I bake because I have a sweet tooth and it doubles up as a de-stressor for me. Baking is a very sensory experience especially when it concerns biscuits and dough that has to be rolled into balls, shaped and squashed. It’s like playing with playdough only you get to eat it afterwards.


Baking is also a way to press the pause button and slow down for a while because it can’t be hurried up if you want it to work.

Do invite your kids in to bake and cook with you. It’s great for togetherness time but they will also incidentally be acquiring the following skills:

  • Following instructions in the right order
  • Learning how to be precise when they measure things out
  • How mixing different ingredients together will create a different result
  • How to de-stress in a creative way that doesn’t involve therapy or medication!

Why baking and messy play can help with stress

Baking and messy play with mud or dough stimulates the largest sensory organ in the body – the skin, and it has a real calming and soothing effect. The stimulation the body receives through manipulation of dough sends sensory input to the brain through the skin, muscles and joints that gives a general feeling of well-being similar to the feeling of the skin being tickled or brushed or when deeper pressure is applied like when kids wrestle.

We get to iron out some of our stress and irritations when our bodies are used to push and pull things, manipulate and create. We all need to do more messy play.  Here is a recipe for homemadedough-940x400 playdough.

And here is a favourite old family recipe of mine for Chocolate Melting Moments

  • 8oz butter
  • 4oz castor sugar
  • 8oz flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2oz cocoa
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • salt

Cream butter, beat in sugar and vanilla. Work in dry ingredients. Roll into balls and flatten with a fork. Bake at 18o degrees Celsius for 15 – 20 mins. Serve as is, or stick them together with butter icing.

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