Christmas Gingerbread Cooking – Holiday Reading Activities


Christmas Gingerbread Cooking – Holiday Reading Activities

So, it seems Christmas is here. Whilst I am not a massive fan of Christmas trees, I am completely obsessed with Christmas cooking. Actually I’m completely obsessed with cooking at all times of the year, but at Christmas it’s more acceptable to be baking at 1am cause you can’t sleep.

Cooking with kids is a great activity, it’s also messy, challenging and usually ends in tears all round. But for now let’s focus on the positives…cooking is great for developing mathematics skills, and is of course perfect for developing reading skills.

Written recipes are excellent for early or even pre readers as they tend to have lists, and short sentences…not overwhelmingly long and daunting pages of text. PudStar at four is able to read the numbers for measuring, older kids can read out lists of ingredients and the steps.

Cooking and Reading Tips

Put your child ‘in charge’ of recipe reading – don’t we all just love to be in charge?!

Have your child read out the list of ingredients.

Ask them to read out the amount of each ingredient needed.

If they are able to, have them read out each step in the recipe.

Let your children flick through recipe books and food magazines, ‘reading’ the pictures and deciding what to cook.

Make sure you read Claire Howden’s post about Mathematics and Cooking.

Today we made gingerbread, using a recipe I have had for a while now…it makes quite a dark and spicy gingerbread which I love, but if you want less spice you could leave out the mixed spice, and use golden syrup instead of treacle. I recommend waiting until any 16 month olds are sleeping…look at that face – baking disaster waiting to happen.

Daley Gingerbread


250g unsalted softened butter

1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 cup treacle

1 egg yolk

1 whole egg

5 cups plain flour

2 tablespoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons mixed spice

2 teaspoons bi carb soda


  1. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in treacle, egg yolk and egg.
  2. Carefully mix in all other ingredients.
  3. Knead dough until smooth. Shape into several balls, cover in cling wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until needed.
  4. Roll out dough between baking paper to about 4mm thick. Cut into shapes.
  5. Bake in 160 degree oven for approx. 8-10 minutes depending on size of shapes.
  6. Cool completely before decorating.

I doubled this recipe…don’t do that. Look at that overfull Kitchenaid…imagine the mess on the bench all around it.

Decorating is one of those ‘lets wait till daddy gets home, he LOVES decorating’ jobs… 

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