Ah, summer. The season that kids look forward to for all year, when they are free to let loose and do what kids do best: play. It’s also a season that parents look to… well, with trepidation. After all, how are you supposed to keep the kids entertained for three whole months? But parents, don’t you worry–we’ve got just the solution!
Cooking is a great way to bond with the little ones and keep them busy all summer long. The kids will love spending time in the kitchen with you, concocting some of their favorite goodies – and when you’re cooking with their favorite candies, they’ll love it even more! Here are a few fun recipes you can try out with your children this summer:
Leftover Peep Playdough
Let’s face it: you probably have a few Peeps leftover from Easter. Don’t toss them out or let them sit until next year! Instead, take a tip from the folks at Kids Activities Blog and make some Peep playdough. The kids will love molding with it, and you won’t have to worry about them if they take a bite!
- 3 peeps
- 1 tablespoon of Coconut Oil
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Some extra powdered sugar for dusting (optional)
- Put your peeps in a bowl and add the coconut oil.
- Place the peeps and oil in the microwave and turn it on for about ten seconds. Make sure the kids are watching, too; the peeps tend to “grow” under the heat like magic!
- Remove the bowl from the heat, add the powdered sugar, and stir until well combined. As you’re stirring, you will notice dough start to thicken and pull away from the sides of the bowl. This means you’re on the right track.
- Take the dough from the bowl, adjust it as needed (more powdered sugar if it is too sticky, more oil if it’s too dry), and knead the dough with your hands. Now it’s ready to play with – and snack on!
The Ultimate Movie Snack
Summer is a great time for family movie marathons, and everyone knows the perfect movie night requires the perfect movie snacks–popcorn, candies, and chocolate. Popsugar knows what we’re talking about, and they took movie snacks to the next level with this amazing popcorn cake. Sweet and savory all at once, this treat is fun to make and will have the whole family saying “two thumbs up!”
- 1 stick butter (plus extra to grease the pan)
- 1 bag popcorn
- 1 cup M&M’s
- 1 cup Reese’s Pieces
- 1/2 cup Raisinets
- 1/2 cup Milk Duds
- 1 box Cracker Jack
- 1 Butterfinger, chopped
- 16 ounces mini marshmallows
- Grease a bundt cake pan (either melted butter or cooking spray will be fine).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the popcorn with all the candy – except the mini marshmallows.
- Melt your stick of butter in a saucepan. Then, add the mini marshmallows to the pan and stir over the heat until completely melted.
- Remove the butter-marshmallow mixture from the heat and set aside to cool.
- Once the mixture is cool, add it to your popcorn and candy and fold together.
- Transfer the popcorn to the bundt pan, then let set for 1 hour before slicing and serving.
Scrumptious Candy Sushi
Cooking is a great way to expose little tykes to new foods, particularly if you have a picky eater in the house. And what could be better than learning about foods from other cultures while munching on some old favorites? Once again, the folks at Popsugar have the answer to your candy cooking needs, with their super cute (and super tasty) candy sushi! These treats have the sweet flavor of marshmallow and the yummy taste of gummy treats.
- Rice Krispies treats (homemade is best)
- Your favorite candies, like Swedish fish, gummy worms, licorice, fruit roll-ups. The possibilities are endless!
- Once you’ve made your Rice Krispies treats (either by making your own batch or taking store-bought ones from their wrappers), shape them into small rectangles and circles. This acts as the rice base in your sushi.
- Now, give your kids free reign in decorating the treats. Add Swedish fish on top of a rectangle for a sweet twist on nigiri. Wrap your circles in fruit roll ups and top with sprinkles to resemble salmon eggs. You can use this opportunity to teach your kids about different kinds of traditional sushi – or you can let them create some sushi style all their own.
Chocolate-Dipped Peanut Butter Oreos
You love chocolate. You love chocolate cookies. You love chocolate candies. But have you ever considered putting them all together? This recipe comes to us from Recipe Boy, and when you take a bite you’ll wonder why you hadn’t thought of this before! Your kids will love constructing this little creation, but be careful – things could get messy in the process.
- Oreo cookies
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Chocolate chips, melted
- Sprinkles (any kind you like – personally, we love rainbow)
- Separate the two halves of each Oreo cookie. Make sure to halve the cookies so that one side gets all the cream, and one side gets none. This recipe will only use the halves with cream, so set aside the plain chocolate halves for later use (we like to freeze them in a sealed bag and use them later for mini ice cream sandwiches, cake and ice cream toppings, or pie crust)
- Unwrap a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and sandwich it between two cream-coated Oreo halves. Make sure you press down slightly so the sandwich sticks together!
- Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave (or on the stove). Then, dip your Oreo-Reese’s sandwich in the melted chocolate. Make sure you cover the whole thing!
- Set the sandwich onto a baking sheet and repeat until you’ve made your desired amount
- Top with sprinkles, if desired, then place in the fridge or freezer for 2-4 hours to harden.
Gummy Bear Ice Cubes
When it gets hot in the dead of summer, most of us reach for an ice-cold drink to keep us cool. This can be another opportunity for a fun cooking experience! The folks at Funky Time have created a cute and clever way to dress up your drinks: gummy bear ice cubes. Not only do these ice cubes make your drinks adorable, you also get a refreshing little snack when the cube melts down!
- Ice cube trays
- Gummy bears (or turtles, or fish, or any kind of gummy candy you prefer)
- Place your gummy candies into the ice cube trays – one per cube.
- Fill your ice cube trays with water and place into the freezer.
- Once the cubes have frozen solid, toss into your favorite summer beverage. That’s it!
This summer, keep your kids engaged and trying new things with these awesome candy creations. Even if you’re only cooking something once in a while, you’ll be making fun memories that your children are sure to cherish for years to come – and you’ll get a something sweet to eat, too!