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. 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.
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.Instant vanilla ice cream
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.Sunshine burgers
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. If you position them square to the tabletop, they will be able to get their weight over the pastry, which will make life much easier – oh and don’t forget that pinny.Pack them up in their school lunchbox so they can show off their homemade creations to friends or simply devour them for lunch.
Taking the kids for a spot of pumpkin picking (or purchasing)? 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!Pumpkin risotto
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 on the muscle side of things. Let them get creative choosing the toppings; olives, grated cheese, rosemary or poppy seeds – anything goes.
Looking for more ideas to keep the kids busy? Try these guides…
We’d love to hear what you like to cook with your children. Let us know in the comments below…