1. Let the kids choose the recipe.
No matter how young or how old your kiddos are, let them come to a consensus about what recipe you all will bake together. This will ensure that they are more interested in the baking process and will reduce the “I don’t even waaaaant this,” whiny-ness that can occur. If the kids are having trouble deciding on a recipe, draw a name to see who gets to choose or bake them all!
Bonus Tip: Another option for choosing the recipe could be selecting a type of baked good that your family wants to make, like cookies or muffins, and then drawing the ingredients out of a hat. Let’s say your family chooses cookies. On small scraps of paper, write various cookie additions. Things like chocolate chips, dried cranberries, oatmeal, caramel chips, sprinkles, various nuts, etc. can all be written on the papers. Then, have each kid draw one or two pieces of paper. Use the ingredients that have been drawn to make your cookies! It’s a fun way to get unique pairings—walnut-date-oatmeal-cranberry cookies—and mix up what you usually do.
2. Give everyone a task.
Another way to make baking fun for everyone is to give each kid a task that is all their own. Younger kids love to do the mixing or dropping the dough for cookies onto the baking sheet, while older kids can handle harder tasks like measuring out ingredients. Plus, all that measuring definitely serves as math practice, so they’re learning at the same time! Make sure tasks are age-appropriate and hold kids accountable for completing theirs.
Bonus Tip: If kids are close in age and can handle the same types of tasks, mix things up. In the middle of one kid mixing and another kid measuring, have them switch places! This helps them to stay engaged and makes the activity just a little bit more fun.
3. Make clean-up fun.
Clean-up might be one of the worst parts of any cooking or baking adventure. But, it’s a necessary evil. Make sure everyone helps out with the cleaning by making it into a game. Set the timer for 10-minutes, turn on some fun music, and have everyone get to work until the timer buzzes. Adding in a reward—like eating the finished baking product—can definitely be a good incentive for getting kids to help wash dishes and tidy up.
Bonus Tip: Make sure to set the rule that no goodies will be consumed until the kitchen and baking areas are clean. That’s a surefire way to get kids moving!
4. Turn it into a contest.
Another way to make baking even more fun than it inherently is would be to turn the whole thing into a contest. Separate your family into two teams, and then have each team make a different recipe. Maybe one team makes a filled cake in a cake pan, while the other team whips up cupcakes in a muffin pan. Then, everyone gets to have a taste and decide which team is the winner!
Bonus Tip: You can also have each team make the same recipe, which adds to the comparison even more. One family member can even act as the judge and your family can pretend to be on a reality baking show! You can even record the “show” and watch it back another time as a family. This type of baking game has so many variations, that you really can’t go wrong.
5. Enjoy the fruits of your labor together.
When all is said and done, sit down as a family and enjoy the ooey-gooey cookies, rich chocolate cake, warm banana bread, or whatever else your family chose to bake. Obviously, this is the most fun part of any baking adventure! If the baking you have been doing is for something specific, like a school bake sale or to take to an event, make a double batch so that your family has some, too. At the very least, set aside just a little so that everyone gets to taste what they have worked so hard to create.
Make baking more fun, and help kids learn how to follow a recipe and work together by baking together as a family. You’ll find that kids can do a lot when they are given just a little direction, and the results of the fun are almost always extra sweet. Stock up on all the bakeware you need at Copper Chef, so you can have a baking day with your crew!