We love baking as part of our activities on play dates! It kill 3 birds in one stone. The mums and kids have fun, the kids learn some things about baking and a bunch of other stuffs *, and everyone get to enjoy a good snack when everything is done.
After our experience with how easy it is to make muffins , we decide to attempt making gingerbread man cookies since we are meeting so near Christmas this time round. We took the easy way out again and got ourselves a pack of cookie mix.
The instruction looks easy enough and the ingredients to be combine looks pretty simple.
We are using a microwave oven with convection setting this time round so we skip the part about preheating the oven too. We got measuring spoons this time and they comes handy with labels with information like how one teaspoon = 5ml and 1 tablespoon = 15ml. (Opportunity to point the amount of things required and tell them about different standard measurement and explain things like US and metric measurement. )
We have to improvise along the way on the instruction as we are not equipped with baking tools such as roller and baking trays. The mixture starts out crumby and we end up using our hands to knead it into a dough. As we don’t have a roller, we put our dough between two piece of baking sheets and press it so that it is more or less flat.
We have to put the dough into the refrigerator first so that it will be firm enough. The kids run of to play while waiting their turn for action.
Next is the fun parts for the kids. We got them to use the cookie cutter provided to make the shape of the gingerbread man and then decorate it with the sugar coated chocolate beans. They also get to make the eyes and mouth of the gingerbread men with a tooth pick.
It’s an exciting moment when we place the ready gingerbread men on the table. The kids were proud of their achievement and are quite particular that they take the ones they made and have fun eating and comparing their gingerbread men. The conversation have a tendency to move towards stuff like “I am eating the hand…” “Here goes the head…haha”
We thought its a good time for some youtube entertainment to turn their attention towards something more positive… We choose “The Gingerbread Man” read by John Krasinski by Speakaboos
* Benefits of baking: Baking is fun, give kids the chance to practice their motor skills and focus, for us to tell them about things like measurement, nutrition and science (e.g. chemical reaction, heat). For more about what baking have to do with science, check out Bill Nye’s Vivian Cup Cake videos