I am in the midst of three (3!) weeks with the kids home without summer camp, which means that I am doing that juggling act many of us experience at some point during the summer when we are trying to get work done and also provide fun and engaging activities for our kids (although I am definitely also a believer in free time when kids entertain themselves and even get bored!). Our plans for these weeks include some house projects (cleaning and reorganizing the playroom!), some fun out-of-the-house activities, and cooking projects to stock of the freezer for camp lunches.
As I have written about before, cooking with kids is great for many reasons including decreasing picky eating, introducing new foods, helping them to understand where their food comes from, giving them confidence, and introducing them to math concepts, but it is also a lot of fun, especially when they can get their hands dirty!
If cooking with your kids is a daunting thought, try one of these recipes to get you started. They are favorites in our house!
1. Scones—these are fun for two reasons: 1) they require some squishing with hands, which kids love and 2) they are perfect for an afternoon snack or tea party.
2. Granola Bars—these are great because you can let the kids have a say in what mix-ins you add (nuts, seeds, dried fruit, chocolate chips, shredded coconut, etc.).
3.Pizza using my basic tomato sauce—I use Mark Bittman’s pizza dough recipe with the whole wheat substitution and let the kids make their own pizzas. You can start with just having them do the toppings and then move on to letting them stretch out their own crusts into fun shapes.
4. Watermelon Water (recipe below)—Easy. Healthy. Delicious. Kids love cutting up the watermelon (you can even just use a butter knife to practice knife skills) and turning on the blender. Put it in a fancy glass and you’ve got a really special treat.
- ¼ of a large watermelon (1/4 of a large watermelon)
- ½ a lime
- Cut the watermelon off of the rind and then cut into smaller pieces. Place piece into a blender. Squeeze about ½ a lime on top. Blend. Serve.