Baking is a brilliant activity for toddlers but as a busy parent I know how time consuming baking activities can be. So how can we make it easier for ourselves while also giving our toddlers the best baking experience ever? The answer is simplicity itself – literally. Keep it simple. Why not decorate ready made biscuits and enjoy the moment with your toddler, instead of stressing out over the perfect bake? Keep reading to get my perfect biscuit decorating icing recipe, tips for containing the mess and even grab yourself a FREE copy of my ‘Time to Bake’ activity bundle!
Can I really decorate ready made biscuits?
The answer – yes you can! Baking is a great way to enjoy slow Sundays and Christmas holidays. But realistically it isn’t the easiest activity for during the week. Especially for working parents or those of you who are parenting several children at all different ages and stages. It’s not just the baking itself, but buying the ingredients, setting up the utensils and then the clean up afterwards! That is a lot! I’m not telling you to scrap baking from your early years repertoire. Oh no! It’s important your toddler gets the chance to bake, because it teaches them so many new ideas! They learn about cause and effect, measuring, reading a recipe, fractions, colours, shapes and even develop their artistic skills! So let’s keep the baking, but ditch the work!
How to decorate biscuits
First of all you are still going to need to buy your biscuit decorating ingredients. Don’t worry! There are only four! Four ingredients should be easy to remember, but if you want to keep this recipe for later why not save the blog post to your favourites? You can also download my printable recipe with pictures as part of my FREE ‘Time to Bake’ activity bundle. It’s perfect for pre-readers and will really help to keep your toddler engaged!
Ingredients for biscuit decorating:
- 1 packet of Digestive Biscuits
- Icing Sugar
- Food Colouring (we used green, red and blue)
- Sprinkles (we used Dr Oetker’s Giant Chocolate Stars, and Mini Jazzies, Milk Chocolate Beans, and Rainbow Sprinkles from Tesco)
Next up you are going to need your baking equipment – super simple though trust me!
Baking Equipment for biscuit decorating:
- A large baking bowl
- 4 small bowls or ramekins
- 4 spoons
So what do we do now? Well once your ingredients and equipment are set out on the table, you are ready to invite your toddler to sit down. Ask them to help you stir the ingredients together and decorate the biscuits.
- Sieve 250g icing sugar into a large bowl.
- Slowly add 3 tbsp of warm water (just boil the kettle and leave it to cool) and mix together.
- Divide the mixture between four small bowls or ramekin dishes.
- Mix in half a tsp of your desired food colouring into each bowl.
- Help your toddler to spread the icing onto each biscuit.
- Decorate the biscuits with sprinkles until your heart (and toddler) is content!
- Transfer to a plate or tupperware and leave to set in the fridge for at least one hour.
How can I keep my toddler engaged with the baking activity?
Baking is great fun so I am sure your toddler will have no trouble getting stuck into biscuit decorating with you. But if you want to feel prepared why not make sure the decorations are all set out in small bowls with toddler friendly utensils. Help them to measure the ingredients into the bowls and let them help with the mixing. Describe what you are doing and include measurements, correct names for utensils and name the processes you are carrying out. This will help your toddler to understand what they are seeing and give them the vocabulary to talk about it. Including toys and visuals is always a hit. Why not try offering an apron or chef’s hat to include an element of pretend play? Check out my list below for even more fab ideas and don’t forget to download my FREE ‘Time to Bake’ activity bundle.
the Make baking fun checklist
- Follow a visual recipe with pictures of each ingredient
- Print out pictures of your child’s favourite characters and attach them to the spoons and bowls
- Count out loud while you are measuring
- Make a rainbow biscuit
- Sing nursery rhymes such as ‘Pat-a-Cake’, ‘Three Currant Buns’ and ‘Jelly on a Plate’
- Make it messier and use your (clean) hands to roll the icing into shapes
- Keep the fun going by setting up bowls, spoons and baking flashcards to play with while you clean up!
How do I keep the mess under control?
Anything that involves real ingredients and a toddler is going to generate a little mess. But the good news is that biscuit decorating is easy to contain and therefore easy to clean up! I put all of the ingredients into small bowls in the middle of the table. Then I spread the biscuits out onto a chopping board. Once my toddler was seated, I asked him what he would like to put on his biscuits and then offered each bowl one or two at a time. He did manage to get icing on his hands, arm, face and shorts. But I kept a sponge and tea-towel handy to mop up spills as we went.
As the activity wound down, I began clearing up. Wipe from the top down and make sure you clean up your toddler before they get down from the table. Once everything is off your table, give it a quick wipe. Check the seats for any debris and then grab a dustpan and brush to sweep up the rest. If you can get your toddler to help sweep, even better! You can learn all about the importance of practical life skills like sweeping in my blog post of the Top Ten Practical Life Activities for Toddlers!
Remember, to relax and have a go at decorating the biscuits yourself too!
We loved this activity and did it straight after breakfast. Once we were done, we headed outside to play and burn off the energy from all those sneaky licks of the icing! Joseph loved picking a biscuit to go with his lunch. Let me know how your toddler gets on! I would love to see photos! Tag me @athomewithmrsblake on social media and remember to join our Community Group on Facebook for even more content and connection!