Baking – An Interesting Bonding and Learning Activity with my Son

I am a novice baker. I can cook relatively well but have always shied away from baking. Maybe as opposed to cooking, where you can let your imagination run wild and and come up with your own inventive dish, baking I feel, is more inflexible ie the measurements must be accurate, the mixture must be stirred until to a certain texture etc … (again I reiterate that I am a novice baker).

Then one day, when my DS was slightly over 2 years old, he mentioned these two words "bake" and "gingerbreadman" while speaking to me. Now, The Gingerbreadman is one of his favourite story/character. There was a time when he wanted me to read only that book to him. He even enjoyed the play in Alliance Francaise some many months back.

I was like hmmmm, maybe its a sign. So I decided to go to Phoon Huat to recee. But in the end I got side-tracked at NTUC when I stumbled upon this pre-mix Gingerbreadman cookie mix while grocery shopping. The plus point was that it contained the cutter or molder, icing mix (to draw the eyes and lips) and chocolate chips (for the buttons).

So armed with this newly discovered ‘magic tool’, I proceeded with the task of baking with my DS. Needless to say, he was very excited at the mere idea of watching me (that was the initial plan). In the end, DS ended up helping me with the stirring, rolling out the dough, molding and decorating the cookies. Here are some pictures.


The pre-mix cookie packet and what it contains inside. We have to add the butter and egg in the pre-mix.


DS helping me to cut/mold out the cookies after rolling out the dough.


Cookies ready to bake in the oven.


DS putting ‘buttons’ on the cookie.


DS attempting to draw the eyes and lips.


Taaa daaa, ready to eat Gingerbreadman cookies.

Along the way, we have attempted to bake cupcakes and other cookies (simple recipes of course) together. These are some of the reasons why I enjoy baking with my DS (listed not in any order of priority) and why I feel, besides being an enjoyable activity for him to engage in, it can be a learning journey as well:

1. It is yet another opportunity for us to bond.

2. It fine tunes his gross motor skills for eg when he has to grip and place the small chocolate chip ‘buttons’ in a straight line.

3. It hones up his listening skills because he has to listen to me reading the instructions and then instructing him what to do.

4. It encourages him to speak and ask questions like "mummi, why must we stir the flour and egg and butter together". Again his listening skills come into play here when he has to listen to the rationale.

5. It encourages him to hone up his concentration skills as he has to focus on the task.

6. At the same time, he learns a bit of math when he watches the ingredients being measured/weighed in a precise manner.

7. There’s some learning of simple science like watching the dough rising and learning about the use of heat, the different textures of the mixed ingredients during the mixing and baking process.

8. Vocabulary is expanded as he learns about the various utensils and tools used. Also some use of "technical" words/phrases like "icing", "kneading" are picked up.

9. It builds up his self-esteem because now at almost three years, he is at the age where he wants to try out things independently. And once the cookies are baked, he goes around telling the family members happily that he is able to bake the cookies with "only a little of mummi’s help".

10. He learns about the different kinds of dangers that he can encounter when he is alone in the kitchen and is taught how important it is for him to respect/obey my rule that he cannot venture into the kitchen on his own unless permission is granted.

11. Last but not least, we get to enjoy the fruits of our labour – the yummy biscuits together.

So, dear mummies who have always wanted to try baking but like me, avoided it, I encourage you to give it a go. It is really fun Celebrate

Thanks for sharing :)

Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

Thanks for this great

Thanks for this great post!

I am going to buy from Jasons later! Have always wanted to try baking, but hubby don’t waste money to go buy big oven.

Thanks for sharing. I have

Thanks for sharing. I have only tried baking once or twice and after reading your post, I am inspired to try it again with my 10 year old DS. He loves to bake and make moon cakes with my mum. Maybe this will be a 3 generation exercise for us soon. Cheers!

Cookies look yummy

The pictures are really nice. I will try this with my son next weekend. Recipe looks fairly easy and fun.

Sarika

Thanks for sharing

 

Great sharing Autumnbronze.

I ain’t no baker mom, but after reading your post, am motivated to do some simple baking with my girls too!! 

 

 

Yes, I totally agree with

Yes, I totally agree with you. All parents (including daddy) should bake (or cook) with their kids at least once in their lifetime, The benefits are countless for both parties. Hope more parents will join the fun after reading this post. πŸ˜‰ 

LKL

Me too

I like to bake cake with my boys too. They are teenages. They like it so much.  Everytime we have a enjoying time after baking.  They like to bake muffin. very easy and after that can eat as many as they like.

Hey duriz, Thanks for the

Hey duriz,

Thanks for the recipe.  This, I will definately try.  Sounds easy peasy

Calling buds …. yoo hoo, another easy one to add to your ‘growing’ collection of recipes

 

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read – Mark Twain

 autumnbronze

thanks for sharing.

thanks for sharing.

Thanks again

Thanks again autumnbronze.

Last weekend, I was making chocolates. DD was watching closely and licking her lips and DH was only interested in "cleaning off" the mixing bowl πŸ™‚

To those who are interested, here’s a very simple recipe passed down from my Mom.

Ingredients:

1. Chocolate bars *you can decide if you like dark, intense, unsweetened, cooking, milk-white. It doesn’t really matter but you should not use the ones with "filling" in them e.g. nuts, raisins etc.

2. Little cupcake holders (or regular cupcake holders depending on your appetite and preference)

3. Fillings or garnishes (as you wish)

Method:

1. Melt down the choc bars in a mixing bowl, placed inside a pot of hot (not boiling nor under fire) water.

2. Mix in other ingredients if you wish

3. Spoon portions into cupcake holders and cool down in room temperature

Tip:

1. I add unsalted almonds/rice cereal/raisins to melted dark cooking choc, then spoon them into small cupcake holders. When they are completely cooled and dry, I put them into the plastic gong with the red caps (like CNY) and give them away.

2. Buy unsalted uncooked almonds, chop them up "freestyle" with a knife and bake lightly in an oven. I heard it’s yummy (but I’m allergic to nuts, so I wear gloves doing this, and strictly NO taste test πŸ™‚

This recipe is abit of a cheat sheet for baking novices like myself. You can "bake" like other Moms and giveaway yummies during 1st month parties or CNY as well as impress people πŸ™‚

 

Replies to mickeyhmh, sribbb and BlurBee

Hi mickeyhmh and sribbb,

Agree with the both of you about the messy part.  Ds usu goes thru one to two changes of clothes while engaged in such activities.  The positive outcome is that he learns that he HAS TO clean up after the mess

 

Hi BlurBee,

Your quest has been ans by the best person.  Truth be told, I don’t know cuz I only have a small toaster oven used for toasting bread, heating up pizzas etc …

 

 

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read – Mark Twain

 autumnbronze

Replies to buds, duriz and RRMummy

buds sista,

Thanks again for your recommendation.  As for being pre-occupied with no 3, but but but even before that, don’t you remember the ‘nesting’ instinct that suddenly crops up ard the what, 3rd trimester???  You might just develope a reeeeal strong urge to bake then – ke ke ke ke … Anyway, I’m sure your two sweeties will be there to give you a helping hand whenever the baby needs to be taken care of

 

duriz,

You’er most welcome.  Believe me, time will pass real fast.  Before you know it, the two of you will be attempting this together.  Anyway, just a suggestion – you can start her off by letting her watch you while on the high chair, then slowly graduate to her helping you

 

RRMummy,

Thanks for your feedback.  Would love to know how it worked out.

 

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can read – Mark Twain

autumnbronze

Yeeay! ;)

Yeeay!

Happy to see your lovely written post up on portal, sista!

While i was rather ecstatic to find an oven in the new place and already imagining myself with the baking frenzy i’d be in when i get my hands on it…. i was suddenly disillusioned by the images of being ultra occupied with #3 crying for attention… doing chores… supervising DDs homework… cooking… OMG!

Scary wor..

 bÜds

Thank you for sharing

Thank you for sharing autumnbronze. Can’t wait to start baking with DD. She’s only 9 months young though *lol*

Thank you, mickeyhmh

Thank you for the reply, mickeyhmh.

Will give it a try.

Nice...

Hi autumnbronze,

Inspiring! Thanks for sharing. I love the BIG smile your DS gave his gingerbreadman. 

Now, I’m so tempted to try with my DDs. 

 

 

Hi autumnbronze Thanks for

Hi autumnbronze

Thanks for sharing. I agree that baking/cooking with the kid(s) is fun & great for bonding. BUT it can get very messy!!  

Hi Blurbee

I used the oven toaster to bake cookies for DS1 teachers (Teacher’s Day) last year.  It works but you need to monitor & make sure they don’t burn.  Have gotten a convection oven this year (Raya sales going on!) & will try other types of cookies/cakes. 

Thanks!

Definitely thanks for sharing and kudos to you for being brave enough to try this.  I have thought about it but too afraid to think of all the mess it would be πŸ™  Maybe I will give it a try during this Ramadan period.

Cheers

Thanks for sharing. I

Thanks for sharing.

I always wanted to learn baking but no oven at home. Btw, do you know whether toaster oven can also bake cookies or cake? TIA.

sounds like fun!

Hi autumnbronze,

I tried baking last x’mas and it was almost a disaster!  But that’s because i used the ready to make kind to make the cookies.  my ds not too interested in it…  since all we need to do is to add water, mix well and then send to the oven.  maybe i should try again using your method. 

Wow thanks for sharing

Wow thanks for sharing this! Those are lovely gingerbread men. Great points for the learning activities that goes with baking!

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