Simple Cooking Games and Kitchen Activities for Young Children

My five year old loves to “help” out in the kitchen, but it was pretty hard to let him do so without wrecking the place or hurting himself. For years I let him play online cooking games because they are fun and absolutely non-messy. Turns out, there ARE some simple, safe and most importantly, FUN ways to let him indulge in his hobby without turning my hair gray. Here are four great kitchen and cooking games for young children.

2359056682_a3c274b575_zCooking with Soren No. 2” by fotologic, licensed under CC BY 2.0

Handling Groceries

The next time you go grocery shopping, hand over each item to your child and ask him where it goes – pantry, refrigerator, cabinet, etc. This works well for very young kids, even those as young as 2 or 3. As your child grows older, he can help place the groceries in the appropriate places; he’ll be proud and happy to be entrusted with this responsibility!

Food Geography

Today’s kids have no idea where their food comes from – and I mean this is in the geographic as well as an environmental sense. Your little one needs to know that some foods come from trees, some from the ground and others from animals. Gather together an assortment of foods – milk, fruits, pasta, eggs, cookies, etc. – and ask him where he thinks each one comes from. Another fun game is to show him a collection of common as well as exotic fruits – apples, bananas, oranges, kiwis, mangoes, pineapples, etc. Take a world map and point out the places where each fruit originated from and how it is grown. Your child might like to sit at the kitchen table and draw the fruits using paper and crayons.

Fun with Pots and Pans

It’s easy to keep your toddler amused with this simple cooking game. Just spread out a varied collection of pots and pans on the kitchen floor and give him some wooden spoons to make some noise with. He might get creative with pretend play or create some highly original “music.” Whatever he does, it’ll free you up for chores or keep him busy and happy on a rainy or snowy day. This age-old kitchen activity is never known to fail!

DIY Shakers

Bring out your little one’s creative streak with this simple yet fun cooking game. Collect some empty lidded containers, some pasta and a spoon and invite him to fill the containers with the pasta. Have him put the lid on securely and decorate the “shakers” using pretty stickers or crayons. Your DIY shakers are ready for service!

Cooking games help kids learn about nutrition, boost their self-esteem and offer family time and bonding – that’s why I let my child play in the kitchen as long and as often as he likes.


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