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Celebrating National Baking Week With KDM!

Maybe it’s just our collective sweet teeth talking, but at KDM we love baking. Whether it’s a steaming loaf of bread, a holiday pie, or even just a lone gingerbread man, there’s just something so wholesome about taking the time to bake something yourself. It’s for that reason why we’re very excited about National Baking Week 2021.   

Not only is baking a lot of fun, but we also believe that it’s a great example of easy team building that you and your team can accomplish with only a little bit of preparation. So, in this short article, we’ll go over some of the ways that baking can be used as part of your team building campaign. They’re not hard exercises, but they can be a little time consuming — so get ready to spend a couple of hours over a couple of days on them. 

 

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Baking Your Way To An Effective Team

All three of our Baking Activities written about here have certain similarities between them, so we’ll briefly touch on them here before discussing the activities themselves. 

Teams

Firstly, you’ll want to divide your larger team into smaller groups. If you’re planning on making this competition company-wide, you can simply use your existing teams — IT, Admin, etc. . 

However, if you’re only using a relatively small number of people in the activity, you should divide your group into smaller teams — even if it is 2-3 people to a team. Some of these activities rely on a designated team baker for a particular activity, so it’s important for team cohesion and the overall success of your team building enterprise that person feel supported and not be left to carry too much pressure during these activities.

 

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Team Baker

As we just mentioned, some of these exercises require a designated baker. This is because of two reasons. The first reason is for productivity — it’s easier for one person to bake than it is to get 2 – 6 people together to bake. The second reason is that two of these tasks are aimed at people with very little baking experience, and as such it’s best for one experienced person to take charge of doing the baking itself. 

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There are many ways of finding a good team baker, but the quickest way is just asking for volunteers. Many people enjoy baking as a hobby, and would relish the opportunity to show off their skills to their colleagues. Alternatively, if no one on your team is willing (or able) to bake, we’d always recommend taking the initiative and doing some baking yourself — not only is it great fun, but your team is sure to remember your creations regardless of whether they’re any good or not!

Scroll below for our set of baking activities.

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Best Dressed Gingerbread Men

To start with, you’ll need a base gingerbread man from which to work with, and you’ll need enough of them for your teams — preferably 1 for each person. These gingerbread men should also be free of any decoration. 

Once your team has their gingerbread men, you should tell them to decorate their gingerbread men as they deem appropriate — this could be with icing or with sweets like chocolate buttons. Alternatively, it could be with fruit. They could do it to look like themselves, each other, or a fictional character. 

However your team chooses to decorate your gingerbread men, it should only be with edible bits. This will be important in a moment. 

 

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Once your teams have decorated their gingerbread men, it’s time for the rating. The gingerbread men should be divided up among the people who will be judging the competition — ideally the other teams — and then judged. 

The gingerbread men will be rated on two separate criteria: 

  1. Appearance 
  2. Taste

 

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You should ask your judges to rate the gingerbread out of 5 in both categories. The winning gingerbread man should be one that is both the best dressed and the one that tastes the best, based on the decorations that have been added to it — the gingerbread man that has the highest rating

If you’d like to add a level of complexity to the competition, you can always separate the criteria into different competitions and allow your team the option to submit more than one gingerbread man to the competition. 

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Chocolate Masters

The next competition is one which shouldn’t involve a designated baker. This is because this task doesn’t involve a base in the same way that the previous team building exercises did — your team will need to actually melt and cast the chocolate themselves. This makes it a really great exercise for team bonding as everybody can get fully involved. 

Unfortunately, because everyone is getting involved, it’s also an event that requires a little bit of time to finish. To start with, you’ll need to give your team some time to make a plan of the kind of chocolate dish they wish to make. This plan should include things like: 

 

 

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  • What kind of chocolate they want to use as a base (candy bar/actual casting chocolate etc).
  • Whether or not they need a design/theme.
  • What kind of things they want to add to it (syrup, marshmallows etc). 

Once your teams have completed their plans, it’s time to gather supplies. Your teams should be given some time to get their required pieces, as well as a mould in which to pour the chocolate. 

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Next, your team should work out an order of who is casting what and when. By doing this, they ensure that everyone gets a chance to make something, and you get a chance to prepare  for the next stage of the competition. 

Once everyone has had an opportunity to cast their pieces, you should bring your teams back together with their chocolate creations in tow. It’s time for judging. 

 

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As with Best Dressed Gingerbread Man, the chocolate masters should be decided upon based on the following criteria: 

  1. Appearance 
  2. Taste 

Once again, have your teams try each other’s chocolate creations and have them rate the best winning chocolate concoction out of 5 — these are their points. At the end of the competition, the team with the highest amount of points are the chocolate masters. 

 

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Ace of Cakes

Finally, our Ace of Cakes competition is one for experienced bakers only, as it requires at least one person to bake a full cake themselves. 

The rules for Ace of Cakes are relatively simple. You divide your office into teams and then have them bake and decorate a cake. The best looking and tastiest cake is the one that wins the competition. 

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Unlike the other competitions, the Ace of Cakes competitions is best undertaken by experienced bakers, or at least those who are interested in baking and have the ability to create a cake and bring it in.

But, while the requirements are higher, the team building rewards are also much more bountiful. This competition allows your team to really bring their A game and show off to the competition. It’s a great way of building team confidence and forging a great memory. 

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The KDM Option

As well as these activities, you also have the option to hire KDM to manage your team building activities. We have numerous baking-based events already designed and ready for your team’s enjoyment, such as the Great Baking Challenge, Virtual Bake Off, and Virtual Bake Off Cookery

Our team building events have been designed to be as fun and engaging as possible, taking the responsibility of planning and organising out of your hands, allowing you to really enjoy the activity, just as much as your team. 

For more information, get in touch with KDM today. National Baking Week 2021 is from 14th October until 19th October, so don’t delay in booking your baking themed event!

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