I feel like I've been doing a lot of lists lately -- "4 Ways to Be A Happier Mom," "16 Things to Do With Your Spouse At Home (once the kids are asleep)," "The 1 Word Parents Need to Stop Using" and "2 Words Parents Need to Use More." There's just something about a list that I love -- I feel accomplished at the end, I have something to check off as proof that I did it and I don't know, I just love lists...as long as they're not too long, of course.
Does that make me a list-aholic? Maybe.
But here I am again and I'm back at it, another list for you and I really think this is a good one.
The back story...
The other day we had some bananas that were too brown to eat but not rotten enough to throw out. So I googled things I could make with the old bananas, something I didn't have to go to the store for (ya know, easy ingredients I already have at home) and voila, we found it.
...of course, we added in some of our own secret ingredients too -- chocolate chips, vanilla and cinnamon.
And then I thought to myself, "How can I make this fun for Ava? And how can I make this a learning experience." So I'll tell you what I did and the 7 reasons I think every parent should bake with your kids, no matter what age they are. Oh yeah, and cooking works too ;)
I had Ava count 5 chocolate chips for each muffin and put them on for me. Of course you can switch it up and do 3 if your child only can count to three or put a different number on each muffin to practice counting. Or heck, give them a division or multiplication problem and they have to answer in chocolate chips. The possibilities are endless!
I don't know about you, but the 15 minutes anything sweet is in the oven baking seems like an eternity to me. And this is a great thing for any kid of any age to learn. Patience -- it's a powerful skill to have.
3. Following Directions
Whether your child can read directions on their own or you read them aloud, of course this is a skill every child needs. I would pour something in the measuring cup and then have Ava pour it into the bowl. And then she'd mix when it was time and pour again for the next ingredient. And slowly but surely, she will learn to follow directions from something as fun as baking delicious muffins.
I'd say this is my favorite part of baking -- bonding time! Just like when I grew a garden with Ava (click here if you want to read that blog post) and didn't expect her to have so much fun, the same thing happened. She had a blast and whenever she's happy, I'm happy. And those are memories I will cherish forever.
Baking is just like a science experiment. Things mix, colors change, muffins rise and that's all part of the fun! I personally don't know the science behind it all but hey, I'm sure a quick Google search could make this a fun science lesson.
You know, I think I should have put this one first because I think it's beyond important. Kids should all learn to appreciate -- appreciate the fact that they have breakfast prepped for them when they're sleeping and grumpy in the morning, they've got lunch waiting for them in a lunch box each day they go to school, and all of those delicious meals mom and dad make? They take time. And it's hard work! So I think the more kids can do the things they take for granted each and every day, the more they will learn to appreciate their parents, others and just life altogether.