When my tween, Maddy, was three year’s old, we spent an entire day baking and decorating gingerbread cookies. I still remember her big smile as she swiped pink frosting on a gingerbread “woman” – she decided they weren’t going to be an men except for maybe one daddy gingerbread.
Since then, we have spent every Saturday before Christmas baking juntos. What started with simple gingerbread woman has become sugar cookies, gingerbread, chocolate chip, and peanut butter cookies. Now, we deliver heaping baskets of cookies to the neighbors.
Along the way, I have developed ways to keep Maddy involved and bring back that three-year-old smile. Here are a few tips to get your tween en la cocina:
Holiday Baking Tips for Tweens
- Pick the recipes together. Maddy and I pour over online recipes and pull up old favorites to create our list. She is more likely to participate when she is making something she is excited about.
- Let your tween be an active participant. Maddy loves to stir, crack the eggs, measure out the flour and read off the ingredients. It’s great to have an assistant and she loves doing it.
- Sample your work. We all enjoy sneaking a couple of chocolate chips or a spoonful of peanut butter before it goes in the mix. And eating the warm cookies after they come out of the oven is one of the best parts of baking!
- Disfruta! Inevitably, flour goes flying through the air and dough gets wiped on someone’s face. Enjoy the moment!
Photos from this year’s baking extravaganza: