Licking the beaters, rolling pastry, cutting cookies and kneading dough, getting fingers sticky and flour everywhere; anyone who can remember cooking, and especially baking, with their parents when they were children, will know how special it can be and will want to remake those same memories with their own littlies.
At Apropos, baking is one of our favourite family activities. A simple, fun and fulfilling pastime, baking isn’t just an affordable option for filling a few dull hours; it also instils a number of valuable life skills that all children (and adults!) could benefit from. Accuracy, patience, an understanding of cause and effect, as well as the not-to-be-underrated ability of being able to put a meal on the table, can all be gleaned from baking. Allowing children to get involved – weighing the ingredients, taking charge of the mixing bowl, and even helping to wash-up – can foster a real interest in young minds, which will be fortified when they later get to eat the results of their labour.
Of course, nothing is ever fail-safe, but it’s also widely believed that the earlier children come to cookery, the more they understand about the process and learn to enjoy the activity, the more likely they are to go on an develop a healthy relationship with food, forestalling common problems such as obesity and eating disorders.
Making your kitchen a pleasant place to be is a good way to help develop a child’s interest in cookery. If the space is bright and uncluttered, with room for your little ones to sit and watch, or ‘help’ while you work, they’ll imbibe more of the process than you might imagine. With an Apropos kitchen extension you can create your dream space, where you and your family can bake, play, cook and learn together, creating wonderful memories as well as wonderful food. Aprofold doors can slide back to let the fresh air in and your children out to pick fruit or herbs from the garden (cheese and chive scones can be a real crowd-pleaser), while the blank canvass of a glazed extension allows you the freedom to configure a kitchen-diner specifically with your – and your children’s – needs in mind, so you can cook up a storm at the drop of a hat.
We’ve been lucky so far this summer, with only a few showers and greyer days giving pause to the glorious sunshine, making finding holiday entertainment for the kids a relatively easy affair. But, when the rain falls down, as fall it surely will, baking is waiting to entertain you all.
Whether lop-sided fairy cakes, inch-thick jam tarts, or rock cakes that are true to their name, get your little ones into the kitchen this summer. Who knows, one day they could be wowing us all on The Great British Bake-Off, all thanks to your rainy-day play time and a few ingredients from the back of your kitchen cupboards.
Stuck for recipe ideas? Check out the BBC’s cooking with kids web pages.
If you’d like to discuss your own kitchen – and how apropos can help make it more inviting for children and adults alike, then please visit our website.