Geeky Parent Guide: Engaging Your Family with ‘The Great British Bake Off: Home Edition for Kids’

One of the most important elements of the Geeky Parent Guide (GPG), which we hope to convey to parents, is the ability to communicate with their kids throughout their lives, connecting on geeky things, with the hopes of building a comfortable pattern of sharing thoughts, ideas, fears, and dreams. The Great British Bake Off, also known as The Great British Baking Show, provides a sense of positivity where contestants share their concerns over baking gaffs, while a sense of support comes from the hosts and other competitors.

“It’s a safe environment for kids to sit down for a little bit of TV time. The show is challenging for its contestants, it’s lighthearted within the overall theme, and kids can learn to appreciate that winning or losing does not have to determine good sportsmanship.” (Fanbase Press 2019)

There’s a pure sense of honesty and openness in the tent that kids and parents can appreciate, which can be seen by the way contestants will literally help their competitors when they’re scrambling to get their tasks completed. The camaraderie is truly remarkable, being such a positive example for everyone to see. That type of communication is the direction I’ve hoped for when creating the GPG for other parents.

Now, when learning has become a vital part of at-home learning, this is a fun and messy experience for kids who might not have as many engaging activities as they might’ve had in a class filled with friends and classmates. Let’s take a look at what The Great British Bake Off: Home Edition for Kids looks like.




“ON YOUR MARKS, GET SET, BAKE!”

Despite missing the perfect opportunity to utter this phrase during our two-day adventure, my kids were beyond excited during each activity. So, patience will be a fundamental component for parents as they tackle this baking challenge for their kids. Additionally, I did very little in the grand scheme of their bakes. I lifted a heavy bowl. I helped clear out an over pour of cinnamon. Egg shells were done in a separate bowl, which then little bits of shell could be extracted. I also handled everything going in and out of the oven.

Beyond that, I shared a message with my kids that I hope will be useful for other families. “Don’t worry about making a mess. Only focus on having fun.” Making a mess is something that happens often in kids’ lives, so letting them know that this shouldn’t be something to worry about is important. They had one or two “I’m sorry” for pouring too much cinnamon or dropping flour onto the floor, but a few reassurances led them to not worrying about it for most of their challenges.

First thing’s first. We picked recipes that revolved around ingredients we had on hand. But, the number one reason for picking recipes: Our Kids Love These Foods!

Meghan (my wife) and I initially had planned on the bread to be the signature where our kids could make any kind of bread with a wide assortment of flavors; however, one kid mentioned cinnamon and sugar, and the other wanted the exact same thing. Flexibility allowed our kids to have a little extra control over this activity.

Signature: Pizza Two Ways
Technical: Cinnamon and Sugar Bread Loaves with Vanilla Frosting Drizzle (recipe)
Show Stoppers: Simply Sweet Mug Cakes


TECHNICAL - SWEET, SWEET BREAD

Some great moments that kids and parents can share is the sense of helping one another when underneath “the tent.” When trying to pour all of the bread mixture into a loaf tin, Marshall was having a problem holding a bowl and trying to scrape the edges. In enters big sister to say, “I can help scrape that for you, Marshall.” Which is followed by an enthusiastic, “Thanks, Adelaide!”

The Great British Bake Off was alive and well in our household. Yes, there were tense moments for me keeping track of timing associated with some bakes, but both kiddos were so happy and excited to be making their own products AND having the “I hope mine is the best” in the back of their minds.

Bread Judgments: One bread was sweeter. The other had a better rise with a crispy crust. Now, Meghan was going to be the only judge, but the kids insisted on me being a judge, as well. Then, I insisted they also be a part of that experience, too. This let them try different recipes and get a better understanding of their tasty treats.

Marshall’s bread: Voted best by Meghan and Marshall
Adelaide’s bread: Voted best by Travis and Adelaide




SIGNATURE - PIZZA PERFECTO!

Each kid made two pizzas. This allowed them to think about sweet and savory options. This is where the magic of creativity came out. We used a pizza dough recipe Meghan has used often, and then we offered an assortment of pizza toppings. One cheese pizza included marinara sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, onions, garlic salt, and fresh thyme, basil, and oregano. The other used olive oil as a base, with pepperoni, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, fresh basil, and garlic salt. Each crust was also brushed with butter.

Their sweet pizzas included things like butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, cream cheese, peanut butter, and, of course, mini-chocolate chips.

Pizza Judgments: I uttered the words, “These are some of the best pizzas I’ve ever had.” These pizzas were amazing, and I wanted to make sure I told them that. Their eyes widened with delight. Parents have a fantastic opportunity to be wowed by their kids’ creations and sharing honest moments to let them know that it’s okay for one to be better than the other, without it meaning “One good = One bad.”

Adelaide’s Cheese and Onion Pizza: Voted best by Meghan, Adelaide, and Marshall
Marshall’s Pepperoni Pizza: Voted best by Travis

Adelaide’s Cream Cheese and Chocolate Pizza: Voted best by Travis and Adelaide
Marshall’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Pizza: Voted best by Meghan and Marshall




SHOW STOPPER - MICROWAVE MUG CAKES

Our kids were ecstatic to make and try these sweet concoctions. These recipes, like the others, were found on Pinterest - a very useful tool for parents to find recipes for some Great British Bake Off at home. One created a brownie in a mug, while the other created a s'mores cake.

Mug Cake Judgments: Let’s just say that these items were the first to not have any leftovers. These were made in coffee mugs and they were perfect desserts after dinner, and a surprising turn of events happened after everyone tried each other’s. Each kid liked the other mug cake better.

Marshall’s Brownie Mug Cake: Voted best by Meghan and Adelaide
Adelaide’s S’mores Mug Cake: Voted best by Travis and Marshall


ENCOURAGING FAMILY ACTIVITIES

Did we do everything like the Great British Bake Off? No. We did not set a timer on their creations. I was focused on the confidence in making something on their own, while seeing them encouraging and helping each other along the way. Being honest with our opinions let them appreciate one another’s recipes more openly by sharing kind words. It’s delightful to see.

If you’re looking for a way to connect with your kids, or a way for your kids to find joy and confidence in creating something from scratch, then I highly encourage doing something similar at home. My kids have already expressed an interest in making these items again, while also wanting to make different types of bread, pizza, and mug cakes.

Have you created your own Great British Bake Off at home before? What are some of your favorite recipes to share with your kids? Share your thoughts in the comments below. If you like this content, don’t forget to like and share this page with all of your geeky friends!

Until next time, happy parenting and happy geeking.



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