Children learn in a variety of ways away from the formal classroom setups. Competitions of different kinds lend themselves to the acquisition of desirable life and social skills. A positive team spirit, discipline, respect for others and for rules prepare children well for adult responsibilities. Baking competitions teach these and many more skills.
First, baking is a fun activity for those so inclined therefore it ranks high in motivating children to participate. Creative children tend to enjoy baking competitions because of the limitless opportunities they offer to stretch one’s imagination. Their natural curiosity directs them to experiment with different textures, aromas, tastes, appearances and smells.
The range of bakery products available is the beginning of exposure to the creative possibilities of a baker. Cakes, pies, pastries, rolls, and cookies, each one of these opens a door that stretches the boundaries of creativity. Such is the fun and learning that baking competitions offer to children.
The baking and judging processes help children improve their sensory experiences of smell, taste, touch and sight. They must listen keenly to instructions and follow them. The children naturally internalize vocabulary that accompanies the baking in an authentic setting. Children build their confidence as they practice and master baking skills.
In baking competitions children learn to confidently present and describe their baked products. They develop the art of critiquing their fellow competitors and speaking intelligently about their baking abilities. They learn to encourage one another, fail (both individually and in groups), get up and try again, and again. They build resilience and perseverance.
Baking competitions are timed activities therefore time management, discipline and focus are built into the competition process. Without time to second guess their choices, children learn to make and defend their decisions. Alongside time management, children must of necessity deal with stress management as they work under some form of duress.
What about the anxiety of waiting for results, the excitement of winning, and, on the flip side, the crushing disappointment of losing? Of failure? As children learn to navigate through these emotions, they prepare for the real-life experiences of adulthood. They build the inner strength and resilience that drives one to rebound and continue to practice and work on their craft.
Aside from life skills, baking contests prepare children for a future career in baking. The competitions open up opportunities to interact and network with other people in the baking industry. Career choices range from launching bakeries, offering classes, becoming pastry chefs, food critiques and/or food editors, and so much more.
One cannot exhaust the many learning opportunities there are for children in baking activities. Learning is fun when baking competitions are part of children’s experiences baking class in SG .