Kids in the kitchen

2010-12-08 00:00

WHILE the term “Christmas holidays” conjures up images of swimming and other outdoor fun, the weather in the midlands is notorious for not co-operating with residents’ plans for “braaivleis and sunny skies”. Here are some simple ideas for easy activities to keep your children busy in the kitchen on those all-too-common rainy days. The website of Johannesburg-based parenting consultant, Nikki Bush, of The Bright Idea­s Outfit, offers many fun activities that do not require lots of complicated or expensive materials.





USE your usual sandwich ingredients in a creative and fun way. This has been a hit with children from ages five to 15.

You will need

• Fresh bread (rectangular)

• Mayonnaise or mashed avocado or butter/margarine

• Grated cheese

• Sliced ham or a tuna-mayonnaise mix

• Bread board

• Rolling pin

• Bread knife

• Spreading knife

What to do

Place a piece of bread on the chopping board and cut off the crusts.

Now flatten it by rolling over it with the rolling pin.

Butter the bread if desired. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise or mashed avocado next.

Now place a piece of ham on the bread followed by a thin layer of grated cheese. Don’t overfill.

Carefully roll up the bread and cut into sushi-sized pieces (approx 2 cm).

Experiment with the fillings e.g. tuna or chicken mayonnaise and lettuce, biltong and cottage cheese, marmite and tomato, grated carrot and mayonnaise, peanut butter and jam or cinnamon and sugar for a sweet filling.

THIS no-bake recipe is quick and fun to make, especially if you have a sweet tooth. Children will need supervision when melting the butter and marshmallows on the stove or in the microwave.

You will need

• 1½ cups marshmallows

• 60g butter

• 2½ cups Rice Crispies

• ½ cup hundreds and thousands

• Medium to large saucepan

• Metal spoon

• Baking tray

• Baking paper

What to do

Line the baking tray with baking paper or foil. Grease lightly or use a non-stick cooking spray.

Place marshmallows in saucepan with butter. Melt over a low temperature. Remove from heat.

Pour in Rice Crispies and hundreds and thousands. Use the spoon to mix well.

Spoon mixture into baking tray, spread and flatten. Place baking tray in the fridge to cool and set.

Cut into squares or rectangles and store in the fridge.

THIS “paint” is fun and easy to make and lasts for about a week in the fridge.

You will need

• 3 plastic squeezy bottles (tomato or mustard sauce bottles)

• 3 different food colourings

• 350 g cake flour

• 350 g salt

• Water

• Bowl, spoon and jug

• Paper

What to do

Place flour and salt into a bowl. Add water slowly, mixing to a paste as thick as crumpet batter, which must be able to be squeezed out of the bottle.

Divide them mixture into three different bowls and add two to four drops of food colouring into each. Mix well. Using the jug pour different colours of “paint” into each squeezy bottle.

Use the paint to create artworks and then allow them to dry in the sun. Once dry, they will sparkle.

THIS is a very simple but impressive dessert to make with packets of jelly.

It’s also the antidote to instant gratification because children have to wait patiently for each jelly layer to set. The wait will be well worth it.

Alternate plain with creamy jelly layers for an attractive effect. If you really want your efforts to be appreciated, serve when there are guests to witness the masterpiece.

You will need:

• Four packets of different coloured/flavoured jelly (or as many as you like)

• 250 ml cream

• Boiling water

• Cold water

• Clear glass serving dish or a jelly mould

• Mixing bowl

• Measuring jug

• Spoon

What to do:

Make up the first layer of jelly as per the instructions on the packet. Normally dissolve the jelly powder in 225 ml of boiling water (parents of younger children need to help with the hot water). Stir until all granules have dissolved and the liquid is clear. Add 225 ml cold water. Stir and then pour into the glass serving dish or jelly mould. Place in the fridge for two to three hours to set.

Choose another coloured jelly and dissolve the jelly powder in boiling water. Instead of adding cold water only, add half cold water and half cream (110 ml of each).

Gently pour the creamy mixture on top of the first layer of jelly and carefully place the dish or mould back in the fridge to set. The creamy layer sets more quickly than the clear jelly layer.

Make another clear jelly layer and finally top with a final creamy layer. You now have a delicious striped jelly.

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