Now that the summer holidays are over and evenings are starting to get darker and colder, you might be looking for more activities to do indoors with your little one. There is one activity that you can do time and time again in slightly different ways that never gets boring, helps your child learn lots of different things and is fun for everyone – baking! 
You can bake as little or as often as you like, and it benefits everybody in the house. You get to spend quality time with your little one, anyone can join the fun, everyone gets some delicious treats afterwards and, most importantly, it helps children learn. Here are some of the many things they can learn whilst getting busy in the kitchen. 
Life Skills 
Before you start baking, you’re going to need to get the correct ingredients from a shop. Shopping is essential to our lives so helping your child understand the basics will serve them well later in life. Start by writing a list with them. When you take them to the shop, try to get them to pick out the correct items on the list and place them in the basket/trolley. Finally, ask them to pay for the items at the checkout. Hand them the money to give to the cashier or show them where to tap your card. 
Baking can also get very messy, particularly with younger children, so this provides the perfect opportunity to teach your little one about cleaning and tidying up after themselves. Jobs like sweeping and wiping are great for active learners as this helps them follow instructions and gaining a sense of accomplishment when the job is done. 
The older your child is, the more they are likely to practice literacy skills when baking as lots of it revolves around reading recipes and words on food packaging. However, you can help younger children learn by encouraging them to write or draw the ingredients that you need themselves (you might need to write your own shopping list that you can read so you don’t forget anything!). 
There are lots of opportunities for your little one to develop numeracy skills when baking. It’ll start in the shop when buying a certain amount of each ingredient. You could ask them to look in a box of eggs to make sure there is the correct amount inside. You can introduce them to weighing scales and ask them to look out for specific numbers or to put in x number of scoops into the bowl. You should show them the different ways to measure things – a jug, a tablespoon, a teaspoon etc. Talk to your child about the time the bakes need in the oven and how hot the oven needs to be. This might go straight over younger ones’ heads but doesn’t hurt to talk to them about it. 
Now this is the fun part. Whether it’s cutting dough into shapes or moulding rolls or loaves, let your little one loose on the shape and size of the bakes if you can (obviously this isn’t ideal for cupcakes!). After the goods come out of the oven and have cooled, it’s time to get creative with decoration. Have your little one make their own icing and then decide how they want to apply it. Is it piped, spread with a knife or rolled out and laid on top? You can give them free reign over the colour and how much they want to put onto their tasty treats. And don’t forget the sprinkles! 
If you get up to any baking at home, we’d love to see (and taste!!!) the result so please do share anything you do with us! 
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