Monday, November 19, 2012

Baking with kids...

I'm not sharing a favorite recipe in this post, but just some words of encouragement.

Yesterday we made Snickerdoodles (Betty Crocker pouch mix - gasp!).  As you have probably gathered, I try to do a lot of baking and I try to include our two year old daughter in the process as much as possible.  But I will admit that I usually include her in the less complicated parts of the process - like pouring things into the mix (with my assistance) or stirring (with my assistance).  She definitely loves it.  But yesterday, I decided to give her a job that included more of her and less of me, rather than the other way around.

She had the job of covering the cookies in the cinnamon sugar topping prior to baking.

It may seem like a small thing, but this was a huge deal for both her and me.  I cannot tell you how excited she was to have this special job... she was literally trembling with excitement.  Her joy filled me with joy and it was an eye opener for me.  Sometimes things don't have to be just-so.  It's okay if things get messy.  It's okay if she decides that the cookie balls need to be squeezed before baking.  It's okay if she sprinkles cinnamon all over the pan.  It's okay if she decides she only wants to cover half of a cookie rather than the whole thing.  It's okay if she gets dough with raw eggs on her hands.  It's okay if she wants to line up all the cookies in one line instead of evening placing a dozen on the pan in three rows of four.  And it's even better than okay if she feels like a million bucks and like there is no possible way I could ever make Snickerdoodles without her!

I'm sure many of you will be doing lots of baking this week in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I sort of become like a machine sometimes just trying to get it all done.  But really, those special moments with your little one are so much more important than making sure everything is picture perfect.  Take time for today.  Use this as a learning and growing experience for you both.  I hope I'm able to take my own advice!

Also, on a slightly different note, but similar...

We love the Fisher Price iPhone app called Little People Learning Market.  It has two different parts to it - shopping and baking.  Our daughter always chooses the baking portion and she has learned so much from it!  Combined with the baking she does with me, she knows the steps to baking.  She knows that we need to gather the ingredients, dump them in, and mix them up.  And she can usually guess what we will need!  Flour, eggs, sugar, etc.  She doesn't play apps on the phone a lot but this is one she loves, so if you're looking for a great, FREE, learning app, we recommend this one!

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