8 Fun Food Activities for Kids
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“Mom! I’m bored!” The dreaded word no parent wants to hear during summer vacation. Yet this familiar refrain is universal and sure to come out of your kids’ mouths. The next time it does, try these fun food activities the family can do together to send boredom packing.
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Rock and Roll
Making rock candy is a great way to sneak some science into summer. The cooking experiment is a chance to show kids the concept of evaporation and crystal formation. The crystals form over a week as water evaporates from saturated sugar water. Have kids take a picture each day to track the candy’s progress. Use food coloring and flavor oils and extracts to make the candy sticks look and taste better.
You can purchase a rock candy making kit on Amazon for a simple and complete activity.
In Italy, a pizza master is called a pizzaiolo. Have your kids play pizzaiolo for a day making funny face mini pizzas. Using an assortment of toppings like pepperoni, olives, pepper strips, sausage and assorted vegetables, kids can create pizzas with a variety of expressions. To make them taste even better, fire up the grill and cook them over the coals.
Today, more of us are eating at home. To spice up family dinnertime have the kids turn the dining room into their own restaurants. Have your kids plan a menu; maybe it’s dinner in Tuscany or south of the border night, and then go online to find low ingredient, easy-to-make recipes that fit the bill.
Get creative designing paper menus and decorating the space to fit the theme. When it comes to cooking each child can be executive chef of one dish and then they can serve as host and waiter when it comes time to eat.
No cook wants to make rubbery eggs, but budding scientists will with the rubber egg experiment. Kids will be amazed at how a fragile egg can morph into a bouncing ball, while you can teach them about mineral calcium. Eggshells, like bones, are hard because of calcium. Leach out the calcium and it becomes soft, fragile and rubbery. Submerging eggs in vinegar over a few days removes the calcium. Have kids record observation and photos of how the eggs change over time and of course, bouncing the end result.
For more kitchen science experiments for kids, check out Awesome Kitchen Science Experiments for Kids: 50 STEAM Projects You Can Eat! on Amazon.
Homemade popsicles are an easy activity to get the kids involved with, and it’s not just because there’s a refreshing treat at the end. Making popsicles can be as simple as pouring their favorite juices into a mold and freezing overnight. If the family’s feeling fancy, you can make layered popsicles with multiple flavors or even blend fresh fruit with coconut water for an extra-healthy dessert.
Make it even more fun and kid-friendly with dinosaur ice pop molds on Amazon.
Bond over Baking
Baking is a classic way families bond over food. Grab the kids and whip up your own version of this lockdown loaf. Opt for the classic recipe, or add in things like chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cocoa, peanut butter, or coconut to spice it up.
A traditional charcuterie board might be a little too refined for most children’s tastes, but you can apply the same choose-your-own-adventure concept to breakfast. Let the kids lay out the board — and assemble their plates. Whether it’s a Greek yogurt parfait or work-of-art pancakes loaded with syrup and whipped cream, everyone will be able to have breakfast their way.
While we normally don’t encourage our children to play with their food, sometimes that’s exactly what should be on the menu. We’re not talking about food fights or poking at green beans to stall until dessert, though — when we say “play,” we mean it. Stage an egg toss challenge followed by a plate of eggs their favorite way, or bake cookies and use them as Connect Four pieces on a DIY grid. Recreating a beach scene with food can also be a rewarding activity: graham crackers for sand, blue icing or Jell-O for water, bananas and apple slices for palm trees, and Goldfish or sour octopus gummies for aquatic life. Just make sure it’s not too pretty to eat!
These fun food activities on your summer activities menu will keep your kids entertained and keep the “I’m bored,” battle cry at bay.
Cullen Boudreaux is the BBQGuys’ Creative Director, working mom and mother of two kids under the age of three. Living a life of outdoor entertainment as a working mom and wife, Cullen's illustrious experience ranges from producing memorable events for museums and breweries to over 10 years in stationery and gift design. After leading the BBQGuys' rebrand through a merger of four websites, her talent for spotting trends serves her as creative director to this day.