The Importance of Baking Together as a Family: The Snake Who Baked A Cake

Monday, 21 August 2017

You may have seen our review of The Snake Who Baked A Cake. It's a lovely story about a snake called Jake, written by sisters Sara and Simin. Although to a child it is a normal story, it highlights how baking can be a great activity to do together.

While growing up, Sara and Simin's mother was avid baker and a wonderful cook. It was important for her to be able to make and create recipes that her family loved.

When deciding on an adventure for Jake to embark upon, the sisters wanted it have an element of everyday life that was interactive and encouraged sharing. Baking does all three.

Baking is one of the first activities that parents, grandparents or carers can do with children to create a bond. The experience is interactive, messy and fun for all! It can be both collective and independent, giving children a sense of independence when carrying out certain tasks on their own yet having the company and guidance of an adult.

Baking builds discipline and responsibility. Children learn to follow a sequence of instructions to ensure the success of whatever their baking. Starting off with washing their hands and taking out the necessary equipment and ingredients and finally finishing off with the tidying and cleaning up.

Baking also has educational elements to it. Literary skills are used on each occasion during baking. When deciding upon a recipe, the adult reads out the ingredients and relays the information back to the children, allowing them to learn and expand their vocabulary. They may also count items, weigh out ingredients and time their bake, all of which helps to develop early maths skills.

Baking also allows for all five senses to be stimulated:

Touch- handling ingredients reinforces their learning and understanding of different food textures and viscosities.

Sight- Visual changes in colour of the bake or when decorating.

Hearing- Hearing sounds from the cracking of eggs to the noisy mixer.

Smell- Children can smell the lovely aroma of the freshly baked cake.

Taste- Finally, they can eat their creation!
All of this enables a solid base for learning as they are having a rounded experience while baking, but also in understanding and associating the task with all five senses. This will help them in their speech and being able to express themselves in different ways, contributing to their emotional development.
The end result is an occasion that brings everyone together by indulging in the bake, further empowering the children with a sense of joy, achievement and pride, which boosts their confidence.

There is so much more to baking a cake or cooking together. Knowing this, it makes it all that little bit more special and important :)