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There's Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)

Illustration for article titled Theres Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)
Photo: Hannah Tasker (Unsplash)

Working from home is challenging when you have kids interrupting you every 5 minutes. One way we’re keeping ours occupied—not to mention teaching them adulting skills for the future—is encouraging them to bake and cook.

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Young kids love to help pour ingredients into a bowl. And for older kids, following a recipe and measuring ingredients can be a sneaky way to practice math, especially if the recipe needs to be adjusted.

Yes, it’s hands-on and requires you to pretty much set aside everything else (at least with little kids), but, hell, we’ve all got to eat. Why not have the kids share some of the work?

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Illustration for article titled Theres Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)

Help them feel like your sous chef-in-training with their own kid-sized apron. With a basic kid’s white apron, this can even serve as a separate art project. Customize the apron with fabric markers and stencils, like this cute dinosaur stencil.

Cookie Cutters

Illustration for article titled Theres Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)
Graphic: Gabe Carey
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What is there not to love about sugar cookies? They’re sweet, delicious, and entertaining for little (and big) kids to make. Roll out the dough and cut it into fun shapes with cookie cutters like this 10-piece stainless steel animal cookie cutter set.

Or practice your alphabet and numbers with this generous 101-piece set. Plus, you can use the number cookie cutters for your next birthday party.

When decorating sugar cookies, you can never have too many rainbow sprinkles.

If you’re more about muffins or cupcakes, these colorful, re-usable silicone baking cups come in handy. No need to brave the store to pick up more cupcake liners.

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Kid’s Kitchen Gear

Illustration for article titled Theres Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)
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If you want to equip your kids with their own set of kitchen tools, Mindware’s Playful Chef comes with color-coded measuring cups and spoons, a wooden spoon, basting brush, whisk, scraper and small mixing bowl, along with a recipe book and apron. A nice beginner’s set, it’s made with small hands in mind.

Cookbooks for Kids

Illustration for article titled Theres Never Been a Better Time to Teach Your Kids to Cook (or At Least Make Dessert This Week)
Graphic: Gabe Carey
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Need some inspiration? If you have a child who loves rainbows, ponies, and glitter, Jenna Fletcher of Seasoned Sprinkles recommends the 50 sugar-filled recipes in the My Little Pony Baking Book. A mom with regularly cooks with her daughter, she said the book is gorgeous and the results are delicious. It takes classics like peanut butter cookies and adds a sparkly twist, in this case, lots and lots of candy and sprinkles.

Older kids can start building their cooking skills with The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs. Developed by America’s Test Kitchen, it includes a range of recipes, from breakfast to dessert, with an entire chapter dedicated to cooking for family and friends.

If you’re looking to read a book about baking, Anna Meriano’s Love Sugar Magic is a fun tale about a Mexican American girl who wants to help her family’s bakery—only it turns out her family has a secret. They’re witches who use magic to help conjure up their treats.

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Ellen Lee is a freelance writer in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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