Ideas for Independent Baking Montessori Style - From Two Years
Put all the premeasured ingredients on a tray and all the child needs to do it mix (and mash) and pour into a pan ready for the oven. Pictured above are the ingredients for a basic banana bread. From two years.
Provide an illustrated recipe card plus all ingredients on a tray (with measuring cups and spoons). We laminated the recipe card so Otis could mark off the ingredients as he uses them. From three years.
Provide a hand-drawn illustrated recipe card. This is much faster than typing one up, children don't mind silly pictures or messy handwriting! From three years.
Use children's, pictorial cook books. Kids in the Kitchen contains basic pictorial recipes for young children. Cooking Class is great for children who are reading or younger with some help (you can read my feature post here). Other highly recommend recipe books include Pretend Soup and Salad People. These snack cards are also a good idea (and easy to DIY)! From three years.
Where possible provide small, child size materials, think small bowl, wooden spoon, sift, whisk, knives, tongs. From two years. Above and below Otis is making berry pancakes at three years.
Provide cooking space at the child's level. Use low tables where possible, alternatively provide a stable child's space at the kitchen bench (learning towers or fun pods are a good investment).
Consider allowing the child to safely cook with heat, this can allow them to participate in the complete cooking process. Think electric skillet and later a toaster oven for baking. From four to five years.
These are some ideas we've used over the years however the main message with baking with children is to just do it and be led by the child!