While we know you want to get your kids in the holiday spirit, they can sometimes add extra stress to your preparations. Holiday baking with kids can be especially stressful – the exact measurements and hot oven required aren’t necessarily child-friendly.
Fortunately, you don’t have to ban them from the kitchen completely. There are fun, simple ways that your little one can contribute to cooking over the holidays without bringing in more stress or mess. Here are five tips for holiday baking with kids:
1. Prep ingredients
Sometimes the hardest part of baking with your little one is getting the measurements right when they’re trying to “help” you measure. Before inviting your kids into the kitchen, get everything measured and ready to go.
Once you have the properly measured ingredients lined up and ready to go, bring your kids in and let them combine and mix to their heart’s content. They’ll love feeling like they helped out, and you can rest easy knowing that an extra cup of flour won’t accidentally be added to your recipe.
2. Let them pretend
If you have a houseful of people waiting for your tasty treats and you have limited time to get them done, have your little one pretend to bake alongside you in their play kitchen. They can mimic your actions in the kitchen and create their own tasty dessert without getting in your way or making a mess in the kitchen.
3. Get creative
Sometimes holiday baking isn’t the fun part – for your kids, the excitement may lie in the decorating. Instead of going through the whole baking process with your kids, make the cookies ahead of time, lay out frosting and sprinkles on their craft table, and let them go wild! While they are engrossed in decorating their cookie creations, you can start on your other holiday to-dos.
4. Choose no-bake options
Holiday baking doesn’t always have to involve a hot stove. If you want your kids to help out with baking without worrying about them burning themselves, try a no-bake holiday dessert recipe instead. No-bake cookies, cheesecake bites, and fudge are all great options that your kids can help you mix up and decorate – no oven necessary!
5. Do it by hand
Sure, the cookie cutter makes perfectly shaped cookies, and the mixer will blend up your ingredients in a snap. However, there’s nothing like watching your kids’ joy as they help you mix and shape cookies in the kitchen.
Instead of focusing on creating perfect treats, invite your kids into the kitchen and bond over the funny shapes you can create with the dough. While the cookies may not turn out Instagram-worthy, the shared moments with your kids will more than make up for it.
As hard as it is sometimes to let kids get in the mix (pun intended), involving your kids in holiday baking can lead to family bonding and lasting memories – is there anything sweeter than that? Browse Step2’s range of play kitchens and craft tables that can serve as the perfect setting for your kids’ holiday baking adventures.