Let Them Take the Wheel
- Make sure they clean up and put everything away properly. Teach them that part of the baking experience is cleaning up. It’s no fun if the kitchen is left a mess for mom (or aunt) to clean up.
Math is Fun
Once they can add it opens up another avenue of fun! You can use baking to teach them how to add and do fractions. My children are too young to do math right now, but I do have younger sisters and many nieces that I get to bake with every now and then that are old enough to do all sorts of math with.
By taking the time to teach your youth how to bake and cook you are teaching them how to be self sufficient. If they can understand basic instructions and terms from recipes, they will be able to eat when they are on their own! When I was a teenager, I mentioned in Part 1 that I loved baking out of our Hershey cookbook. Well, my friend and I decided to make a cake at her house with this book. I left the room, leaving my friend to follow the instructions and add the next ingredient. When I came back I found my friend with her hands in the chocolate batter. When I asked her where we were at in the recipe, she told me, “where it says to mix the batter by hand for 1 ½ minutes.” We had a good laugh once she realized her mistake!
Compliment, Praise, Be Positive
Make sure you compliment. Tell them how great they are doing and point out the positives. They are going to make mistakes and they are going to make you laugh, but the most important thing is to have them to leave the experience feeling good about it!
There is something satisfying about making food that everyone else loves. I find great enjoyment in watching my nieces’ faces light up as they watch their family gobble up the cookies they made because they taste great! Share this satisfaction with the youth in your life and just enjoy the process and many avenues of learning.