Save the kids and your home from a day of curtain swinging with these projects that will keep kids of all ages happy, focused and hopefully out of trouble.We’ve chosen simple, fun recipes that will keep kids involved every step of the way, from easy dinners to tempting bakes. Every recipe comes with a list of all the equipment you will need, as young children tend to have fairly short attention spans, so being extra prepared is key to a successful cooking experience.
Looking for more rainy day activities? Check out our best indoor activities for kids, including fun craft ideas like play dough, salt dough and homemade bath bombs. Also browse these kids’ cooking recipes for lots more easy kitchen projects.
1. Crumpet pizzas
It’s well known that good things come in small packages, and these dainty crumpet pizzas are no exception. Rather than letting the dull weather dampen everyone’s spirits, focus on making a fun family lunch using just a handful of ingredients. With a fluffy crumpet base, these mini pizzas are easy for little kids to decorate with toppings of their choice. We’ve gone for a classic combination of tomato sauce, grated cheese and a colourful array of veg.
2. Instant vanilla ice cream
So it might be raining outside, but we won’t let that deter us from a bit of ice cream – and we’re pretty sure the kids won’t either. Especially when they see the milk transform into ice cream in front of their eyes! Part science experiment, part recipe, there is no actual cooking involved which means it is great for all ages to get involved with – and it’s a fun way to teach younger children about temperature, too. Just try and ensure some of the sprinkles make it onto the ice cream…
The science bit
Under normal circumstances, water freezes at 0C. But adding salt to the ice lowers the temperature to -10C, meaning the milk freezes in minutes.
For special treats, take a look our more of our kids’ dessert recipes.
3. Sunshine burgers
The lovely thing about this recipe is you can simply let your kids cook free-style as there is barely any formal weighing involved. Releasing them from the confines of the recipe gives them much more freedom to get creative and use their own judgment in the kitchen. Plus there is lots of good squidgy fun to be had mixing everything up with your hands.
Find more kids’ burger recipes to enjoy come rain or sunshine.
4.Vegan Thai green curry
Full of flavour, yet easy on the spice levels, this plant-based Thai green curry is perfect for introducing older kids to cooking a main meal. It’s simple and packed with veg, giving kids the chance to perfect their chopping skills, as well as learning how to use tofu as a versatile meat substitute. Ready in just half an hour, this is sure to become a family favourite.
5. Chocolate chip traybake
Want a simple baking project which everyone will love? Chocolate cake is always a winner! Ideal for a rainy afternoon activity, this simple traybake is ideal for showing kids how to prepare a cake batter, as well as whipping up a silky chocolate buttercream icing. With just 30 minutes cooking time, it’s not long at all before they can tuck into their afternoon efforts.
Browse our kids’ baking recipes for cookies, cakes, puddings and more.
6. Layered rainbow salad pots
Bring the sunshine indoors with these cute and colourful tuna pasta salad jars. A super satisfying lunch or indoor picnic idea, these rainbow jars also deliver a whole two of their five-a-day, plus a dose of vitamin C. Firstly, cook all the ingredients for the individual layers, then let your little ones assemble their foodie masterpieces – the more colourful, the better! They can label the jars with their names and keep them chilled for later
7. Simple stir-fry
Another handy dish to add to any aspiring young chef’s repertoire, stir-fries are perfect for using up any leftovers in your fridge as well as packing in lots of nutritious veg. Teach older kids how to whip up this speedy dish using a pack of egg noodles along with mixed veg, ginger, soy sauce and protein (prawns, chicken, salmon or tofu would all work). Once they’ve mastered the wok, they can experiment with different ingredients. Take inspiration from our collection of easy stir-fry recipes.
Check out more kids’ noodle recipes.
8. Cheese & spinach pasties
If Popeye hasn’t quite done the trick on the spinach front, then these easy cheesy pasties should get a bit of the green stuff in them. Rolling out pastry and using cutters will be a skill transferred from all that playing with modelling dough. Pack them up in their school lunchbox so they can show off their homemade creations to friends, or simply devour them for lunch.
Get more kids’ lunchbox ideas.
9. Pumpkin risotto
Taking the kids for a spot of pumpkin picking? Get them using this seasonal veg for more than comical carvings. You can adapt the recipe to suit children of all ages, so this is a good one for cooking with a brood. Everyone will enjoy having a go at bashing the garlic in the bag and older hands can get stuck into snipping spring onions with small scissors – just make sure everyone gets a fair go at stirring!
Find more kids’ rice recipes.
10. Flowerpot bread
Making homemade bread is a chance for children to get really involved in the kitchen, and baking it in flowerpots just adds to the charm. This recipe is suitable for all ages, but younger children might not be strong enough to knead so may need some extra help. Let them get creative choosing the toppings; olives, grated cheese, rosemary or poppy seeds – anything goes.
Take a look at our top 5 bread recipes for kids for easy loaves, cheesy garlic bread, egg soldiers and more.
Looking for more ideas to keep the kids busy? Try these guides…
What do you like to cook with your children? Leave a comment below…