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This activity follows lessons learned in “Building a Licorice Barn.”

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Activity: Baking

Individual or small group (up to 3 children) supervised by an adult.

What You'll Need
  • Your favorite cupcake recipe
  • Measuring cups
  • Ingredients on box (water, eggs, etc.)
  • Bowl and mixer
  • Cupcake tins, nonstick spray (or cupcake liners)
  • Icing (and sprinkles too!)
What To Do
  1. Explain you are going to bake cupcakes just like Barbie and Chelsea!
  2. Grab your favorite cupcake recipe and gather the baking tools and ingredients you'll need.
  3. Organize them in the order each is needed and explain the steps to the children such as, “First, we will put the powder mix in the bowl. Next, we’ll crack the eggs...”
  4. Assign each child a job, like egg cracker and batter mixer.
  5. Follow the directions on the box, pour the batter into greased (or lined) cupcake tins and place them in the oven.
  6. Discuss activities you can do while waiting like playing concentration, playing pick-up sticks, or drawing, then get busy! Doing an activity while waiting helps the time fly by.
  7. Ice and decorate the cupcakes once they have cooled.
Discussion Questions

Start by introducing the word patience. Discuss why waiting is hard sometimes.

  • What waiting must you do when baking? Examples: wait for oven to heat up, wait for the cupcakes to bake, and then wait for them to cool before icing.
  • What would happen if we took the cupcakes out of the oven too early?
  • What happened when Barbie and Otto iced the cupcakes before they cooled?
  • What could Chelsea and Barbie have done differently so the icing wouldn’t melt?
Follow-Up Activities

Children can practice patience when playing a board game, gardening, or saving money to buy something special.


Lucy’s Secret, by Mireille Levert (Groundwood Books, 2004) 
Waiting, by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 2015) 
Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow Books, 1996)


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