Merry March! Leap forward with these fun cooking challenges.
Are you ready for spring? Take a break from screens with these easy kitchen-based activities for kids.
Looking for an easy and nourishing way to spend time together over spring break? Cooking is a delicious way to connect. Each of these mini kitchen challenges uses things you probably already have around the house, and are simple enough that kids can take the lead. It’s a great way to get your little ones up and moving...and to motivate everyone to cook up some fun! We’ve separated the activities below by skill level, but you don't have to choose a formal activity to get started experimenting in the kitchen: start by just picking a recipe to try together! Even making sandwiches can be an adventure for kids who are new to cooking. Or, try teaching your kid your favourite recipe, cooking something for a neighbour or calling the grandparents and learning a family recipe together. When you're ready to try something more advanced together, check out our ideas below.
Science challenges are great for younger children, and they can be delicious too! Wow the kids with a little baking soda magic when you show them how you can put out a candle without blowing on it. Once you’ve got their interest (and you've extinguished the candle!), it’s time for the kids to take over. It’s easy peasy to make ice cream in a bag and playdough, but you can also demonstrate some tasty science when you make pancakes together. Whatever you cook up this week, save your food scraps—we have an easy tutorial on how to turn your scraps into a kitchen garden, and little ones will be proud to watch their plants grow.
For these activities, you’ll need to prep some materials, and you’ll want to budget more time. Volcano eggs are a fabulous way to mix art and science —plus, you can eat the results once you’re done admiring them! A lemon battery is a classic science fair project that takes just a few hardware essentials to light up the room. While you’ve got lemons handy, teach your kids to make invisible ink—the easiest way is to write a message in lemon juice or vinegar and let it dry. Once it’s dry, your message will be invisible—to reveal it, just heat the paper up with an iron or light bulb. For older kids (and more prepared parents), we love this more sophisticated method, which uses an acid to write with and a pH base made of flavin (a component found in apple skins, cabbage and grapes) to reveal your writing. Don’t forget your family pets: putting together these pet-friendly cooking projects is a treat for everyone.
For chefs and friends looking for a day-long project, it’s time to roll up your sleeves. We're so impressed by this incredible Planet Earth structural layer cake. Our Hands-On Cook-Off archives are also full of inspiration—try these cream puffs with marshmallow filling. In fact, HOCO is back this April, and we are getting excited! If you're looking for a project to share with a few friends, Fika (think Swedish high tea) makes an excellent afternoon activity. And if you’re looking to really unleash your inner artist, challenge each other to make a beautiful rainbow smoothie bowl or rainbow buddha bowl.
Looking for more? Try a little practice run for April Fools with these silly spring recipes and check out how one young chef tried to fake out her brothers with noodles made from spaghetti squash. We’ve got more ideas on snacks and science experiments (and even kitchen-based musical instruments!) in our March break round-up posts (here and here). If the syrup is still running where you are, make the most of it with these delicious maple syrup activities! Finally, if you’re doing a little spring cleaning, now is the perfect time to make the kitchen more accessible to your kids—here are some ideas on how to turn your kitchen into a space to play and grow.
Did you make the Planet Earth structural layer cake? We would love to see your family projects. Please share your ideas and photos with our community on Facebook and Instagram feeds, and stay tuned for HOCO updates!