Cooking with Preschoolers – 5 Cool Things!

cooking-with-preschoolers I love cooking with my kids! My son has been cooking a lot at preschool lately, so we’ve been practicing many of the recipes at home!

I love all the skills that can be practiced while we cook together, including reading, following directions, measuring, strengthening fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, and learning early math and science concepts.

There are also so many opportunities to learn new vocabulary words in context while exploring and working together! Turn taking and cooperative skills are also taught.

Today I am excited to share five cools things I like to cook at my house with my preschooler.

These are simple “cooking” activities that preschoolers can really be involved in.

1. Octopus Hot Dogs

I didn’t invent these, but they are a huge hit at our house! Simple stick raw spaghetti noodles through uncooked hot dogs, cook them in a large pot of boiling water, and serve.

The best part is adding all the octopus legs!

This is a great activity to work on hand eye coordination and fine motor skills. Some of the noodles are tricky to stick in the hot dogs!

2. Bagel Pizzas 

My son learned how to make these at preschool and now I have him make them at least once a week for us for dinner.

You just need mini bagels, pizza sauce, and cheese.

  • Cut the bagels in half
  • Spread some pizza sauce (or spaghetti sauce) on the bagel
  • Add cheese
  • Bake at 350 until the cheese is melted

So simple and yummy- especially when you aren’t the one cooking!

3. Yogurt Fruit Pops

This is a summertime favorite at our house.

You just need yogurt (we use go-gurt tubes), some fruit, popsicle sticks, foil, and dixie cups.

  • Squeeze go-gurt into dixie cup
  • Add some fruit and mix it around
  • Cover the top with aluminum foil
  • Poke a popsicle stick through the top
  • Freeze for about 2 hours or until pops are solid.
I also love to do this with baby food for my baby! She loves her baby food pops!

4. Banana Bread Muffins 

There are tons of great banana bread muffin recipes out there! I think we used this one for when we were cooking… though I’d love for you to share your favorite one. I want to try out a few more!

Making any type of muffin will allow you to practice measuring, pouring, and mixing. I love to create simple recipe cards for my son with visuals on them so that he can be pretty independent when we are cooking.

His favorite part of this recipe is adding the chocolate chips and sampling them before he drops them in!

5. Peanut Butter Bopper Birds Nests

This recipe is a favorite from when I was in middle school. All you need is 1 cup Karo syrup, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup peanut butter, and 6 cups of cornflakes.

  • Boil the Karo syrup and sugar and mix till the sugar dissolves.
  • Add peanut butter and mix till combined.
  • Mix in 6 cups of cornflakes
  • Scoop out mixture into muffin tins and let boppers cool before adding any candy eggs.

These are dangerous. I think I can eat an entire pan of these by myself… so we don’t make them that often. My little guy loves mixing in the cornflakes and then helping mold the mixture into nest shapes.

We have several other favorite cooking activities, but these are my top five because they are simple and don’t require that many ingredients.

What are your favorite things to cook with your kids?

Here are fun Quirky Momma ideas for cooking with young children:




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About Kristina

Kristina is a mom of two (a preschooler and a toddler) and a former Special Education teacher for children with communication disabilities. She writes about her creative explorations over at Toddler Approved. Her goal is to find ways to make life a little more fun and creative with her kids while embedding learning into everything that she does. Kristina tweets as @ToddlerApproved and can be found on FB and Pinterest.