Whether you’re a baker yourself or not, baking cookies provides a good opportunity to involve your children in something both educational and fun.
The educational side comes out in reading the recipe, following directions and measuring the ingredients accurately. To bring in the fun, have your child choose the type of cookie and add in decorations such as sprinkles and frosting to add personality.
To ensure success, make a plan. Start by taking a good look at your baking capabilities. If you’re a regular from-scratch baker, go ahead and use one of your favorite recipes. If not, there’s nothing wrong with buying pre-made dough or a cookie mix. The important thing is that you and your child have good cookies at the end.
Prepare your kitchen for the mess that is bound to happen. Choose a place with very little clutter. If needed, bring a stool to help your child reach the counter. Make sure you have all of the ingredients and tools ready and in the order needed. Even with a kitchen’s flooring and countertop designed for spills, plan ahead for messes with paper towels or a stack of kitchen work towels for clean-up. You don’t want to have to stop the fun to fix any problems.
Once your cookies are in the oven, involve your child in the clean up. Take a simple four-step approach: put the ingredients away, put all the baking utensils in the sink, wipe off the countertops and clean up the floor. By the time your last batch is out of the oven, you should have a tidy kitchen.
Enjoy your cookies, but take one more step before wrapping up. Check your little one for any flour or batter on face, hands, hair and feet. After all, the rest of the house is not baking-proof the way your kitchen is. Above all, remember to have fun! You and your child are making memories as well as treats.