Baking with your kids might seem like a stressful idea (imagine the mess!) but it's actually loads of fun. Break out the measuring cups and rolling pin, and teach your kids the basics (like how to crack an egg).
To make sure everyone has a fun time, we've got 15 reader-approved tips for baking with kids.
If your little ones are just learning to read, recipes are a fun and exciting way to keep them learning and engaged.
Have them read the instructions one by one as you add each ingredient.
Buy them their own little aprons, chef hats and pint-sized baking tools like whisks and spatulas.
Heather M. says, "This will get them into the spirit of baking!"
Jenny S. says, "Make cooking fun! Put on some music, sing some songs. Let them have fun with their baking and try new things! They will remember these special times forever and so will you!"Photo: iStockphoto
Laura Ambrose tells us, "My biggest tip for cooking and baking with kids is to be sure I am in a good and relaxed mood myself. If I am in a hurry or stressed, I am more likely to take over."Photo: iStockphoto
Elisa says, "Give them a choice for one ingredient. They feel like it's they're own special creation when they get to pick the one thing that goes into the cookie, whether it's rainbow chips, or mint chocolate chips, butterscotch, etc."Photo: iStockphoto
Alanna Mesheau says, "We clean up as we go! I don't get worked up about a broken egg or a cup of flour on the floor. Baking and spending time together is what she will remember, and me too."Photo: iStockphoto
Samantha B. tell us: "Get the kids up to counter-height (on top of the counter if there's enough space) so they're right in on all the action! Nothing is more gratifying to our little ones than feeling like their duties add the special touch to each recipe."Photo: iStockphoto
Shireen Mears says, "We practice our counting skills with all the measuring, stirring, and eventually baking. We talk about why we use certain ingredients like baking powder and soda. It's a math and science class with a yummy result!"Photo: iStockphoto
Erin Drummond likes to pre-measure most ingredients and then have her 4-year-old daughter add them to the mix.Photo: iStockphoto
Lori Varti likes to keep things fresh. "We try a new recipe once a week! Since I have 8-year-old twins, we take turns with every step!"Photo: iStockphoto
Bonnie Wickland advises, "Have patience! Give each child a task to do and explain it to them before you begin. Don't stress over the mess as you go and remember to have lots of fun in the process."Photo: iStockphoto
"Be prepared for a mess! I often find that when my little guys help with baking more of the batter is on the floor then in the bowl. It's OK, though, because it means a lot to them that they were included in the process. The memories will last much longer then the mess."
Great advice from Mandi Mercredi!
"I like to let the kids snack on some of the yummy ingredients as we go (eg. Smarties), and I may have a taste or two as well!" says Chris D.B.
We are guilty of that, too, Chris!
Sometimes baking is more about the process than the final product.
Trish Cesare reminds us to "let go of the idea that the cookies will look or turn out perfect and you will have much more fun baking with your kids."
The ultimate holiday baking round-up>
Here are 20 great recipes to make this holiday season.