Laurieanne, our early literacy trainer, shares why making bread with children is so important.
Many of my favorite memories of spending time with my mom include measuring, stirring, kneading, baking, cutting and, best of all, eating BREAD! This was a special time alone with my mom, because I had nine brothers and sisters competing for her attention.
Baking with children helps them learn and practice basic math and language skills, as well as fine motor skills, all while quietly building their confidence, independence and creativity. You can take this opportunity to deepen your communication and connections with your child. Reading recipes aloud offers an opportunity to read in a different format that includes instructions and sequencing. Setting a timer helps children begin to understand the concept of time. You will also be creating a healthy attitude for "good" that will last them a lifetime.
And what about predictions, observations, cause and effect, and watching things change? What happens to the yeast if we add cold water instead of warm? Baking soda instead of sugar? How about using a thermometer to make sure the water temperature is just right for the yeast to rise. What happens if you forget to add the baking powder to the biscuits? Why do we add salt when baking bread? What happens to the bread if we remove it from the oven early?
Children use all of their senses when making bread: seeing the yeast rise in a bowl, hearing the mixer, kneading the bread, smelling the bread while baking, and the end result is tasting fresh, warm, homemade bread. Remember to have age-appropriate expectations and a little flexibility, but think of it as an adventure, together. Oh, and have fun!
Our house always smelled warm and comforting when bread was in the oven. I knew when I was in the kitchen with mom I would learn to bake and cook, and in the future, to feed my family and enjoy sharing with friends.