Parents: It’s the home stretch. When I was a kid, every August, my dad would literally walk around the house singing “It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeeeeear…” with a huge smile on his face. Most of you have just a week or two left before packing up the little muchkins and sending them back to school.
A relief? Maybe. But also, you have one last opportunity to make some memories this summer. Some of my fondest memories are of being in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother. The next time your child shows some interest, say YES instead of turning them away. No one will remember that they waited 30 extra minutes for dinner one night, but your kid will remember the night you let him cook with you. There are lots of recipes that kids can make or at least help you prepare.
During the summer months, our parents always encouraged us to play outside, but don’t stay away from the kitchen because “it’s too hot.” Just look for recipes to make with kids that don’t require standing over a stove.
Without further ado, here are some of our favorite recipes that we encourage you to make with your children before they’re back to school:
Do-It-Yourself Chicken Nuggets
Get the full recipe here. Yourself or a teen can do the cutting, but younger kids can get involved with dipping the chicken pieces into the flour, egg, and crust mixture. This is an excellent change to talk about food safety and why it’s not a good idea to stick our fingers in our mouths after touching raw chicken.
Salad with Copycat Chili’s Honey Mustard Dressing
Get the full recipe here. Salad is one of the easiest recipes to make with kids. Younger kids can rip up lettuce, while older kids and teens can practice knife safety by adding ingredients like celery. If your kids are anything like me growing up, vegetables are a hard sell, so getting them involved in the process could help them get excited about eating their finished product. Also, the dressing is super easy to make and your kids can help stir to mix and then drizzle onto their own salads with a spoon.
Peanut Butter Doggie Treats
Get the full recipe here. Consider baking for the furry member of your family with these doggie treats. The dough comes together pretty quickly, and kids love to help roll it out and use cookie cutters to create fun shapes. At least, I did when I was a kid. This is also a learning opportunity to talk to your kids about how they shouldn’t give a dog human cookies.
Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies
Get the full recipe here. Dipped cookies are always great for little hands. My mom Sharon always made lots of cookies growing up and we liked to help mix the batter too. This recipe calls for dried apricots, but since fresh are in season, consider drying your own and having some left overs for lunches next week when the kids go back to school.
Homemade Pizza Rolls
Get the full recipe here. This is a great option if you have picky eaters. Not only are thy quick to make (and better for you then their store-bought counterparts), but each child can customize their own pizza rolls with their favorite toppings.
Get the full recipe here. There’s something about the flavors of graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow that make me think about summer. If you don’t have place to make a little campfire for real s’mores, try out this recipe with the kids. It’s easy for little hands to sprinkle the ingredients to make this cookie.
Chewy Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies
Get the full recipe here. Kids can not only help mix these cookies, but you can also get them involved with flattening them with a fork. It’s an awesome recipe for fine motor skills (and this is a VERY forgiving recipe – the cookies always turn out great).
Want even more awesome recipes to make with the kiddos? Pinterest is my preferred method of inspiration. Here are a number of great recipes for kids to cook that I’ve found using Pinterest:
- Pioneer Taffy from Jaime Cooks It Up
- Alphabet Cookies from Red Ted Art
- Mini Bacon Crescent Dogs from Tablespoon
- “Coconut Tree” Snacks from I Heart Crafty Things
- Butterscotch Haystacks from The Novice Chef
- Butterbeer Cupcakes from Amy Bites
- Kool-Aid Popcorn from CraftGossip.com
- Broccoli Bites from Stacey Snacks
- Pretzel S’mores from Love from the Oven
- Oreo Icebox Cake from Cookies and Cups
- Make Your Own Rock Candy from Science Bob
- Peanut Butter and Jelly Sushi from Yahoo! Shine
- Jello Fruity Roll-Ups from Six Sisters’ Stuff
- Slow Cooker Apple from Simple. Home. Blessings.
- Mini Taco Bowls from Madame Deals
- Pretzel Hearts from The Artful Parent
- Almond Cookies from The Girl Who Ate Everything
- Disappearing Marshmallow Puffs from Paper Plates
What are your favorite recipes to make with kids? Leave a comment with your favorites!