Kids can learn so many great skills in the kitchen through baking. Try this fun and sort of sneak tricky to encourage your kids to practice new kitchen skills while baking something sweet.
I bake almost every weekend. Planning our weekends around a special dessert is a favorite topic of conversation for midweek dinners.
As you might imagine, I hope to share my affinity for baking with my kids. Baking has been a great way to connect with my boys and also to teach them introductory skills in the kitchen.
In the past, I’ve shared a bunch of tips and ideas for baking with kids. But there’s one tip today I want to share with you that is my absolute favorite recommendation for teaching kids skills in the kitchen.
Request Their Help While Acting Busy
I stumbled on this idea from another blogger who writes about reading with children. She encourages her kids to practice reading by helping her read simple content like instructions and directions. Kids hardly realize they are learning while also feeling the satisfaction of being helpful.
But here’s the real secret sauce to this tip. Be a little bit busy while requesting assistance from your kids. This gives kids a little extra space to try the new or challenging culinary skill with which they are not quite yet comfortable (but of course is safe).
If I stand over their shoulder and watch them perform whatever skill we are trying, they quickly default to asking me to help or do it for them. However, when I remain busy but not fully distracted by another task, they are much more inclined to push forward and complete the task themselves.
Most often, I put away ingredients and wash dishes while they read the recipe and pour and mix the ingredients. I’m close by and discreetly observing their progress to ensure they are safe and not entirely destroying a recipe. But I am far enough away and my hands are occupied such that I cannot step in and immediately crack the egg for them or measure the flour precisely.
This secret parenting trick has been a gold mine for me as I teach my boys to be independent in the kitchen. If you’re working on teaching your kids new skills, whether it be baking with kids or helping them master a variety of other new skills, this little parenting hack can work wonders.
By stepping back without walking away entirely, we give our kids the little bit of space they need to take the leap to try something hard on their own and discover their competence.
If you’re interested, I’ve shared a whole bunch of other helpful tricks and tips for baking with kids and well as a Comprehensive Beginners Guide to Zero Waste Baking.