Yay! Summertime is here!

Summers for many of us is a daunting gauntlet of rushing kids to activities, packing lunches for days at the pool and washing endless pool towels, and packing/preparing for camps your children will attend. 
NOW Imagine you being a camp counselor! 

Well, here at News 9 at 4 p.m. we have just the plan for you! 

Kids Cooking Camp

It sounds daunting, but it is not. You are simply the administrator of the camp. Let your kids do the research, prepare the list of supplies, organize each day’s activities, and then help them make their very own cookbook to keep! The best part about Kids Cooking Camp is that anyone can do it. Grandparents who have grandkids visiting this is a super way to make memories. How about your playgroup? Take turns having a camp at different homes throughout the summer. It is a great way to show your kids that they can have fun at home — no need for expensive trunks, bug spray, etc. 

Here is how to begin:

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO COOK? 

Gather up any cookbooks you have on hand. 
Go to your local library with your kids and have them check out cookbooks that interest them. 
You will be amazed at what they will gravitate to first. Just because you like cajun food does not mean your children are interested in that too. Who knew your child loved sushi so much that they want to learn how to, or that another child wants to learn how to make a loaf of bread. These are all great ways to teach your kids about science, culture, and math while doing it hands on! 

Search the internet for great ideas with kids cooking!
    https://cookingwithkids.org
    https://www.forkandbeans.com
    https://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/kid-friendly-recipes

Follow my Pinterest board, where I am sharing fun recipes for the family!

Copy the recipes each child would like to learn how to make.

ORGANIZE AND MAKE A LIST OF SUPPLIES

Have each child make a list of what ingredients they will need for their recipe. This is an excellent time to help younger campers problem solve what they will need. Older ones can work on really reading the recipe instructions on the kitchen supplies such as bowls, spoons, measuring cups that their recipe will require. 

GROCERY SHOP

Yep, we all do this all the time and take it for granted as adults. Why not now to show your kiddos what grocery shopping is all about? Explain to your campers them differences in pricing based on name brand items, weights, and other factors when choosing ingredients. I love showing kids how to pick a good onion or tomato and to learn about new/fun fresh foods. I encourage you to take your campers to a local Farmers Market. Have them talk to the different vendors about their products. This is how you get your “campers” invested in the camping experience. Plus, you are not doing it all!
Organize the supplies in separate grocery sacks, so when cooking time starts, you have everything you need. No running around the kitchen crazy! ?? 

TIME TO COOK

Now it is time to cook! Be prepared for messes, giggles, and many memories to be made. 
For safety reasons: make sure and have those little ones do age-appropriate tasks in the kitchen! Be careful with sharp utensils, hot pans, etc.
I recommend doing one recipe per day. That way, you can focus on the recipe, the kiddos, and not get too overwhelmed!
Cleanup is also part of cooking so encourage your kiddos to help wash their dishes, wipe down counters and sweep up after each session. Make it fun! Turn on some music, have a timed game to see how quickly they can get it done! I promise cleanup will never go so well as when it is silly time too.

CREATE COOKBOOK

No need for anything fancy! I use plastic three-ring binders & plastic binder sleeves (to protect recipes from messes) 
Have your chefs make their covers with art they have created!

Please share your pictures, stories and cooking pics with us!

~Sassy Mama, Caryn Ross