The other day I had the privilege of babysitting two girls, Lena and Sophie. They are 8 and 11 years old. When I asked what they wanted to do they immediately said they wanted to bake. I thought this would be a fun way to get them in the kitchen and show their creativity. We decided to make chocolate covered pretzel rods and some sugar cookies. We had a great time and it was amazing to see the ideas they came up with. We even made all of their pets (their bunny and their two mice) in the form of both pretzels and cookies.
I learned a few things about and baking with kids that I’ll share with you all: 1) Laugh. Sometimes the girls would spill sprinkles and they would be worried I’d get mad. I just laughed and let them know it was okay to make mistakes and messes. We could always clean them up. It’s about having fun, not being perfect. 2) Clean up as you go. We made a huge mess and I mean HUGE. So it is a really good idea to clean up as you go, because by the time the cookies come out of the oven the kids don’t want to help clean anymore, they just want to eat. 3) Let them do as much of the process as possible. I think Sophie and Lena had as much fun mixing the dough and making the shapes as they did eating the cookies. 4) Try to bake a dessert that is not too structured or defined. I chose chocolate covered pretzels and sugar cookies because there is so much freedom in those desserts. Kids can express their creativity. If you are doing a more specific dessert, such as pumpkin pie (something else Lena wanted to make in the middle of the summer haha) then there is not a lot of room for variation and fun designs. I hope that these tips help you have as much fun in the kitchen with kids as I had with Lena and Sophie. Happy baking!