As parents, we know how difficult it can be to keep the kids entertained for any longer than what feels like 10 minutes. But one of the best ways is to get them helping out in the kitchen! Making pizzas are a great place to start, not least because most kids love them, but it’s also low cost, and easily accessible.
So, without further ado, it’s time to get your kids to roll up their sleeves and get creative! Regardless of how old your kids are there’s always a way to get them involved in making pizza. Even if you have a baby that you can strap them in a carrier to watch you! Here’s our best advice on getting the kids involved with making pizza!
1. Let them choose the toppings
You can start this even from a toddler up. Your kids will be immediately excited because they know what they’re getting which will entice them to want to be a part of the process. Of course, you may wish to allow extra for snacking on as you’re making the pizza! It may be an idea to opt for a bag of already grated cheese if your children have a penchant for accidents and want to keep them away from the cheese grater!
We know kids love the classics such as pepperoni, ham and pineapple, and chicken & mushroom, but this is also a great opportunity to expand their palates and try some new flavours!
2. Make kneading the dough into a game
More so if your kids are younger as kids love to experiment with textures. They might like squeezing and playing with a smaller piece whilst you roll out the main dough. For younger children you could hold your hands over theirs as you are rolling out the dough, or if they are too young for this you could always invest in a kitchen playset so they can practise with a toy rolling pin and smaller piece of dough.
You could also shape the dough into one of their favourite animals so next time they might be encouraged to repeat this or try a different shape or animal! For older children you can always set a challenge to see who can roll the roundest pizza base or pretend you are in a cooking show which you can narrate.
3. Let them spread the sauce and sprinkle the cheese
This provides a great opportunity for the kids to be artistic, just like the pictures or crafts they make at school! For younger kids you may wish to guide their hands to ensure that the sauce is evenly spread across the dough or if the utensils are too heavy.
Take a step back if you can and allow them to express themselves! Cooking should be fun, and whilst the mess afterwards may be a lot, the memories of developing a core life skill and having fun with you will last a lifetime. This will also teach your kids where they can improve next time so they know if they need to spread the sauce more or distribute the cheese or toppings more evenly.
Encouraging them to position the ingredients to create a design such as a smiley face, or spelling out their name with pepperoni for example, is a great way to make this process more fun.
4. Use the time to connect
You could tell them stories of the first time you made pizza or silly stories about attempts gone wrong when you were a child… or adult! If you talk about your favourites then this is the perfect chance to broaden their horizons and open them up to a whole world of pizza making, new toppings to try and feel more connected to each other.
Who knows, maybe next time you could even convince them to try something other than pepperoni pizza?!
5. Cleaning (maybe!)
This last step is not for everyone, but once your pizzas are prepared and in the oven, you can extend the quality time you are spending together by encouraging them to clean up too! (Good luck with this!). This can help make the time go faster for them whilst you wait for the pizza to cook.
Even if you decide to forgo this stage, don’t forget that you’re teaching them key life skills (not just making pizza!) But also in patience, focus, satisfaction with their work, being creative and imaginative, and most importantly of all, bonding together in the process.
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