This website is dedicated to getting kids and families into the kitchen cooking together. Pizza is a perfect food for making this happen. Kids can do so much and I find that kids are more willing to eat what they cook.
But first, here are some things that kids can do:
Except for older kids, keep the slicing and handling of hot plates, pans and utensils to the grown-ups.
Dough mixing and stretching:
- Kids under 5 will probably need a little help here, as their hands are not strong enough yet, but giving them their own smaller bowl to mix, and their own dough ball to stretch is a great way to keep them occupied. Don’t expect a perfectly round pizza, but it can be fun to bake up whatever their small hands can manage and have fun with these unique shapes.
- Older kids can have fun trying to perfect a round shape, or even making other shapes like hearts, ovals, and bow-ties.
- Growing your own yeast (called a sourdough starter) is a really fun project that kids can have a hand in. It requires daily feedings, and you can watch it grow! But don’t worry, it’s much more low-maintenance than the family pet. Find instructions on how to grow your own here.
- Kids of all ages can top pizzas. For younger kids, I would limit the amount of ingredients they have access to. I’m sure you can image this scenario: Small piece of dough vs. LARGE can of tomatoes….um yeah. Let me know how that works out. However, portioning ingredients into smaller bowls helps minimize over-topping and large messes.
- For older kids, I like to encourage them to make patterns with their toppings, or find their own unique ingredient pairings, even getting them involved in selection at the grocery store. Make it an event!
Other fun activities:
- I have pizza scrapbooks that I’ve created with my classes. We draw the pizzas we make and take instant, take polaroid-style photos of them, and paste them into a blank book. It’s a fun way to catalog your pizza journey.
- Menus are also a creative way to get kids involved. Pull out the crayons and paper. Glitter too! Just make sure it doesn’t end up on a pizza…
- I have a pizza herb garden in my backyard where I planted some of my favorite herbs for pizza making: basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme and parsley. I’m growing them in pots, so there’s no need to have garden space. You can even grow them indoors or hyrdoponically! Did someone say science project?
I’ve taught kids of all ages how to make pizza, and I find that getting them involved in the cooking process really makes them want to eat whatever they’ve created. It’s a crafty way to get kids to eat things (like vegetables!) that they normally wouldn’t. You’ll find tips on ways to try that out on your own kids throughout this website.