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A lot of people tell me that baking is science, and I think they’re on to something. Wouldn’t it be great if baking was truly treated like a real science experiment? My sweet kiddos and I would have no trouble consulting a scientific book of baking activities for preschoolers every single day.

We’d follow the instructions, observe the reaction that happens, and take our hard-earned learning with us. But instead, we’re expected to have such a successful baking experiment every time that we’re supposed to eat the results. Does this strike anyone else as completely ridiculous?

I was never good at science.

Moms, if you’re in the same boat, I understand the dilemma you face. How does a mom who doesn’t love baking help her kiddos become more confident in the kitchen, and have a blast at the same time? My answer is with a really good poker face and simple baking activities for preschoolers that involve lots of pouring and stirring.

a chocolate cupcake with sprinkles featuring text overlay reading Baking with Preschoolers When You Hate to Bake

 

Find Your Baking Forte

Mine happens to be cookies. I stick to one or two baking recipes and they turn out okay. Don’t ask me to make a cake, pie, or anything that Pillsbury doesn’t already help me out with. When you find one or two things that don’t make you feel like a huge embarrassing failure, stick with it!

Doing the same baking activities for preschoolers together is totally ok. Some day your kiddos will learn how to make it on their own!

 

 

My Go-To Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe

It really doesn’t get easier or yummier than this. This is a three ingredient recipe that your kids will love to participate in. It’s right from my Aunt Dolly’s recipe box, and it’s been loved and tested for years. They are soft and soooo good! Try adding a chocolatey fourth ingredient for extra amazing cookies.

 

Aunt Dolly's Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
15 mins
Total Time
20 mins
 

Tasty, easy, great for little helpers!

Servings: 1 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C creamy peanut butter
  • Hershey's kisses, chocolate almond bark, etc. optional
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients well by hand.

  2. Form into balls and place on cookie sheet.

  3. Bake at 350 for 15-18 mins. Do not over-bake.

  4. Cool on a wire rack.

  5. OPTIONAL: 
    If adding Hershey's kisses, put them on when cookies are still warm. If dipping into chocolate almond bark, cool cookies completely. Meanwhile, heat about 1/2 C. bark in the microwave at 15 minute increments, stirring until melted. Place the bark in a small, cool bowl and dip in the cookies!

Recipe Notes

Oven: 350º

These make one dozen bigger cookies, or two dozen small cookies (pictured). Cooking time is the same for both sizes.

 

 

Baking Activities for Preschoolers

These ideas are not full recipes, they’re more like ways to get your kiddo involved in baking. Kids absolutely love sensory activities, and it teaches them so much! Try baby steps like these with your preschoolers, and they’ll be hooked.

  • measuring ingredients – I have to help littler ones with this, or I just do it myself.
  • pouring ingredients – This is great fun for the kids and it helps them work on that hand-eye coordination.
  • stirring – Always a classic! When needed, my kids also love to use our Kitchenaid mixer (with close supervision.)
  • cracking eggs – My firstborn is extremely careful, and I had him cracking eggs at age two. Just have little ones crack them into a separate bowl so you can pick out any lost eggshells before pouring it in with other ingredients.
  • piping on icing – Fill little sandwich bags (or snack-size bags) with a bit of colored frosting, cut off a small corner piece, and you have a kid-friendly piping bag for little hands! This past Christmas, I made some pre-cut gingerbread cookies (Thanks, Pillsbury) from the store, and after baking them my kiddos had a blast decorating with their little piping bags. This is a great activity for kids and moms who aren’t fans of baking.
  • sprinkling and decorating – all other kinds of decorating are a fave with little ones (okay, adults too!). I like to let my kids loose with our sprinkles. It’s so worth the cleanup after.

 

Just Plain Easy Dessert Recipes for You and the Kids

These are wonderful recipes to make with your kids. They involve just the right amount of helping-mommy tasks, without too much stress…or chemistry. I made sure to comb through three wonderful websites to find some exciting, tasty, and easy ideas! They just might have you (and your kiddos) enjoying your time in the kitchen.

Just click on the photo to go to the recipe. Thanks to Design Eat Repeat, Mix and Match Mama, and Crazy for Crust for your wonderful and simple desserts! Seriously, I’m not only drooling but actually excited to make these recipes with my kids.

Moms, click through and take a look at all of these wonderful, kid-friendly baking recipes–they are all so simple.

 

Easy Recipes for Kids to Make By Themselves

Okay, so I just called them recipes, but really, these are so simple they’re more like a list of ideas. If I know little kids, and I do, they aren’t up for complicated tasks and they definitely aren’t ready to use the oven or stove.

These ideas are things I can imagine letting my kids handle on their own after I set the ingredients out. They will be SO proud of what they make! Just try to limit criticisms to your inner monologue.

  • instant pudding (using a wire whisk)
  • veggie or fruit dip
  • pb&j sandwiches
  • yogurt popsicles layered with fruit and graham crackers
  • crackers and cheese
  • fruit salad
  • mashed banana “ice cream”
  • celery sticks filled with peanut butter (bonus: stick Teddy Grahams into the peanut butter celery boats!)

These are great little snacks and your kiddos will love to eat it even more when they’ve made it themselves. They double as preschool snack recipes that your kids can proudly share with their class.

 

Having Fun in the Kitchen with Kids

Moms, you can teach your kids how to be safe and have fun in the kitchen even if you aren’t a big fan of baking. Hang in there and use these tips!

  1. Find your baking forte
  2. Choose simple, kid friendly baking recipes
  3. Involve your little ones in baking activities
  4. Let them get messy
  5. If all else fails, laugh off your mistakes and grab something at a bakery

We still have fun in the kitchen even when we experience a kitchen fail. I like to keep my expectations low and make the goal more about the experience instead of the kind of results we make. It can be hard when everybody’s hungry for some beautiful, tasty treats, but setting an example with a laid-back attitude will make a big difference.

Learning and growing is often messy stuff, and whether you and your kids make a masterpiece or under-baked gloop, it’ll be a successful experiment either way.


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2 Comments on Baking Activities for Preschoolers (and Moms Who Hate to Bake)

  1. The second half of your title 100% sucked me in! Too funny! I actually do enjoy baking, but sharing this task with my girls can make a little crazy! I definitely have to be in the right mood to tell them to pull up stools and hang with me. I know it’s so important and such a great thing to do together though, so these quick ideas for how to bake without making it a huge production are fantastic! GREAT, thorough post, per your usual!

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