The Joy of Bonding Through Baking
If you were blessed to grow up with a family member or loved one who baked, perhaps you know the joy of bonding through baking. Great memories are formed in the kitchen, especially when you involve the kids.
I grew up with a grandmother who made homemade fried bread. I have a vivid memory of all of us kids gathered around the stove (which was in the center of our kitchen on the island) watching her lift the pieces of bread from the oil. I’ve tried to recreate that yummy goodness with my Fry Bread Recipe.
Of course, I have a thousand memories of watching my mom in the kitchen. She was a whiz with pies. And it’s her Coconut Pecan cake that I used as a basis for my Italian Cream Cake recipe.
These days, I’m the one doing the baking. My kids and grandkids come over to bake all of the time. We whip up all kinds of things together, like my Heavenly Snickerdoodles, my Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookies, or my Mexican Wedding Cookies.
It’s so fun to hand off a pastry bag to the little ones and watch them with their fun creations.
Let the Kids Do the Decorating!
Are they messy? Sure.
Do the cookies, cupcakes, and cakes look anything like I envisioned? No. But we have a blast, regardless.
So, what have we baked and decorated, you ask?
At Thanksgiving we made turkey-themed cupcakes.
At Christmas we whipped up all sorts of holiday-themed cupcakes and cookies together. (Of course we always do some cut-out sugar cookies with easy royal icing. I’ve got a great tutorial on that process.)
At Easter we did spring-time cupcakes.
And we’ve done fun treats at the beginning and ending of the school year, as well as Valentine’s Day. It’s always fun to involve them in the kitchen!
Even if you don’t consider yourself a good baker, the kids won’t notice or care. They simply enjoy the process of being together and trying something new. And remember, they are creative little souls! Baking is a fun artistic outlet for them.
Kids Love to Get Creative
We have a blast coming up with new ideas. There’s something so fun about letting the kids do their own thing. And trust me when I say that some of the things they come up with are far better than anything I might have shown them.
I also love coming up with new ideas for the kids, like the time we covered all sorts of yummy delights in melted chocolate.
I’ve also hosted cake decorating parties with kiddos. In fact, this is one of my favorite things to do. I take 3 layers of 6” round cakes for each party guest and I teach them how to stack, fill, and frost the cakes. Then we decorate them, using all sorts of fun techniques like rosettes, ombre, and so on.
I’ve even taught the kids how to do the zebra technique! (They’re really good at things like this.)
Baking as a Ministry
But, don’t stop there! The fun doesn’t have to begin and end inside of your kitchen. I work with a local ministry that does outreaches in the park.
This past Easter we decorated cookies together. They were awesome and the kids had so much fun! I did, too!
We recently braved the Houston heat to make beach-themed cupcakes with 50 local children. It was a simple matter of adding the right color of frosting and the perfect toppings. The kids had a blast!
I also work with an inner city ministry, with kiddos who don’t often get the opportunity to decorate cakes and cookies. It’s always so fun to watch their faces as they work!
Most of all, I love to watch their little faces when I deliver a finished product to them on their birthdays. Nothing brings me more joy than that moment when they see the cake and cookies for the first time. It’s pure delight to see their responses!
Fun Baking Ideas for Kids
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to plan a get-together with the kids and teach them to bake. Here are some of my favorite ideas:
1. Have a Cookie Decorating Party!
Create a base cookie dough using the following recipe:
- 1 cup butter
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Divide the dough into smaller bowls and offer the kids a plethora of things to add, everything from chocolate chips to sprinkles, to cocoa powder. The possibilities are endless! From one batch of dough you can create a host of different fun projects.
2. Have a Cake Decorating Party!
Bake several round cakes in advance and have the frosting made when they arrive. Have several “fillings” options available: crushed Oreos, fruit, sprinkles, chocolate chips, hot fudge, and so on. Let them have fun building their own cakes.
3. Decorate Themed Cupcakes!
Bake the cupcakes in advance and have everything you could possibly need on the table in small bowls, ready to go.
4. Host a Baking-Themed Birthday Party!
Buy aprons and chefs hats for the party guests and give them cupcakes or cookies to decorate.
5. Have a Chocolate Covered Oreo party!
You’ll have to purchase some molds in advance, but hosting a party where you covered everything in melted chocolate? Yes, please! Just be sure to watch the temperatures of the melting chocolate. You don’t want anyone to get burned!
Get creative! You can turn anything into a baking party if you just think it through! And best of all, the kids will have the time of their lives!
Let me leave you with one of my favorite verses:
Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 ESV
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.