7 Tips to Make Baking With Toddlers Awesome

baking with toddlers

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Baking with tiny humans. This either sounds insanely awesome to some or just plain insane to others.

And I am going to go ahead and admit, I’m in both camps.

But if it’s one things my kiddos love to do, is help me in the kitchen with ALL THE THINGS.

And with the holidays coming upon us at lightening speed, I thought I’d share some of my tried and true ways of having your tinies “help” you while you get your holiday baking on….

First things first….those expectations that this is going to be amazingly fun and your baked product is going to come out looking like all those delicious pics in a magazine?

Let those go right now.

I’m not saying your confections are going to be hideous, but letting go of the “perfection” or simply wanting it to look “pinterest picture worthy”, will make a HUGE difference in how you set out to make this whole thing work. And fun will definitely happen along the way, especially when you simply set out to enjoy your time together.

So, without further ado, here are my 7 tips to help baking with your toddlers this season {or anytime, really} more enjoyable for ALL involved:

1. Have a game planĀ 

Make sure you’ve planned out what it is you’re wanting to make, take inventory to make sure all ingredients are indeed in your pantry/fridge, etc. Trust me on this…theres nothing like being in the middle of batter/dough/whatever you’re making and trying to keep little fingers out and BAM, realize you don’t have the number of eggs needed. Or sprinkles. Or cupcake liners (if you use those)….

2. Have baking supplies/utensils/measuring cups/spoons and the like available that THEY can use.

baking with toddlers

I actually took a trip to our local dollar store and grabbed some measuring cups and spoons and even some pot holders that are theirs to use for pretend play, and for when we bake together as well. And they LOVE that they get to have their very own things to “help” bake or cook with. This year I also added a couple smaller sized rolling pins for them to use.

3. Plan for a time of day that works with them, as well as you.

Starting something right before nap time might not be the best option. My twinnies still take a nap after lunch, so we typically bake mid morning. But, do what you know works best for you and try to work around your littles schedule. Nothing like cranky toddlers and flying batter to make a mama want to run screaming from the kitchen! Uh….not that I’d know anything about that….

4. Along with making sure to plan for a time of day that works best for your kiddos, also make sure to allot enough time for the “helping”.

baking with toddlers

Recognize that what might take you 10-15 minutes to mix up and toss in the oven, is going to take easily 20 minutes plus with “helpers”. It’s okay. Embrace it and breathe.

5. Let them help. For real.

baking with toddlers

I am a total type A-ish person and I’ve learned to let go of a LOT since having children number 3 and 4. My twins have helped me see the joys in the “oopses” and the learning that can happen. So, let them help measure out, or dump the flour into the bowl. A little flour on the counter won’t hurt. I promise.

6. Have kid friendly items they can use.

If your kiddos are anything like mine, they love to use the real thing. So, sometimes having a less breakable bowl for them to “mix” their own ingredients in is super helpful and makes the process fun for both of you. This little tip has helped me be able to get my bowl mixed up faster, while still allowing them to help mix up all the ingredients and them continue to work on their bowls while I then transfer the batter (or dough or whatever I’m making), to the pan/cupcake tins or whatever you happen to be using for baking.

7. Be positive and offer up encouraging words to your littles.

And if you are making something that requires decorating, don’t try and “fix” how they’ve done it. Leave it however they put the sprinkles on…they will be PROUD of their work and will look to see if you like it too. It’s okay if it looks like the green sprinkles vomited all over the sugar cookie snowman and he looks more like the hulk than a snowman. Or if the gingerbread ninja got a happy helping of pink sparkly and flower sprinkles and looks more like its from Whoville, verses the stealth ninja that it seemingly is supposed to resemble. It’s perfectly and awesomely OKAY. Promise.

Now, turn on the light in the oven and sit down on the floor with your littles and watch the awesome and amazing goodness bake, while you attempt to drink your sorta hot coffee. There’s just something about watching those cookies or cupcakes (or whatever you decided to bake) rise in the oven and turn into deliciousness.

Once those baked confections are ready to come out and cool off, go outside or play an activity while they cool down, to help distract the anxious toddlers that want to EAT ALL THE THINGS RIGHT THIS MINUTE.

Once it’s ready, grab a cookie, sit at the table and enjoy the sparkly ninja and green monster snowman. Or pumpkin bread.

Do you love to bake with your kiddos? What other tips would you share that help make the process awesome?