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Ready to unleash your child’s inner artist? The kitchen can be a great place to start. With endless possibilities for flavor combinations and kid-friendly ingredients, food and time in the kitchen is a recipe for creativity for kids.

The kitchen can be a great place for kids’ experiments. They’ll enjoy scooping, measuring and mixing different ingredients, and they’ll get the full sensory experience when they get to smell their recipes in the oven and taste it after it’s ready.

Time in the Kitchen

When kids spend time in the kitchen with you, they can learn all kinds of lessons—not only about the potential dangers of hot surfaces and heavy objects, but about different ingredients and good habits. Equip your kitchen with stools so they can watch as you prepare meals. Allow them to collect ingredients, organize or clean an area, and start the dishes.

These practices set up your child to be curious about potential activities in the kitchen that are creative, relaxing and fun!

Homemade Bread

Bread dough is a great artistic medium for kids. The ingredients are inexpensive and the dough is easy to make—and fun to knead! Your kids will love playing with gooey dough, rolling balls and rolls and making bread “faces.” Use raisins or currants for eyes, nose and mouth.

Kids Bread Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3 cups bread flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 packet quick action yeast
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Add dry ingredients to a bowl and mix well. Using your hands make a well in the middle, and add in the oil and warm water. Stir the mix until it comes together. Move the dough out of the bowl and onto a lightly floured surface, ideally at a height appropriate for kids to knead.

Knead for five to 10 minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Coat hands lightly with a small amount of oil to prevent sticking.

Allow kids to form shapes, such as balls for faces, and set the shapes aside to rise in a warm place until the dough roughly doubles in size. Decorate the shapes like faces, or however your kids would like—different sized rolls can be creatures and animals with different features. Use scissors, a toothpick or a butter knife to add lines and ridges to the rolls.

You can set up stations around the kitchen with different areas for toppings, or the option to make “crackers” by rolling out a thin layer of dough with a rolling pin and using cookie cutters to make fun shapes. Let kids add in sweet or savory toppings, like a cinnamon swirl or candied cherries, or Italian seasoning mix.

Bake shaped rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size, at 450 degrees.

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