Skip to main content

Baking with twin 4-year olds

For our boys' birthdays, I love baking them a cake... or ordering a cake from Coldstone. Our 4-year olds lucked out and each got a Coldstone cake this year. Our baby lucked out since we were living in the Navy Lodge during a military move (a friend actually baked him a cake though, which was super sweet). Our oldest on the other hand managed to have his birthday fall right in that rush of "so glad we are FINALLY in our OWN house with our OWN things" and there was no way in Hades I wasn't going to bake his cake.

On top of that, our other 3 wanted to help (the baby did not actually say he wanted to help, but he is a new walker and in that "requires constant supervision" phase).

Since our 4-year olds wanted to actually make the cake, I measured out all the ingredients beforehand. This made it much easier when actually mixing because their attention spans fall in the category of, "Oh! Look! Shiny!" We also had a lot of discussion over taking turns... they both seemed to feel that it was always their turn and never their brother's turn, "You let me put that in. Not that guy. That guy can't help anymore." "That guy" being the twin brother.

Once everything was measured and hands were washed, it was time to bite the bullet and make the cake.

I decided it would be easiest to go back and forth between pouring in ingredients. One of our 4-year olds started by pouring in the flour...

...and then the other poured in the rest of the dry ingredients. Do you see how the other supervises his brother so closely? In the pictures it looks like he is just interested in the cake making, but they were actually making sure the other only did one thing because it my turn now.

I let them both crack one egg each (a total of 4 went in the cake). I had them crack their eggs into a large measuring bowl so I could either discard the egg if it was completely destroyed or pick out any stray egg shells. Much to my surprise, neither preschooler exploded an egg on the counter and there were no egg shells in either bowl! They were so proud of themselves. To show them how to crack an egg, I cracked one egg into a measuring bowl myself. The tutorial was useful because when I initially handed them an egg, one of our 4-year olds asked me if you just squeeze the egg really hard to crack it.

Luckily only one of our 4-year olds wanted to turn on the mixer. The other thought it was a scary robot and did not want to start it up each time after adding the eggs.

I was going to let each of the preschoolers smooth out the cakes that I poured into the pans. However, one of them was only interested in the beater, so that left the job to this guy who took the duty quite seriously.

He took the job quite seriously until he realized there was cake batter on that spatula. Then he decided the cake was smooth enough.

I intended on having them help make the frosting for the cake, but by the time the cake cooled so had their interest in baking. I actually forgot to take a picture of the cake once it was finished (I was making dinner, finishing the cake, and dealing with a 1-year old who had been woken up from nap far too early by 4-year olds fighting over costumes). I did snap a picture on my Galaxy S5:

He was very pleased with his Batman birthday cake and our 4-year olds were so proud that they had made the whole cake "by themselves." In fact, they were so pleased with themselves that they asked where my cake was. They actually got mad at me and said that I promised to make a cake today and they wanted to eat my cake... I pointed out we did make a cake, to which they said, "No, we made that cake. We want your cake too." I'm not sure if they actually thought they were making a cake + I was making a cake = giving them 2 cakes to eat today for their brother's birthday, or if they were just testing to see if they could get two cakes out of the day's celebrations.

Baking with children is not always easy. I love having our boys help me in the kitchen though. I find that prepping the ingredients when cooking with our 4-year olds really helps, cutting down on the time that they have to wait in between "helping." I also like having ingredients separated in case of contamination (such as, not sticking their hands in my Tupperware container of sugar). Cooking with our (now) 7-year old is different; he enjoys prepping a lot of the ingredients himself, such as cutting vegetables, measuring ingredients, and operating small kitchen appliances. The biggest key to successfully cooking with children is wine a good attitude. Spills happen. Eggs explode when being cracked. Flour gets dumped on the floor. Little fingers find their way to the sugar bowl. Having a safe workspace is also key. This doesn't have to be a big kitchen counter, but does need to be a sturdy stool they can firmly stand on or a bar stool they can safely sit on. This helps make the whole process just slightly smoother.

What are your tips for baking with little ones?


Popular posts from this blog

I love my stroller

I get stopped all the time when I go out. I don't mind that people want to wave at my babies or ask D if he is a "big help" or throw their hands up in mock distress and say, "I don't know how you do it." Sometimes, yes, I would rather run in and out of a store, but, honestly, even if people weren't stopping me, would that really happen heading out with three kids? I've gotten used to the "you have your hands full" conversations, but one thing I never tire of talking about is my stroller. People stop me all the time to comment on my stroller, either to tell me that they wish they had that stroller back when their kids were young or to find out what it is and where to get it.

Let me start at the beginning. When D was an infant we had two different Chicco strollers, the travel system and the Chicco $40 umbrella stroller. Neither was that exceptional, but they both served their purpose. When we found out we were having twins, I begin doing ma…

Baby products

 After a year with twins, we have been through our share with baby products. I try everything that comes my way or that fits in our budget. Here is what has worked well for us and some things that haven't.

1. Graco Pack'N'Play
Before the babies were mobile, this was their go-to place while we were home. We knew where they were and that they were safe from a very "helpful" older brother. For travel, we used them as cribs. Now that they are a year, they are a great way to keep them contained when we play outside with D or if we are doing a less-friendly baby activity, such as a Legos. We love our Pack'N'Play.

2. Bright Stars Play Yard
Major thumbs down. My parents have a Graco Pack'N'Play at their house and we have a Graco Pack'N'Play. We bought a Bright Stars Play Yard because it was cheaper than buying another Graco Pack'N'Play-- big mistake. It looks nice, but it is a total pain to fold, coming from someone who has spent a lot of…

Tula love

At the risk of sounding like a crazy Tula lady, I decided to write a blog post on Tulas. A friend of mine was asking me about Tulas the other day and when I started explaining the different kinds {canvas, wrap conversions} and about the stockings and buy/sell/trade pages, I realized there is a lot of information to take in and that I must, indeed, sound like a crazy Tula lady. So here it goes....

{In this blog post, I am only going to discuss the Tula buckle carriers, not the ring slings or woven wraps.}

First of all, you are probably wondering what a Tula is. It is an ergonomical baby carrier, along the same lines as a Boba or an Ergo; all three of these are also in the same price point. I really like this blog post by the Happy Hippie Homemaker that explains the differences between the three, "Ergo vs Boba vs Tula carrier comparison." The blog post is biased towards Tulas, but it still does a good job showing the differences between each carrier. Why did I choose Tula? I …