Less Mess, More Fun in the Kitchen

Simple tricks and tips to let kids help out without making a mess

Less Mess, More Fun in the Kitchen

It might not always seem appealing to have kids 'helping' in the kitchen. I've experienced what could only be named a full whiteout snowstorm of flour when a slightly unsupervised preschooler got too enthusiastic with the mixer!

With a little bit of sneaky prep work and some scaled-down recipes, you can help your kids feel like Junior Chefs without dressing them in HazMat suits.

Here are three ways to get kids involved in the kitchen—with minimal mess and maximum fun in mind.

1. Premeasure ingredients and have them 'waiting' in measuring cups or bowls.

Yes, I know, it's better to have kids scoop ingredients themselves, learn to level off flour, etc. but I'm not a huge fan of my kid arm-deep in the flour bag. Been there, cleaned that up... so to save time and when you've got a lot of dry ingredients to add, I set up the 'bakery' before my kids come in, so their job becomes all about dumping in and mixing the ingredients. They seem to enjoy that well enough!

This little guy is thrilled about those tiny 'ready to go' bowls set out for him.

2. Stick to assembly-style recipes.

Is it really cooking to turn apple slices and cheese into sailboats? Of course it is! Slice up apples (beforehand of course, see #1 above!), cut cheese into triangles, and have kids build little sailboats using toothpicks to attach them. The apple slice is the boat, and the cheese triangle is the sail. You can also get kids to make their own sails from paper, and stick them into hard-boiled eggs, cucumber slices, you name it. Small on mess but big on fun factor.

3. Scale it down.

Our kids are little after all—they don't need to make a lasagna for the whole family. They can make mini versions that will save on time, ingredients, and mess!

How about English muffins mini pizzas? No dough rolling required (can you tell I'm a bit flour-averse?)—just get little bowls of shredded cheese, sliced pepperoni and tomato sauce ready, and your little bakers can assemble their own pizzas. My kids love making their 'own' customized versions—nothing like a bit of ownership to incent these bakers.

There are times when it's worth it to get everyone down and dirty in the kitchen, but when you're short on time, patience, or just have a low threshold for mess—these tips will help your kids stay involved while keeping you sane. 

P.S. Wanna know how to make a super cute chef's hat? Click here to see how momstown Winnipeg did it.

This post was written by Ally @momstownTeach.

Do you cook or bake with your kids? Do you like or loathe the mess?


Outdoor fun for everyone!

Enjoy the great outdoors with your kids this winter

Outdoor fun for everyone!

Cabin Fever? No way! momstown communities have been out and about in the winter weather, enjoying the outdoors and exploring all that Mother Nature has to offer in every season.

This winter, momstown Edmonton-South mamas went out sledding with their little ones.

There are some great sleds for kids of all ages to enjoy the winter—from the high speed carpets to the covered baby pull along variety. Find one that works for your family, and go tobogganing!

momstown Kitchener-Waterloo got families out on a real horse-drawn sleigh ride.

If you can find one of these experiences in your community—what a treat for the whole family to bundle up and enjoy.

Too cold to venture outdoors? How about bringing the outside in like momstown Georgina-East Gwillimbury did with a sensory bin filled with snow?

Or grab some marshmallows (and hot chocolate) and build (and eat) an indoor snowman!


Enjoy the winter—both indoors and out—with your family!


Alphabet Play

Creative ways to use alphabet letters to learn, create, and play!

Alphabet Play

momstown kids are up to their little ears in letters as they take part in Alphabet Play programs in communities across Canada!

Using letters as the foundation for a craft activity is a fun way to have kids practice letter sounds, create something of their own, and play with words.

Here are some kids in action and some great examples of ways you can have fun with the ABCs.

momstown chapter leader starts off the program with the alphabet song—complete with visuals.

momstown Oavkille make letter Ts into Tiger stripes. All you need is construction paper and markers.

momstown Newmarket Aurora builds letter m's from marshmallows...yummmm

momstown Guelph uses grass to decorate letter G - green, grassy, gardens - lots of ways to reinforce letter sounds with this activity.

One of our little crafters shows off W is for Watermelon. Looks good enough to eat!

Who knew there were so many ways to play with the alphabet? We hope we've inspired you to pull out your craft supplies and have your own Alphabet Play with your kids today.