‘Get the Mad Out’ Cookie Baking Activity – Emotional Learning for Preschoolers

In honor of National Cookie Day on December 4, PBS KIDS is excited to share an educational and delicious cookie recipe that encourages children to communicate how they’re feeling. Talking through a range of emotions like happy, mad and sad with children through fun activities can help them develop their social emotional skills – and this recipe helps do just that.

“Get Out the Mad” Cookies, are inspired by the PBS KIDS show, DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD.

Why bake ‘Get Out the Mad” Cookies with your children?

When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four.

Baking these cookies with children not only hones math skills, but also encourages conversations around an array of emotions, which helps social emotional skill development.

In order to make the most out of the educational baking activity, start by asking your child what some common feelings are and when last time they remember feeling happy, sad, mad, etc was.

Anger is an emotion that can feel scary – both to feel and to talk about. Bringing it up while doing a fun activity like baking allows you to show that emotions are something safe to feel and talk about in your family.

You can explain that there are things they can do when they’re angry besides shouting or hitting, like pound on clay or dough.

Directions and ingredients for “Get Out the Mad” Cookies:


  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Bowl
  • Cookie sheet


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Ask your child to help measure out the ingredients. This is a great opportunity to talk about reading numbers and following directions carefully.

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Give your child a manageable chunk of dough. It’s okay for your child to mash it, knead it, and pound it. The longer and harder your child mixes the dough, the better the cookies taste!

When the mixing is done, show your child how to roll the dough into balls about the size of ping-pong balls, and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 to 12 minutes

More Emotional Learning for Preschoolers:

More baking for Preschoolers: