Today is National Pineapple Upside Down Cake Day- and while this may be a little ambitious to make with your toddler- the act of baking a cake holds a lot of value for little ones, here’s why…
- It’s a life skill: One that shouldn’t be underestimated. My mother taught me how to bake and I wish I had taken more notice, rather than just eating the uncooked batter as I am an appalling baker now. If you instil the enthusiasm and knowledge in your children early on, they will surely carry this through into adulthood which will make them very popular with partners, roommates and friends when they get older.
- It’s cheap and cheerful: The ingredients cost you very little if you steer clear of the pre-packaged variety, so if you are looking for a budget friendly activity to entertain your toddler for an hour, this is a good fallback option. Because it’s so inexpensive, if your cake doesn’t turn out the way you want it to, you can always do it again! Plus, you get to eat something delicious at the end.
- You can teach them about kitchen dangers: It’s a great opportunity to talk to them about what could happen if they were to come into contact the oven when it’s hot. Toddlers are very hands on, so it’s vital that they know the oven can burn them if they were to touch the door or glass. Similarly, if you are using an electric whisk- you can make a point of doing this yourself because of the risk of hurting their fingers.
- It teaches them patience: Toddlers are not good at waiting for things, especially food, but if you tell them that there is a tasty reward after all their hard work, they are more likely to hold out for it. Plus you can encourage them to help you clean up while it cooks as a distraction.
- It’s something the whole family can enjoy: Once you’ve made your cake together, you can share the spoils with the rest of the people in your household. This will make your toddler feel really proud of themselves if they can see other people indulging something that they have made. Little ones respond well to positive reinforcement so this is a great way to give them praise for a job well done.
- They can get creative with toppings: If you invest in some cheap, yet fun toppings like glitter, icing, sweets and sprinkles, they will have a great time making their cake stand out. Your kitchen will be a mess afterwards but they will have had the best time!
- It makes the perfect gift: If you have a celebration coming up- what better present than one that has been made by your toddler’s fair hands? The recipient will be overjoyed with this personal, unique and heartfelt gift. The ideal activity to do just before a birthday, anniversary or other event in the calendar. And if you want to remember it for years to come, you can always take a picture!
While little ones can’t help in all areas of cooking due to safety constraints, they can still help to stir ingredients, get things out of cupboards, and tip the relevant foods into where you need them to go...