Cooking with Kids: Pizza Dough

When I know we will be home in the afternoon, and I need to occupy the kids AND cook dinner simultaneously, they LOVE this option of making their own pizzas!

Ingredients:

  • Premade pizza dough (one for each child)
  • 1 container sauce (usually good for two pizza pies)
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese (also good for two pizza pies)

We roll the dough right on a clean table. Sprinkle flour on the table and dough, I like to use Almond Flour.

You will want to move the dough onto a pan before applying the sauce. Let the kids spread the sauce, it gives them a sense of accomplishment and creativity!

Then they sprinkle on the cheese. Or in my daughter’s case, they eat the cheese too!

Put it in the oven according to the premade dough package instructions.

The finished product is ready to EAT!

Art for Kids: Painting Castles

I found these wooden castles at a recent Michaels trip and I was so excited to get started on this project! Now, I thought it would keep them occupied for a looong time, but it was about 30 minutes. It is ok though, because they were so proud of their creations!

The castles were $9.99 but they always have one of those 40% or 50% off coupons that you can find. All you need is some paint and paintbrushes, as well as something to cover the table (I used a roll of kraft paper).

I let the kids pick which colors they would like on their “palette”, which is a small plastic bowl.

My daughter is almost two years old, and even she was very engaged an excited about this project.

I find it best to give each sibling their own brushes and paint from the start, so they know what is theirs and it avoids fighting.

They did an excellent job!

Kwik Stix Paint Markers for Kids – My Favorites!

We received this Kwik Stix paint set as a gift from my brother and sister-in-law and they are absolutely amazing! These are my favorite kids art supply to date! They go on so smooth, even Mom was having a blast with this one.

I regret to say that my one year old daughter took a fancy to eating the paint sticks (she’s in an everything in the mouth stage). So, instead I took out some standard markers for her to experiment with.

But the 4 year old was having so much fun playing around with his new creative tools.

Zoo Themed Kid’s Birthday Party

We celebrated my son’s 4th birthday at Turtleback Zoo in West Orange, New Jersey. The tablescape set the tone with lions, and tigers and bears… oh my!

As favors, I included a zoo map, as well as an “adopted” stuffed animal for each child.

I also made these cute little animal cracker snacks for all of the “Party Animals” to enjoy as they strolled around the zoo.

I got a round chocolate cake made at local bakery, and added my own zoo animal figurines and live flowers and foliage to create the perfect scene!

Art Project for Kids: Spooky Halloween Masks

For me, Christmas and Easter are among my favorite holidays, by my son just LOVES Halloween! So to support his favorite holiday, I wanted to think of some fun ways to let him explore the idea of “dressing up” as different things.

I found these wooden masks at Michaels craft store. All you need is some washable paint and paintbrushes (…and maybe some newspaper to cover the table mess).

Mom joins in on the fun because I can’t help myself…

I encourage them to choose their own colors. If he selects orange for the pumpkin then cool, but if he were to select pink or blue, resist the urge to correct them, there are no right answers when being creative!

Even little ones can join in the project. A high chair tray, and wearing just a diaper, are perfect ways to limit the mess that is bound to happen!

Here is the proud pumpkin with his finished product!

Meow! (That’s Happy Halloween in Cat!)

Gingerbread Man Sugar Cookies

I love the idea of decorating gingerbread men during the holidays, but I don’t like the taste of gingerbread cookies! So, switching things up here and making “sugar cookie” gingerbread men in our house this year.

You will need:

  • Betty Crocker sugar cookie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • Butter
  • Gingerbread man cookie cutter
  • Rolling pin
  • Decorating icing tubes, 3 colors of choice

I made these with my son. He loved rolling out the dough, and I loved showing him!

An even bigger hit was stamping out the gingerbread men.

He got a kick out of the fact that they look like little people.

Once they were baked, we laid them out to cool. Then we stored them in a large ziplock bag, setting them aside to decorate at our Christmas Eve party.

We decorated them with colored icing tubes after Christmas Eve dinner. Even Uncle Ian took a stab at it! A fun activity for both kids and adults.

Teaching Kids About Giving

I came up with this idea one night while talking to my son about Santa and presents and all the Christmas stuff he had been hearing. He just turned three years old, and this is the first Christmas he started to be curious with what was happening. He knew Santa was coming, and he had a sack of gifts (mostly learned all this from school and books and TV) but I wanted to be able to explain gift giving to him, not just receiving. So I decided I would take him Christmas shopping.

I went to Target and got a few packs of these brown kraft gift bags. We were having Christmas Eve at our house, and expecting ten family members, so I wrote each person’s name on the bags.

I brought my son to the Dollar Store, and brought the bags. I gave him a basket and explained to him that we were going to buy a special gift for each person, something that we thought would make them happy.

We walked through the store, I would name a person and give him the bag, and we would stroll through the aisles talking about things they liked, and what might make them smile.

He was having a blast. I was surprised he had an opinion about each person! I would suggest something, and sometimes he would say, “No, I want to give them this” and point to something else of his choice. How sweet!

When it was time to check out, I gave him a $20 bill, and explained that in order to buy our gifts, we will have to give the cashier money. He was armed with sunglasses for Daddy, a toy pony for his sister, a basketball and football for each of his Grandfathers, and Disney figurines for the Grandmas. Not to mention a set of bubbles for himself. I agreed that a gift for himself would be appropriate.

When we got home, we unloaded the gifts, put them in the appropriate bags, along with a handmade card for each person.

Christmas Card Art Project for Kids

I love giving my son arts and crafts projects at home. This Christmas greeting card project is super easy.

You will need:

  • 10 blank fold-over cards
  • Black sharpie marker
  • Kids markers
  • Glue
  • Gold glitter
  • Embellishments/stickers of choice

Use a black sharpie marker to draw the outline of a tree, and write each card recipients name on a card. Then give each one to your child to color them in.

Let them be creative! Green trees, or blue trees, in the lines or out of the lines – just have fun and let them explore their creative spirit.

Then for the parents, use the glue and just draw a simple zig-zag on each tree. Then sprinkle with glitter.

Lay the out on the table and let them dry for an hour or so. This will make the next step less messy.

Then let your child use the embellishments/stickers as “ornaments” on the trees. We used holly and snowflakes, found at the local craft store.