Cooking 101: Spring Break Ideas for Grandparents

Spring break is around the corner for many school-aged children and that may mean grandparents are going to be on-deck to help keep the little ones busy when parents are working or just overwhelmed.   And what better time to dust off some time-honored recipes and teach the next generation their way around the kitchen?

Weekday meals are often hurried with little time for family bonding.  With such busy and varied schedules, many families have a hard time sitting down to eat all together, let alone involve the children in food preparation.  But learning to cook, even a few simple dishes is a life skill that will serve young women and men well as they head into adulthood.  Older adults, even those without exceptional culinary skills, are more able to set aside the time to allow kids to get their hands dirty in the kitchen;  learn to crack an egg (and fish out the shell), measure, mix and enjoy the satisfaction of creating something delicious to eat.

Food is one of life’s great pleasures and memories of people and places are often tied with the smells we remember wafting from our grandparents’ kitchen.   And if cooking isn’t your forte, try mixing up a batch of homemade play dough or slime, making a birdhouse or starting vegetable seedlings indoors to be ready for planting season.  Start with a trip to the library for inspiration and involve the grand kids in the whole process; planning, shopping for ingredients or supplies, being hands-on in the creative process and helping to clean up.  They may come away from the experience with a new-found appreciation for mom and dad, which will always score brownie points for the grands.

Play Dough Recipe

  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons cream of tartar
  • 2 tbsps of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring (add to the boiling water first)
  • A few drops of glycerine if wanted for shine.
  • Up to 1 1/2 cups of boiling water added slowly until desired consistency.
  • Once cooled down,  knead the dough until workable and stickiness is gone. (add more flour if too sticky)
  • Tip: Try adding a drop of essential oil to add natural scent.
  • Will keep for 3 months in an air-tight container.