scones? This simple recipe allows for the endless additions you and your family may want to make. You can customize this recipe by folding fruit, chocolate, or even berries into the dough!
Recipe by: Donna, Allrecipes
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
- ½ cup white sugar
- 5 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup butter
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
*Makes 8 scones
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees C). Have your child Lightly grease a baking sheet.
- Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl; cut in butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Whisk the milk and egg in a small bowl; gradually stir it into the flour mixture until moistened.
- Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead briefly for 5 or 6 turns. Encourage your child to pat or roll the dough out into a 1/2-inch-thick round. Cut into eight wedge-shaped pieces and place onto the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake scones in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
*Consider using Half and Half for a richer flavor
Benefits of baking and cooking with your kids. Yellow Brick Road. (2020, September 23). https://www.ybrecdc.org/child-care-eden-prairie/benefits-of-baking-and-cooking-with-your-kids/
Benefits of baking with children. Little Active People. https://www.littleactivepeople.com/benefits-of-baking-with children/#:~:text=Here%E2%80%99s%20a%20few%20benefits%20of%20baking%20with%20children%E2%80%A6,perfect%20way%20to%20make%20maths%20fun%21%20More%20items
Wiggins, L. (2018, November 29). Cooking with kids during the holidays. UF/IFAS Extension Taylor County. https://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/taylorco/2018/11/29/cooking-with-kids-during-the-holidays/#:~:text=Here%20are%20some%20ideas%2C%20depending%20on%20your%20child%E2%80%99s,pound%20chicken%20on%20a%20cutting%20board.%20More%20items