Toddlers in the kitchen

Try these fun ideas along with your older toddler:

Salt dough: If you haven't already experienced salt dough, you will be happy with this new discovery. It was a real mainstay in my house for many years. Together you and your child can mix up the dough and then you can set her to work molding, sculpting, rolling and cutting, pounding and squishing.

The recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
A bit less than 1/2 cup water

Mix flour and salt, add water until mixture holds together like dough, knead. This dough will keep in the refrigerator for a few days if stored in plastic.

Once the final shape has been decided, bake it in a warm oven (200 to 250 degrees) until dry. Thicker pieces will take longer and may be better air-dried. Once dried they can be painted. Try making hand-impression plaques, cookie cutter ornaments, animal sculptures, beads and free form shapes and more!

Bean bags: Fill a couple of ziplock sandwich bags with dried beans, secure with duct tape for extra safety, offer a target and allow a little bean bag tossing.

Pretzel animals: In a big bowl mix together 1 package yeast, 1.5 cups warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 tablespoon salt. Stir in 4 cups white flour and 2 cups of whole wheat flour, knead on a counter dusted with flour until the dough is smooth. Shape into animal shapes, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with a little salt. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes at 425 degrees.

Muffins: You can find some wholesome mixes that require only an egg and milk to be added. An easy project with quick results.


This recipe contains no wine (like the traditional recipe) and is easy enough for your kids to help you make. Fondue is the French word for "melted."

Fondue Recipe
2 cups of lowfat milk
1 pound grated Swiss cheese
3 tablespoons flour
Cubes of sturdy bread, French bread works well

Heat the milk in the top of a double boiler until simmering. Mix the flour and the grated cheese. Drop the cheese by handfuls into the hot milk and stir until the cheese is all melted and bubbly. Put into a fondue pot and serve with the basket of bread cubes, apple chunks and whatever else you’d enjoy dipping. Using fondue forks or regular forks, spear the bread and dip into the cheese. You will need to do this for your toddler to avoid burns!

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