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How to Teach Kids to Bake

A mother teaching her child how to bake.

So, you want to teach your kids to bake? That’s great! Baking is a great way to spend time with your kids, and it’s also a fun and delicious activity.

Baking can be a challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun. It teaches patience and precision, two important skills for kids to learn. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to bond with your children and create some delicious treats together.

Here are a few tips to help you teach your kids to bake:

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1. Start with simple recipes

A young girl and her grandmother baking cookies.

There are lots of great baking recipes out there, but it’s best to start with simple ones. Choose recipes that have few ingredients and steps. This will help your kids feel successful and confident in their baking abilities.

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For example, start with a recipe for sugar cookies. This is a classic cookie that is relatively easy to make. Plus, it’s always a hit with kids (and adults)!

2. Walk them through the steps

A mother and her child using a rolling pin for baking.

Assuming you’re teaching your kids how to bake a cake from scratch, the first thing you’ll need to do is walk them through all of the steps involved. This includes showing them how to measure out the ingredients, mix everything together, and then bake the cake in the oven. Make sure to go over each step slowly and clearly so that they can easily understand and follow along.

Let’s take a look at the steps you can take to help walk your child through the process.

#1: Read the recipe together

The first step in baking is to ALWAYS read the recipe. This is because understanding the ingredients and measurements is crucial for a successful outcome. So, before you start anything, sit down with your child and read through the recipe together. As you’re reading it, point out each ingredient and explain what it is and what role it plays in the final product.

#2: Gather all of the necessary ingredients and supplies

Once you’ve read through the recipe, it’s time to gather all of the necessary ingredients and supplies. This includes everything from the measuring cups and spoons to the actual ingredients themselves. Make sure that you have everything on hand before you start so that there are no surprises later on.

#3: Measure out the ingredients

A young woman whisking eggs for baking.

The next step is to measure out all of the ingredients. This is where things can get a little tricky, so it’s important to be precise. Show your child how to use the measuring cups and spoons properly and explain why it’s important to be accurate when measuring.

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#4: Mix everything together

Once all of the ingredients are measured out, it’s time to mix everything together. This is usually the most fun part for kids as they get to use their hands and get a little messy. Help them to mix everything together until it’s well combined.

#5: Clean as you go

In order to avoid a mess, it’s important to clean up as you go. This means wiping down the counters, washing any dirty dishes, and sweeping up any flour that’s been spilled. By taking a few minutes to clean up as you go, you’ll make the final cleanup much easier.

#6: Bake the cake

Now it’s time for the fun part – baking the cake! Preheat the oven, and then help your child to pour the batter into the pan. Place it in the oven and set a timer for the appropriate amount of time. Once the timer goes off, check the cake to see if it’s done. If not, give it a few more minutes before checking again.

Assuming the cake is done, help your child to take it out of the oven and let it cool. Once it’s cooled, they can frost and decorate it however they like.

3. Let them do it themselves

A mother guiding her child to bake.

If you have an older child, once you’ve gone through the steps with them, it’s time to let them give it a try themselves.

This can be a fantastic opportunity for them to practice their skills and gain some confidence in the kitchen.

So, give them a chance to measure out the ingredients, mix everything together, and bake the cake on their own. Of course, you should be nearby in case they need any help, but try to let them do as much as possible.

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4. Offer encouragement

It’s important to offer encouragement throughout the entire process. This means praising them when they do something well and offering words of support when things get tough.

The goal is to help them build confidence in their abilities so that they’ll be more likely to try new things in the future.

So, offer plenty of praise and Encourage them to keep practicing their skills.

5. Give them a chance to be creative

Children learning how to bake on the kitchen.

One of the best parts of baking is that it offers a chance to be creative. So, once they’ve mastered the basics, give them a chance to let their creativity shine.

This might mean letting them choose their own cake flavor or frosting or coming up with their own unique design.

The goal is to help them see baking as a fun and creative activity that they can enjoy for years to come.

6. Watch baking videos together

A mother guiding her child on baking using video.

Another way to help your child’s skills blossom is to watch baking videos together.

This can be a great way for them to see how experts do it and pick up some tips and tricks along the way.

A very funny – and practical – Youtube channel that is all about cooking and baking is Sorted Food. In these videos, you will see a team of people with varying degrees of experience in the kitchen trying their hand at a variety of different dishes and desserts. This can be a great way to learn about the different methods used in baking, as well as get some good laughs.

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7. Read baking books together

Another great way to help your child’s baking skills develop is to read baking books together.

There are a variety of different books available that can teach them about the different techniques used in baking, as well as provide some fun and delicious recipes to try.

A few good baking cookbooks for kids include:

  • The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs – by America’s Test Kitchen
  • The Super Easy Teen Cookbook – by Christina Hitchcock
  • Kitchen Chemistry: A Food Science Cookbook – by Andrea Debbink

8. Take a baking class together

If you really want to help your child’s baking skills flourish, consider taking a baking class together.

In a baking class, they’ll be able to learn from an expert and get plenty of hands-on experience.

This is a great option for kids who are serious about wanting to improve their baking skills.

Check out your local community center or 4H club to see if they offer any baking classes for kids.

9. Have Fun

Mother and child having fun while baking.

Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun. Baking is a great activity to do together as a family, so make sure you enjoy it.

Take the time to chat with your child while you bake, and try to laugh if things don’t go as planned.

The goal is to create happy memories that your child will cherish for years to come.

Baking is a wonderful activity for kids of all ages. It offers a chance to learn new skills, be creative, and have fun with delicious results. So, get started today and see what you and your child can create in the kitchen.

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The Top 13 Skills Baking Teaches

There are many reasons to teach your children how to bake. Not only is baking a great way to spend quality time together, but it’s also a skill that they can use for the rest of their lives. And baking teaches important life skills such as patience, measuring, and following directions. Here are the top 13 skills that baking teaches kids:

1. Baking teaches kids to be patient

A mother and her daughter peeking on the oven.

One of the most important lessons that baking can teach kids is patience. Baking is not a quick process. This is because oftentimes, baking recipes require a lot of waiting – from letting the dough rise to letting the baked goods cool before eating.

This patience will come in handy later in life when your child has to wait for things like test results or their turn in line.

When teaching your child how to wait for the finished result, you can explain to them the science behind why they have to wait. For instance, when bread is rising, it’s because the yeast is eating the sugar and releasing gas. This gas makes the dough expand and become lighter.

You can also teach them important principles like never being idle in the kitchen.

This means that if there’s nothing to do, you are preparing for the next step or cleaning up. For example, if the cookies are baking in the oven, you can be preparing the icing or washing the mixing bowl.

2. Baking teaches kids to measure

In order to bake successfully, it is important to measure the ingredients correctly. This is a skill that your child will use throughout their life, whether they are cooking for themselves or others.

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When measuring, it is important to be precise. This means using the proper measuring cups and spoons for the ingredients and level off any dry ingredients.

You can also teach your child how to convert measurements. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of sugar, but you only have a 1/4 cup measure, your child will need to know how to double the measurement.

3. Baking teaches kids to follow directions

Baking is a great way to teach kids the importance of following directions. This is because baking recipes are usually very specific, and if one ingredient is off, it can ruin the whole recipe.

For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of flour, but your child only puts in 1/2 a cup, the cookies will be very different than what was intended. This is why it’s important to follow directions when baking so that the finished product is as expected.

If you have a child who struggles to follow directions, here are some strategies that can help them put the instructions together in their head:

#1: Read the recipe aloud together and have them repeat the steps back to you.

#2: Write out the steps on a piece of paper or dry-erase board.

#3: Break down the recipe into smaller steps so they can focus on one thing at a time.

#4: Have them help with measuring the ingredients to make sure they are putting in the right amounts.

4. Baking teaches kids about fractions

When baking, it is often necessary to use fractional measurements like 1/2 cup or 1/4 teaspoon. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about fractions and how to read a measuring spoon or cup.

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You can also teach your child how to convert fractions to decimals. For example, if a recipe calls for 1/2 cup of sugar, but you only have a 1/4 cup measure, your child will need to know how to double the measurement.

5. Baking teaches kids about science

A mother and child wearing goggles on science experiment.

Baking is a great way to introduce your child to the scientific process. When baking, they will learn about how yeast makes bread rise, how heat affects cookies, and how different ingredients interact with each other.

This is a great opportunity to explain the “why” behind the recipe steps. For example, why do you need to let the dough rest before shaping it? Why does sugar make cookies crisp?

There are plenty of Youtube channels out there devoted to answering questions just like these! You can also find baking science experiments online that your child can do at home.

6. Baking is a great opportunity for quality time with your child

Baking is a great activity to do together because it gives you a chance to talk and bond with your child. You can chat about their day, what they’re learning in school or anything else that’s on their mind.

Baking is also a great opportunity to teach your child about your own baking skills and traditions. For example, you can share family recipes or stories about when you were a child and helping in the kitchen.

7. Baking is a great way to teach kids responsibility

In the kitchen, your child will learn to be responsible for their own safety and the safety of others. They will need to follow instructions and use kitchen tools safely.

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They will also need to clean up after themselves and help with meal prep when needed. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about being responsible and taking care of their belongings.

8. Baking is a great way to teach kids about nutrition

When you’re baking together, take the opportunity to teach your child about the different ingredients you’re using and where they come from. For example, you can explain how flour is made from wheat or how sugar comes from sugar cane.

You can also teach them about the nutritional value of different ingredients. For example, explain how eggs are a good source of protein or how butter is high in fat.

These kinds of discussions are paramount in helping your child develop a healthy relationship with food.

9. Baking is a great way to teach kids about money

Baking is also a great opportunity to teach your child about budgeting and money management. For example, you can show them how to read a recipe and figure out how much it will cost to make.

You can also teach them about portion control and how to make sure everyone gets a fair share. This is a great opportunity to talk about the importance of sharing and being generous.

10. Baking is a great way to teach kids about preparing food for others

A happy family baking together on a table.

In the kitchen, your child will learn how to follow recipes and prepare food for other people. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of following directions and paying attention to detail.

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They will also learn how to be patient and tolerant of others when working in close quarters. These are important skills that they can use in other areas of their life, such as school and work.

11. Baking is a great way to teach kids about other cultures

Baking is a great opportunity to teach your child about other cultures and cuisines. For example, you can make bread from scratch and talk about how it’s different from the store-bought kind.

You can also experiment with different ingredients and flavors from other cultures. This is a great way to broaden your child’s horizons and introduce them to new and exciting things.

12. Baking teaches kids about the value of experimentation

In the kitchen, your child will learn that it’s okay to make mistakes. They will also learn that sometimes the best recipes come from experimentation.

Encourage your child to be creative and try new things. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of taking risks and trying new things.

So if they have an idea, even if you know that it’s not going to work, let them try it out on a low-stakes project.

This is important because it teaches your child that it’s okay to fail and that mistakes are part of the learning process.

After their idea fails or succeeds, sit down with them and talk about why they think the results turned out as they did. This is a great opportunity to teach your child about the scientific process and how to problem solve.

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Some conversation starters include:

  • What do you think went well?
  • What do you think we could improve next time?
  • Do you think we should change anything about our ingredients or methods?
  • What other ideas do you have for this recipe?
  • How do you think we could make this healthier/tastier/cheaper?
  • Why do you think X happened?

13. Baking teaches kids the value of expressing themselves through the different things they try

Finally, baking is a great way for your child to express themselves. They can be creative with the ingredients they use, the designs they create, and the flavors they experiment with.

Encourage your child to express their individuality through their baking. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the importance of being true to themselves and celebrating their unique talents and abilities.

5 Strategies to Motivate Your Child

Two gentlemen cheering a child while baking.

If your child is struggling to engage with the task, or maybe they are frustrated because they got a bad result last time, it is important to be encouraging. Baking is a great opportunity to work on math, science, and following directions skills, so try to focus on the positives. Here are some strategies that might help motivate your child:

1. Let them choose the recipe

If they are interested in what they are making, they are more likely to stick with it. You can even let them help you come up with a new recipe to try.

As long as they are following the basic rules of baking, let them experiment with different ingredients and flavors. This is their chance to be creative and express themselves.

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2. Help them set realistic goals

If they are struggling with a certain task, help them break it down into smaller goals. For example, if they are having trouble measuring the ingredients, start with just one ingredient. Once they get the hang of that, move on to adding more ingredients.

3. Be patient and explain things clearly

If your child is feeling overwhelmed, take a step back and provide some simple explanations. For example, if they are measuring ingredients, explain how to read the measurements on the measuring cups/spoons.

4. Encourage them to persevere

Baking can be frustrating, especially when things don’t turn out the way you want them to. But it’s important to encourage your child to keep trying. Help them troubleshoot what went wrong and try again.

5. Reward their efforts

After they’ve completed a recipe, take the time to celebrate their achievement. You can do this by letting them choose a special treat to make next time, or even just by giving them a big hug and telling them how proud you are of their efforts.

What To Do If You Are Not a Baker

If you’re not really a baker yourself, but your child is expressing interest in the hobby, there are still plenty of ways you can support them. Here are some ideas:

1. Do some research together

There are tons of resources available online and in cookbooks. Look for recipes that look doable for your child’s skill level. You can also check out videos of other people baking to get ideas.

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2. Go shopping together

One of the best parts of baking is choosing all of the ingredients. Make a list of everything you’ll need and then go to the store together. This is also a great opportunity to talk about measurements and other key baking concepts.

3. Start small

A father teacher her daughter baking cakes.

Don’t try to tackle an overly complicated recipe right from the start. Choose something simple, like cookies or muffins. That way, your child can get a feel for the basics without feeling overwhelmed.

4. Be prepared for messes

Baking can be messy, so it’s important to be prepared for that. Cover your work surfaces with newspaper or a tablecloth, and make sure you have plenty of towels on hand for cleanup.

5. Let them be the teacher

Grandmother and her grandchild having fun while baking.

If your child turns out to know more than you on a specific subject, let them take the lead. This is a great opportunity for them to share their knowledge and help you learn something new too.

If you are trying a recipe that you don’t know how to handle, encourage your child to do the research and later show you how to do it. Some ways to help them prepare to teach their baking lessons include:

  1. Asking them to walk you through the recipe step-by-step before beginning.
  2. Having them help measure out the ingredients ahead of time.
  3. Letting them choose what kitchen utensils and bakeware to use.
  4. Encouraging them to explain why they are doing each step as they go.
  5. Asking them to predict what will happen at each stage of the baking process.
  6. Praising their efforts and offering feedback along the way.
  7. Thanking them for their help once the baked goods are ready to enjoy.
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With a little planning and preparation, you can turn baking time into a fun and educational experience for the whole family. Who knows, you might even discover a hidden talent for baking yourself!

The Bottom Line

Overall, baking is a great activity for kids. It’s a fun way to spend time together, and it’s also educational. There are lots of skills that kids can learn through baking, including math, science, and reading. And of course, let’s not forget the most important skill of all: patience!

Baking takes time, and there will be setbacks along the way. But with a little practice, your child will be whipping up delicious treats in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get baking!

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