Baking Day with Preschoolers

I have been homeschooling and parenting for long years now and have read stacks of books on creating an ideal learning environment. Through my years of studying I have collected a cupboard full of lovely learning resources for my younger students. Wooden puzzles, objects for sorting, lacing shapes and pattern puzzles are all options which my young children can choose to occupy themselves with during school time. Even with all these activities available, my preschool son has had a difficult time settling himself down to creative work lately.  I came to the realization that maybe what he wanted was something real to do. The puzzles and worksheets are fun but sometimes what our kids want is real work. I was finally reminded of that and so we pulled out the wheat grinder and got down to business.


Between carefully measuring grain into the jar and cleaning up the spilled flour the youngsters were kept busy and happy for quite some time. Even though the work was not directly educational, they were developing their fine and large motor skills as they worked along with me making sourdough bread.


The flour ended up all over the floor, a small price to pay for such happy and busy children. The littlest spent many minutes cleaning up without a single request from me.


While my little guy was cleaning up the spilled flour his older sister was conducting dish duty.

With great concentration she scrubbed each dish, and although a few of them were quietly placed in the dishwasher or re-rinsed when she was out of sight, her diligent efforts and self confidence as she contributed to the family chores were a joy to see.


 As the dishes were washed and the floor cleaned my machine whirred along mixing up a nice batch of sourdough bread. We later enjoyed a delicious, warm roll slathered in melted butter as a reward for our labors. For the children though, the best reward was the joy they felt in being a helping part of the life of the home. Small children thrive on meaningful work in a joyful environment. Although it is always easy to provide the work, the patient and joyful attitude is what makes the learning fun.


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