Sunday, April 29, 2012

Kitchen Activities for Kids

Keeping kids busy can be quite the task, whether it’s during summer break from school, on the weekends, or just when kids are too young for school. Fortunately, there are plenty of great activities for them to do in the kitchen with your help. Not only is it fun for them, but it gives them more confidence in the kitchen and teaches them about nutrition and how ingredients fit together. Stumped about what sorts of activities you can do? Here are some fun suggestions for children of all ages (including adults).

* Whatever you’re making, let your kids be in charge of dumping in ingredients. It’ll make them feel important and proud when they see the finished product. Depending on the age of your child, you can also let him or her do some of the stirring.

* Set out a smoothie bar. If made with healthy ingredients such as a reduced-sugar orange juice, low-fat yogurt, and fresh fruit, smoothies can be both nutritious and fun to make. Prepare a couple different fruits, such as banana slices or berries, and set them out. Let your kids decide which flavors they’d like to include in their own smoothies and push the button on the blender. You can also sneak a little protein powder into the mix, if you want give your older kids some extra fuel for school, sports, or play.

* Make a homemade cookbook. Get out some paper and some crayons. If the kids are too young to write out their favorite easy, kid-friendly recipes, you can either type or write them out. Encourage the kids to color all over it. Then, make some holes and bind the pages together with string or colorful yarn.

* Make pizza. A great way to get kids to eat their veggies is to let them help decorate a big pizza, or make their own mini pizza. Start with a whole wheat crust and a good pizza sauce, and let them get to the decorating. Set out cheese and a bunch of veggies, and let the kids make pictures if they want to. Green peppers make great grass, broccoli makes trees, and julienned zucchini makes great stick people. Just make sure they don’t pile on too much cheese and toppings, as the pizza won’t cook thoroughly.

* Make your own play dough. Simple ingredients, like corn starch, baking soda, water, and corn oil make great play dough when mixed together with some food coloring. Let the kids help mix it all together and pick what color to make it. This could also turn into a lesson about what happens to colors when you mix them together.

*Make cut-out sugar cookies. After you’ve rolled out the dough (let your child help if he or she is old enough), let the kids push down the cookie cutters and move the dough to baking sheets. When cookies are cool, get out all sorts of fun decorations, such as frosting, sprinkles, and edible sugar decorations. Give each child a placemat or plate to work on, then let them get creative with the decorations.

* Play restaurant. Create a menu with crayons and pretend to be a waiter. Have your kids place their order, then keep returning and fill their drinks and ask how everything is. If your child is old enough, let him or her play the waiter. While this game is fun, it’ll also teach your kids how a restaurant works, and how to be polite to whomever is taking their order.

While kitchen activities can get messy, they can also be some of the most fun activities for kids. Every kid likes to be creative, and the kitchen is a great place for them to unleash their ideas.

Top 5 Trivia Games for Kids is a Fun 4 The Children Guest Post by Jolissa Doornink:

Jolissa Doornink writes for Become a Better Baker, a family baking site.

Technorati Tags: