Holiday Baking With the Kids: How All Ages Can Help in the Kitchen

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Baking during the holidays is a tradition for many families, but to continue that pastime with your children, you need to teach them from a young age. Luckily, there’s something your little ones can help with in the kitchen at almost every age level. Of course, whether you take these suggestions greatly depends on your child’s maturity and abilities. This year, bring your kids into your holiday baking to make it a family affair.


Holiday baking can be done with preschool children

Photo: Flickr/Nathan Bittinger

Even children as young as 3 or 4 can help in the kitchen. Just because these little ones are small does not mean they cannot help with holiday baking. If your child can stand up and follow directions, let him help with basic tasks. She could pour in pre-measured ingredients when directed to. Or you could allow him to shake a sealed bag of snickerdoodle cookies to coat them with cinnamon sugar before baking.

Young School-Age Children

Holiday baking young children can shape dough

Photo: Pixabay/mccartyv

Children old enough to be in school (ages 5 to 7) can do more tasks around the kitchen to contribute to holiday baking. Have them practice sounding out words from a recipe to practice their reading skills. You can even have them bring you items from the refrigerator or pantry. Young school-age children can help shape balls of dough for cookies or help knead dough for fresh bread. These tasks get them in touch with the baking process.

Older School-Age Children

Holiday baking with older children

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Late elementary school-aged children (8-10) can do much more in the kitchen to help. Assign them tasks such as mixing the dough by hand or rolling out the dough. For gingerbread or other cut-out cookies, let them use the cookie cutters to create the cookies. This is also a good age to teach them about fractions and how they can increase or decrease a recipe. For instance, you can ask how much sugar a recipe would need if you doubled it. This encourages them to practice their math skills and shows them that fractions are used outside of school.

Middle School and Up

Anything an adult can do with holiday baking most older children can also do


Once children reach middle school, they should be able to do just about any task around the kitchen from putting pans of cookies into the oven to measuring out and mixing the ingredients themselves. This does not mean that you should not help. Holiday baking should be a family affair, and if there are tasks your older child does not know how to do, use the baking to teach them important kitchen skills he’ll use the rest of his life.