project cherry pie = success!

Some of my favorite memories of growing up were the times when I got to help my Mom with baking projects.  Normally at 5 years old your “helping” is usually some miniscule task like rolling out the dough for bread.   My Mom didn’t want to get her hands all goopy and sticky, and I SO wanted to get my hands goopy and sticky.  It was a perfect arrangement from the go.

I’m learning (as I’ve mentioned before) that Buddy loves helping with stuff.  Lately he has been showing signs of wanting to help with more difficult tasks beyond finding his shoes for me, or putting one of the girl’s bottles on the table for me.  Now he pushes a kitchen chair up to the counter while I’m doing dishes and starts whipping everything within reach in the sink for me to wash.  He tries to help me carry the girl’s car seat out when he knows we’re going somewhere, and he hands me clothes pins when I’m hanging laundry out on the line.

These little things, while more of a nuisance than a help, are his way of showing his independence in making decisions.  It shows that he is constantly curious and learns how things work by getting involved firsthand.

This brings me back to the baking helper memories.  I had wanted to bake some cherry pies with the cherries we brought home from Door County last weekend.  I realized I haven’t had Buddy help me with any baking projects ever.  I know he’s a bit young yet, but I know how much he loves helping so I thought it’d be fun to get him in on the action!  Plus this is a good way to learn about different consistencies and mixing things together.  It’s the perfect way to fun learning.

I knew it’d take a little extra work, and it’d be a LOT more of a mess.  But that’s ok.  This is what I’ve been waiting for.  Ever since I wanted kids of my own I imagined how fun it would be making crafts, catching fireflies and butterflies and tadpoles, making a huge mess baking, making forts and so much more.  I wanted to get directly involved in their learning process and have fun doing it.  I’m still young right?  Bring it on!!

I got to work immediately pre-measuring everything out for each pie separately.  Normally I’d make a double batch, but I figured this would make it more fun and longer for him.  I got everything ready and brought him to the table and started handing him things to dump into the big bowl.  He looked at me like, “Wait… you’re letting me do this?!  Awesome!!!”  I told him what he was mixing together and what tools he was using for each project.  I told him what was hot and what was cold.  I showed him that the oven was hot, but it finishes cooking the food that we mixed together.  He was so interested in all of it. (…and thankfully more aware and cautious around the oven!)

He was so into it!  I had so much fun showing him how to mix and giving him finger fulls of cherry syrup and letting him make a big mess while mixing because he thought it was funny.  It was so absolutely worth the mess.  What’s a little mess when it comes to your kid’s happiness? 🙂

pouring the "dry" ingredients

mixing the cherry juice and lemon juice

discovering what happens when you mix dry and liquid ingredients

adding (and squishing..) cherries!

snacking while Mommy works on the crust

ready to bake!

...24 hours later. Buddy makes the best cherry pie filling!!

Do you have a favorite project you like to do with your kids?  are there any projects that you’re looking forward to doing with your kids?


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