There are several different ways to make cooking enjoyable for children of nearly any age by using cooking games for kids. Turning the kitchen into an imaginary restaurant can be entertaining for older children, while creating edible artwork can be fun for younger kids. Playing “I spy” while cooking together can be exciting and educational at the same time, while still getting dinner on the table relatively quickly.
Children are well known for their vast imagination and creativity. Turning the kitchen into an imaginary restaurant can be a fun way to incorporate cooking games for kids into dinner preparation. Children can set up a cooking line, similar to that found in many restaurants, with each child being responsible for different tasks. Depending on the maturity of each child, this can include washing or cutting vegetables, seasoning dishes, stirring or mixing ingredients, or preparing plates. All activities should be supervised by a responsible adult, however.
It can also be fun for kids to create and decorate a menu for the meal or set and dress up the table. When playing these types of cooking games for kids, it can be helpful to ensure extra time is planned if a meal needs to be eaten by a certain time. While cooking games for kids can make meal preparation enjoyable for the whole family, it can take a little longer than if only an adult is doing the prep work.
Cooking activities for kids can also help to encourage children to try new foods or eat healthy snacks. Making shapes out of pizza or bread dough and then baking it can be a good way to provide children with a creative outlet. Creating different edible art projects can also be fun and creative cooking games for kids. Providing children with several healthy ingredients such as whole grain bread, sliced fruits and vegetables, low fat cheese, and a variety of nuts with which to create their own personal masterpiece can be an educational way to spend a rainy afternoon. The foods can be stacked into a book or displayed on a plate to create a statue or picture; after the children complete their artwork, it can often be eaten as a snack.
Using different foods to teach children colors and shapes while cooking or baking can be one of the most educational cooking games for kids. Encouraging a child to find all of the red, green, or other colored foods can be fun and exciting, especially for preschool children. Finding all of the vegetables, fruits, or different shaped foods can also be fun and help children understand what is going to be served at dinnertime. Playing these types of “I spy” games with colors or shapes can also encourage fussy eaters to try new things and require little planning or extra cleanup by the parent or guardian.