They say the days are long, but the years are short when the kiddos are young. We are FULLY immersed in that here at the Joos household. Eggroll is five and CR is three, so we are right on that border of “not able to play by themselves” and “mom-mom, I’m bored.” To that end, here are five kitchen projects to do with them that I have stashed away for when the regular fun just doesn’t cut it.
All of these projects are technically edible, though that’s not always the point. Also, they have the added benefit of teaching your kids patience as almost all require a waiting period between the making portion and eating portion of the fun. So without further ado…
Five Kitchen Projects to Do with Kids
If you are a child of the 80s or 90s, I hope you have as fond of memories of pudding pops as I do. I had one aunt who always kept a box in her freezer for whenever I came over. Pretty much the only reason I liked that place. 😉 Anyway, it takes barely any work to make your own. Simply make some instant pudding and pour into a popsicle mold. Don’t have one? Don’t fret. Use small cups and wooden popsicle sticks to make your own.
For added fun, I like to make two different kinds of pudding (chocolate and butterscotch is my favorite combo) and layer in the cup. Noms.
On the other end of the health spectrum, we have these pretty, pretty princess wands (or swash-buckling swords, as the case may be…) I’ve found one of the best ways to get kids to eat fruit or veggies is to get them to participate in the “cooking” (and/or cover the veggies in cheese, but that’s a whole other blog post). So for this fun project, we simply gather some fruit and kebob sticks. If you have it, you can use a star cookie cutter to turn slices of melon into star toppers to make it even more Fancy Nancy approved. Kids can pick their own combination of fruit for their wand with the understanding they have to eat everything on the stick.
If your guests aren’t too concerned about #kidgerms, this is a fun way to get the littles involved in the menu of a backyard BBQ party. Let them make one for each guest and I’m sure they’ll have fun stories about why they picked what they did for each person.
I know there’s another candy-colored well, candy that tells you to taste the rainbow, but 1. candy needs to be chocolate in my house and 2. I much rather have leftover M&Ms than Skittles, so… I suggest using M&Ms to SEE the rainbow. Follow the instructions here and teach your kids – 1. will power, 2. meditation, and 3. science. (And possibly 4. if it’s doing that on the plate, what in the world does it do in my body?! Or possibly not. 😉 )
Frozen Breakfast Bark
As the weather gets warmer, all I can think about is ice cream, but that’s not healthy EVERY day. Instead, pick a day to make this frozen yogurt bark. Simply line a pan (9X9 square up to a cookie sheet, you decide how much you want) with parchment and then pour on a layer of vanilla yogurt. Next comes bite-sized fruit pieces, granola or cereal. I suppose you could try chocolate chips or craisins, too. Simply top with small handfuls of whatever your family would eat and pop in the freezer to get really cold. When it’s time for snack (or breakfast!), take it out and break into pieces. This does thaw quickly, so maybe eat over a plate.
Depending on your kids’ ages, they may be able to do this one all by themselves. If you get a set of kid-friendly knives, they could even prep the fruit. Favorite combinations in our house are blueberries and Cheerios, and tiny pieces of banana and strawberries.
Last, but certainly not least is homemade playdough. There are a million and one recipes for homemade playdough out there. I’ve tried a couple and think this one from IHeartNaptime is my favorite. Her pro-tip to put the playdough in a baggie to add the color is genius.
My pro-tip – only go for the primary – red, yellow, green or blue – colors of the food coloring. When we tried making pink or purple by combining colors, it all turned to grey.
So that’s what we are making in times of desperation and/or inspiration. What’s on your project list?