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Why So Many Bake Sales?

Becky Langerman | Brevard, NC

 

I love baking. Since I can remember, I’ve always wanted to be a baker. As a child, I spent summers in Iowa with my grandmother on the farm my father grew up on. And we baked. She was your quintessential farm wife and grandma. Everywhere we went, we brought baked goods with us to share. Social life revolved around a baked good. When I would leave, she would stuff my suitcase with as many sweet rolls, cookies, and bars that would fit. Of course, I needed some for the plane ride, so my carry-on was stuffed as well.

Once back at home in North Carolina, I would try to re-create what we had baked in the summer. It never turned out the same. But I tried over and over again with many different recipes. Oh, how I wanted to bake like my grandma! Baking is her love language. To this day, she sends me home with her homemade baked goods every time I see her (maybe you were lucky enough to sample some at our recent bake sales).

While baking was a way that we bonded, there are also many things I learned from baking. There are so many educational benefits to baking with children. So while we do use baking to raise money for our field experiences, it is also a way parents can be involved in meaningful homework with your kids. Here are just a few of the benefits when you allow your child to lead the way:

 

  1. What’s in your food. Learning what it takes to make a sweet treat with real, wholesome ingredients gives your child an opportunity to understand more about their nutrition.
  2. Math. In recipes, you have to count and measure. This is a great way to apply fractions to a real-world situation.
  3. Science. Baking is chemistry. Without the correct amount of each ingredient, the experiment might fail. So much learning occurs in the mistakes!
  4. Reading. Children have to practice reading to follow the recipe!
  5. Following directions. The order of the steps matters in baking. Certain ingredients have to be mixed together before being added to others.
  6. Patience. While you could just buy your sweet treats already prepared, there’s more satisfaction and pride in knowing that you’ve created a masterpiece.
  7. It’s OK to make a mess. Baking is messy! What a fun opportunity to allow your child make a mess.
  8. Clean up your mess. The flip side of making the mess — you must clean it up!
  9. Problem-solving. Mistakes are opportunities for learning. How could we do this recipe better next time?
  10. The joy of giving. Just like my grandmother — baking is an expression of love.
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