Being in lockdown (or quarantine…social isolation…whatever it is called in your area) is difficult enough. And by now, your kids are probably bored having played all the games and watched all the movies that they can. So why not keep them busy in the kitchen? Here are a few (fun) ways to keep them entertained with food!
An oldie, but a goodie. Most kids (and even some adults) can be kept busy for hours with a good play dough. In a large saucepan, mix together 1 Tbsp oil with 2 cups of water and food coloring. Place on medium heat. In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups flour, 1 Tbsp cream of tartar, and 1 cup of salt. Add to the heated liquids. While the pan is still on the heat, stir until dough becomes thicker and dryer – it will form a ball. Take out to cool, and once cooled off, knead a few times until it gets the consistency of play dough. If it is too soft, just continue to knead. Wrap your dough in plastic wrap to keep it soft and pliable!
Kids are fascinated by rock candy. It’s a fun activity to do while stuck indoors, and it’s edible! In a large pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 4 cups of sugar and stir. Continue to stir while the mixture is boiling, allowing the sugar to dissolve. At this stage, you can add flavorings such as vanilla, peppermint, or orange extract. Let the solution cool for about 20 minutes. Once this solution is cooled, you can add in a food coloring of your choice. In the meanwhile, roll wet bamboo sticks in sugar, and allow to dry completely. Add some of the colored sugar solution to a glass jar, and place the sugared bamboo stick in the center of the jar, using a clothespin (clothing peg) to keep the stick from touching any part of the glass. Cover the jar with a paper towel and let it sit for a week or two. Kids can follow the progress of the sugar crystals and see how they grow! To learn more about the science behind rock candy, you can read this article by The Exploratorium.
Let your kids ‘paint’ their waffles before they eat it. You will need clean paint brushes, milk, food coloring, and of course, cooked waffles. Simply add a few drops of food coloring to the milk, and let the kids use the paint brush to ‘paint’ their waffles in various colors.
You might have a lot of groceries stocked in your pantry such as canned goods, dried pasta, and snacks. Why not have your kids use it to play pretend grocery store? You can make play money from paper, or use sweets as coins. You can even create ‘promotions’ for the store and use soft toys as other customers. With lockdown you could be missing shopping so much, you might just join in.
Let the kids join you in making dinner extra special. Make colored spaghetti! Add cooked, strained, and rinsed spaghetti to a Ziploc bag containing 2 Tbsp water and 20 drops food coloring of your choice. To make it more exciting, you can let each child choose their own color. Seal the bag, mix until well combined, and let it sit for a few minutes. Strain and enjoy!
How are you keeping your child busy during this time? Tell us in the comments below!