Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Advice Sought: Baking with Children

Isn't this a wonderful time of year to do some baking? It's nice and cold outside, so the hot oven actually feels good (as opposed to the middle of summer). If you make too many cookies or too much cake, well, it's Christmastime, and you're expected to share.

I'm struggling, however, with baking with children underfoot. My kitchen is fairly small (although I've had smaller), and there is not room for both of my older children to pull up chairs to the counter. I guess they could share a chair, but I have a feeling that one child would accidentally (of course!) push the other one off. I usually wait until nap time and let Sarah Beth help me before her playtime in her room. I feel like poor Daniel doesn't get to help (or lick spoons).

What do you do? Do you bake during nap time or after your children's bedtime? Do you send your children to a different part of the house while you bake? What about when you make things like fudge on the stove? Or do you hope that a DVD will be enough of a distraction? How do you get your Christmas baking done?

Please help because I have some scrumptious-looking cookies that I want to bake this week.


Marva said...

My personal opinion is bake some with them and then let them watch a dvd. I would let Sarah Beth bake a batch with you and thenlet Daniel bake a batch with you. They each need their time with you by themselves as well and that would serve that purpose. If you need to make more cookies after that then do it during naps and bedtime. Just a thought!


Laura said...

Oh wow. I might have to give those cookies a try this week myself! I have a good bit of counter space, but it's pretty much impossible for my 5 little bakers to all pull up chairs and be involved at the same time. I usually just have them take turns. I'll let one person crack eggs, one person pour in the flour, one person stir, etc. We just go down the line, so they know that when it's someone else's turn they need to wait patiently. If they don't, or if we have arguing and whining, then they lose the privilege of being able to bake with me. At least for 5 minutes or so, and then they can try again. It gets pretty messy and a little loud, but we all have fun! Sometimes I'll just choose one child to bake with and rotate through them all that way too. And then again, sometimes I send them all off to do something else while I bake because it's much easier and quieter. :)

Brandi said...

I would have the children take turns like Marva said for anything that has to be done in the kitchen. Our dining room is right next to our kitchen, so I'll bring everything I can out to the dining room when I'm having all six or several children helping. They have to take turns, much like Laura described.

Nikki said...

Thanks, y'all, for the suggestions. I'll be sure to try them out.

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

I have moved the kid table into the room, and they take turns pouring the flour or the salt etc. And I take turns saying "Quit eating the sugar!! Get your hands out of the flour!!"

Also be sure to let them taste a little bit of everything. Except the vanilla. Because it burns. Which I may or may not have learned the hard way as a very guiltridden PreK teacher.