I babysit three times a week: two days out of the week for a third grade girl and kindergarten boy, and one day out of the week for a seventh grade girl, fifth grade boy, and first grade girl. When babysitting, I always let the kids decide how they would like to spend our time together. However, I offer ideas and suggestions; typically my ideas revolve around a baking project. Baking while babysitting is not only a way to keep the kids entertained (hands busy + sweet treat = perfect project), but it keeps me sane as well :)
Some baking projects involve baking “lessons.” For these “lessons,” I show the kids how to measure, mix, etc. Other baking projects are more decorating-based, like decorating cake-mix cupcakes with colored frosting and sprinkles. For every baking project, however, I try to incorporate an element that can be made unique by the kiddos, i.e.: when baking a batch of cookies, I will let the kids select favorite candies to mix in, or, for frosting, each kid can create their own color with food coloring.
My latest babysitting baking project was white chocolate dipped pretzels. (My original plan was to have regular and white chocolate covered pretzels, but the regular chocolate was not cooperating during the melting process. With two chocolates to choose for dipping, the kids would have more options.) I thought the kids would have fun decorating each pretzel with a variety of different, colorful sprinkles. The project was easy to assemble. All that is needed is melted chocolate (almond bark works well, too, as it seems to melt more easily), pretzels, and sprinkles.
My favorite pretzel? The middle, multi-colored one, made with all of the “leftover” sprinkles. This was such a fun project, and these pretzels would make a terrific holiday or everyday gift.
Have a great Tuesday!