Why You Should Let Your Children Bake (even if it drives you crazy)

During Lily’s piano lesson on Saturday, Emmy and I walked to the store and did some shopping together. She saw some cookies–Oreos, to be exact–and asked if we could buy them. I told her that if she wanted cookies, we would bake them ourselves! So off we traipsed to the baking aisle to pick up chocolate chips. Silly me. What was I thinking?

Hypothetically, I think baking with my children is not only a fun activity, but also educational. Realistically, I can’t stand giving up control of the kitchen!

Control issues aside, I had promised Emmy that we would bake cookies together, and Lily got in on the the baking too.

Lily read the recipe first, and we got out all the ingredients we needed.

I taught Lily how to turn on the oven, even though I won’t let her use it yet. She is 9 years old. Am I being too overprotective?

I showed the girls how to pack brown sugar into the measuring cup. I told them NEVER measure the salt while holding the measuring spoon over the flour or you may spill and end up with disastrous results. They also cracked the eggs. We need to work on that. They are too timid in their egg cracking!

Emmy stirring

If I just showed you these pictures, I could have you believing that I’m the perfect mom. The easy going fun mom. This is a lie. I’m more like a crabby why-did-I-do-this-to-myself kind of mom.

Lily stirring

This mom started yelling about halfway through the whole process.

I began to lose it when they started fighting about the fairness of adding ingredients to the recipe. When Lily added 2 cups of flour and Emmy only got to add 1/3 cup, things started to spiral out of control. Fortunately, the 2 teaspoons of vanilla–1 teaspoon for each child to pour into the bowl–helped the recipe get back on course.

When I showed them how to add the dry ingredients to wet ones, Lily started fussing that I was doing too much stirring and wasn’t letting her do it.

I lost it completely. I had to leave the room, and I told her to do it all herself. And so, she and Emmy did. They finished mixing up the batter and added the chocolate chips. I calmed down and they put the batter on the cookie sheets all by themselves.

spooning cookie dough



Baking cookies

I’m glad that’s over.

On to some business; I know that just one more email in that inbox is not what you want! I’ve put together a short newsletter, however, that will remind you of Gretchen and my weekly Spin Cycle prompts. Sign up here to get it in your inbox! (Mad Mimi’s website is down this morning…tell me in the comments if this form isn’t working!)


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16 Replies to “Why You Should Let Your Children Bake (even if it drives you crazy)”

  1. I couldn’t love you more if I tried and trust me I too have had these moments when baking with my girls. I am so not the patient or calm person at times and have had my moments were I have lost it and needed to walk off to cool off for a moment, because like your girls mine fight over everything including who got more time mixing. So, could definitely relate and even was mailing reading this knowing I have been there and then some. Also signed up for your newsletter now, too 🙂
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Potty Training with Patience and Perseverance — Tips for SuccessMy Profile

  2. Yes, I often had a similar experience when baking with my kids when they were younger. The need for each one to have an exactly equal time stirring or adding ingredients just about drove me crazy. (On cracking eggs – I taught them to crack each one separately in a small bowl, and then if the egg made it in there without any shells, dump it from the small bowl to the big bowl.)

    It all paid off eventually – I can now assign my son (18 yrs old) to bake a cake and ice it, while I am not even in the house. My daughter made Irish soda bread and I stayed out of it completely.
    Common Household Mom recently posted…TransformationsMy Profile

    1. Ha, my girls usually end up crushing the eggs when they don’t crack it hard enough. I have fished out a lot of eggshells from eggs when they “help!”

  3. I’m glad the girls ended up working together and the cookies turned out fine. It would have drove me nuts with the fighting too! My daughter and I only baked together a couple of times when she was little. She never really cared for it.
    Jeanne recently posted…Throwback Thursday #4My Profile

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