Some of my fondest memories of childhood took place in my grandmother’s kitchen. We’d whip up desserts sporting colorful aprons that only made us hungrier for the end product. Introduce your child to the magic of creating something from scratch. Then host a bake sale! Your little one will learn how to create, sell, and give to charity while spending quality time with the family.
As you brainstorm bake sale ideas, think of treats that are age-appropriate for your child to help make. Younger children should tackle no-bake items or recipes that require minimal assembly, whereas older children can learn how to use the oven and stove top with adult supervision.
Recipes that make individual servings, such as cookies, candy, muffins, cupcakes, or bars, are the best options for a bake sale. They’re easy to package and can be sold in sets of two (just enough for snacking!) or by the dozen.
To make no-bake chocolate-dipped pretzels, gather these ingredients:
- 1 bag milk chocolate chips
- 1 package of crispy pretzels
- Sprinkles, raw sugar, or crushed hard candies
Empty the chocolate chips into a microwave-safe bowl. Place it in the microwave on high heat for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl using potholders, and stir. Then place the chocolate back into the microwave for another 30 seconds. Remove, and stir again. Repeat this process until the chocolate is smooth and creamy.
Next, show your child how to hold one pretzel at a time and dip it slowly, halfway down into the bowl of creamy chocolate. Try using various pretzel shapes such as circles, sticks, or holiday motifs. Place each pretzel on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet to cool. Let your child add colorful sprinkles, raw sugar crystals, or candy (such as crushed peppermint sticks or butterscotch candies) to this chocolate dip.
Keep in mind the chocolate will harden in 30 to 45 minutes. Then, package the pretzels in small paper sacks, tied with ribbons. Store the pretzels at room temperature.
Another simple recipe to try with your kids is this one for colorful cookie balls. First, collect these materials:
- 1 cup nut or seed butter
- 1/2 cup honey or agave syrup
- 2½ cups old-fashioned oats, uncooked
- 1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup miniature colorful candy-coated chocolate pieces
Together with your child, measure and place the moist ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a large spoon until they all blend together. Then, measure and pour the dry ingredients into individual bowls. Wash your hands and use them to combine all the ingredients by squeezing and mixing. Roll the soft dough into bite-size portions about the size of golf balls.
Package these treats in upcycled glass jars topped with a lid, a scrap of colorful fabric, and a ribbon—or tuck the cookies in recyclable plastic baggies. Store your sweets in the refrigerator until it’s time for the sale.
Picking a Charity to Help
Now that you have an idea of what to bake, explain to your child that the money you make from selling the treats will go to someone in your community. Who? Ask your child! The local animal rescue, to buy books for kids, or even to help a friend fundraise for medical expenses are all great ideas kids should be encouraged to try. Consider looking through your Facebook newsfeed for similar ideas.
Setting up the Sale
Once you have a charity in mind, try to plan the bake sale with the rest of your community. For example, you’ll have good luck selling snacks at the high school basketball game as a fundraiser for a teacher who needs help with medical bills. Or, sit outside the animal shelter on the weekend with a table of treats that funnels money back into the care and needs of the homeless pets.
Here’s a quick checklist for how to prepare:
- Make flyers announcing the date, time, and location for the bake sale. These can be hand-drawn or created on the computer.
- Hang the flyers on bulletin boards at local stores, schools, and libraries.
- Help parents post a copy of the ad as a status or tweet on social media.
- Bake and package the treats.
- Locate a folding table, table cloth, and chairs for your sales booth.
- Set up a money box so you can make change for the customers.
- Help draft brochures about the charity to hand out.
After the sale, count the money together. Then present the funds to the charity with a few words about why they’re special and what made you and your child take action to raise money.
Have you ever participated in a bake sale with your child? Share your tips and easy bake sale ideas with us on Twitter.
This article was brought to you by Tom’s of Maine. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of Tom’s of Maine.