Children love to help in the kitchen and baking can be made easy with a bit of planning and organization. I like muffins because the ingredients are simple and most children enjoy eating them.
I only have three helpers at the table at one time, so in a large group, you will have to have enough jobs for a rotating schedule. I make ingredient/action cards beforehand on recipe cards. Small children who cannot read yet still enjoy holding the card and knowing that they will have a turn. Once their turn is over, they can leave the table and move on to another activity, secure in the knowledge that they have participated!!
You will have to have all of your ingredients premeasured and ready to go. Older children can help with portion sizes.
Here are examples of tasks:
- pour in flour
- add salt
- add baking powder
- stir in melted butter
- put egg in
- pour sugar in
- add milk
- add chocolate chips
- stir mix (more than one child at a time for this one, just pass the wooden spoon around)
- put paper cups in baking tray (more than one child)
- spoon in mixture (more than one child)
- take trays to the oven
- take muffins out of the oven
- pass out the muffins
At the beginning of the baking time, the children wash their hands and sit at the table. Pass out a card to each child. In a large group they will have to wait and take turns; both are valuable skills to learn. If you are in a daycare setting, take a helper with you to the kitchen to put the muffins in the oven and a different one later to take them out. It is also fun to make chef’s hats ahead of time, especially if baking/cooking becomes a regular feature of your program.