You might think that my recipe is famous because it tastes amazing, and you would be right – ever since I started baking my own, many years ago, I can’t go back to store bought pumpkin pie. But that’s not the only reason it is famous – the main reason is because it is so simple and easy to do, even if you don’t bake. My partner, who is a great cook but definitely not a baker, once made it at my house with his daughter at Thanksgiving, and not only does he remember the experience of baking together fondly, he also could not believe how easy it was.

Cooking with your child is a wonderful way to build family traditions, and to teach your child to prepare a dish with love, to share with the whole family, or to bring to a friend’s home. It can give your child a sense of belonging, responsibility and contribution.

If you celebrate Christmas at home, then pumpkin pie is probably on the menu already, and imagine the pride your child will feel knowing that they prepared the dish that everyone will eat!

At our CEFA Early Learning schools, baking this pie is part of our little chefs’ program, which teaches children how to cook and always ends with the class eating what they prepared. Try it at home!

Best Ages for This Activity

Three to five, but younger children can still help and as they get older, you’ll find they will be doing it all by themselves.

How to Make It


  • A single pie crust (you can buy these fresh or frozen at the supermarket)
  • 1 can of pumpkin (425 grams)
  • 1 can of evaporated milk (340 grams)
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • ¾ cup of sugar
  • Whipped cream (optional but oh so yummy!)

Let’s get Started!

  • Invite your child to make pumpkin pie. The more they do, the more they learn math, science, reading, sensory learning, and self-help skills, so always try to intervene as little as possible and only if needed (for example, to help them read a word, or put something in the oven). Here are the steps to follow:
  • In a large bowl, mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
  • In a separate bowl, crack the eggs (teach your child how) and lightly beat them (you can use a fork or an electric mixer – my boys loved the electric mixer!
  • Add the eggs to the large bowl
  • Open both cans (pumpkin and evaporated milk) – teach your child how. This is a great fine motor skill! Then also add these to the large bowl
  • Mix well. You can do it with an electric mixer or just use a large spoon or a fork – just make sure it is mixed well.
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (talk about how hot that is and encourage your child to see how long it takes for the temperature to rise, as well as read the numbers as they rise for added math. When the oven reaches 425 degrees, add the pumpkin pie and bake for 15 minutes (teach your child how to set a timer).
  • Reduce the heat to 350 degrees (with the pie still in the oven of course) and bake for another 45 minutes. Again, invite your child to observe how long it takes for the temperature to get from 425 to 350 degrees.
  • Take the pie out and cool on a wire rack (any rack is fine, or even the rack on top of your stove if it’s not hot) for 2 hours and voilà! It is ready to eat!

Learning Opportunities

Children will learn S.T.E.M., fine motor skills, but more importantly, social + emotional development skills. Your child will:

  • Have the opportunity to contribute to their family by preparing a snack for their family, including siblings
  • Gain cooking skills
  • Gain a great amount of self-confidence and empathy

Invite your child to clean up the workspace once they finish preparing the pie. They can learn to rinse the bowl, put everything in the dishwasher the right way (it is an excellent S.T.E.M. activity – they have to use their engineering skills to place things in the best possible way so they get washed). Show them how to clean a counter, etc. These are all excellent life skills.

While they are preparing the pie and you are supervising, make sure you tell them that it is really kind of them to prepare this treat for the whole family to enjoy. Once you taste it, tell them how delicious it is! Ask them what they would like to make next time for the family. The rest of the family (especially siblings) should of course thank them also for the pie.

Natacha’s tip: Remember to let your child do as much of the process as they are capable of.

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