If you follow our blog you may have seen our recipe for salt dough ornaments.    If not, be sure to check it out, it’s a great Christmas activity to do with the children.   This blog is also about baking, with a pinch of Maths and English for good measure.

Write a story and bake the characters

To help inspire creative writing, ask the kids to each write a short story starring a biscuit or cake.   You could read them the Gingerbread Man story first for inspiration.   This is a brilliant way to occupy them when their friends visit – and you can be sure you’ll get plenty of gold stars from both visiting kids and their parents!

Once they’ve written the story, ask them to draw out what the lead character might look like.   From Dastardly Digestive to Rudolf the Red Nose Dodger or even Gingerbread Santa.

When the story and pictures are complete, bake the nearest type of cookie or cake you can to match it and let the children decorate them to match their drawing.

You can even scan and print their story and pictures and deliver it with batches of cookies to relatives, teacher and friends for a truly personal gift.

Measurement fun

Generally kids don’t like recipes because they feel too confined by the structure.   The younger the kids, the more creative they are likely to be.   But, what happens if you let them make the recipe up themselves and estimate the quantities?

Obviously, you’ll need to give them a range of semi-sensible ingredients to use, but they can be fun from jelly worms to coloured chocolate sweets along with the basics for brownies or biscuits.   You can always leave out bowls of the flour, eggs, sugar and butter that have to be included in pre-weighed out amounts, but the extras are all totally down to them and they have to put them out and measure them.

When they’re measuring amounts, get them to record the measurements in ounces and grams or millilitres.   This is a great way for them to learn not only to measure things, but also record them.

Candy windows

If you have leftover Halloween hard candy from lollies to boiled sweets, this is a great way to use them up and make new, more exciting sweets.

Simply grab a freezer bag and fill it with the candy and then smash it into fine pieces.  It can be a total mish mash of colours or you can smash separate colours and put them into separate bowls.

Then get a non-stick baking mat or paper and place it on a tray.   Using pastry cutters for the outlines pour the smashed bits of candy into the cutter to create the shape.  Carefully remove the cutter and tidy up the edges.

Then place the tray in a hot oven for a few minutes to melt the candy.   Once out of the oven either make a hole at the top with a skewer or the point of a small knife, so you can hang them from string or insert a lolly stick and wait for them to cool.

Regardless of the age of your child, ensure that they do not come into contact with hot surfaces – and are aware that melted sugar is extremely hot and can hurt them.   Health and safety awareness is protection for your child – not to stop them having fun!

Enjoy your baking.