Inside: These easy apple muffins are a fun way to introduce toddlers to baking. I’ve included free printable sequence cards and a booklet to make this cooking activity even more fun!
Cooking with toddlers can be a bit stressful.
Especially when you have as many as I do. Ten!
But I’ve learned how to take some steps ahead of time that make cooking with little ones so much easier.
And I used these steps when we recently made delicious and easy apple muffins.
I even have some baking sequencing cards and a booklet for you to download! Scroll down towards the end of this post to find them.
How to Make Easy Apple Muffins with Toddlers
The key is cooking with toddlers is having all the dry ingredients pre-measured.
I pre-measure and dump all the dry ingredients into a container.
I then measure each of the wet ingredients and place into a separate container.
I have all our utensils and anything else we need ready to go before they are called to the cooking table.
As we all know with toddlers, the less they have to wait, the better.
I then fill cups with the mixed dry ingredients, making sure I have 1 cup for each child. (If you have leftover dry ingredients, the children can have multiple cups.)
You can do the same with the wet ingredients, but since this was our first attempt at cooking with this particular group of toddlers, I decided to have the wet ingredients already in the mixing bowl. One less step this time around.
Using the Apple Muffin Sequence Cards
Print the sequence cards (scroll down to find the link to the download).
I laminated ours so I could easily wipe off any food that would (and did!) get on them.
As we started each step of the cooking process, I held up a card and told them what we’d be doing.
Using picture cards such as these is a great pre-reading skill!
After everyone washed their hands with soap and water, we gathered around the cooking table.
Note: If your are working with young toddlers, this would probably be best done in smaller groups, calling the children a few at a time rather than having the entire class participating the same time.
Pouring the Ingredients
I held up the “pour” card and explained that I would be giving each of them a cup of dry ingredients and that they were to wait until I came around before pouring it.
As I came around with the mixing bowl, I invited them to pour their cup of dry ingredients into the bowl.
Note: If you are pretty certain your toddlers won’t have the restraint to wait until the bowl comes around before pouring out the ingredients, do not hand them their cup until the bowl is in front of them.
Mixing the Ingredients
I added the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and then held up the “mix” card and explained that we would be mixing everything together.
Even though an electric mixer is not necessary for this recipe (shown below), our past experience has shown us that toddlers (and preschoolers), LOVE using the stand mixer.
And, to be honest, my KitchenAide mixer doesn’t get used much at home.
I invited each child to come up and turn on the mixer. This was a huge hit and they loved watching all the ingredients mix.
Building Fine Motor Skills
Once all the ingredients were mixed, I helped each child use an ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the muffin tins.
It took some work learning how to squeeze the handle of the scoop (to release the batter), and some simply bypassed that part and just tipped the scoop so that the batter fell into the tin.
Either way, it’s a great way to strengthen fine motor control!
Baking the Muffins
I used our sequence cards to then show them we’d be putting them in the oven.
We walked to the kitchen and I stood back with the children while my co-teacher placed the muffins in the oven.
This was a great opportunity to talk about oven safety.
Eating the Muffins
We moved on to the gym for some large motor play (they needed this after having to focus on making the muffins), and when we returned, the muffins were cooling on racks.
When we were ready to sit down and eat them, I held up the “eat” card.
These muffins were a huge it. Every child enjoyed it! (And that’s saying a lot with toddlers who tend to have picky appetites!)
Recipe for easy apple muffins: