Kids love to play with their food – how many mash potato
sculptures did you make as a child? By hosting a cooking party you
allow kids to release their inner epicurean and cook with friends,
just like the adults do! Depending on the age range of those coming
to your party, attempting to cook only one dish with a group of
kids is the route to go. Have other things like cake and appetizers
prepared in advance. But if you’re hosting teens keen on the
kitchen allow them to flex their chef muscles and take on a few
more dishes.

Of course, you have to get the word out to potential party goers
about your event. Try sending out invitations that resemble a menu.
Put the “˜restaurant’ name and location on the front and what will
be served on the back.

The Look:

The Kids

Hit the dollar store for tea towels and turn them into aprons
for the kids. Use safety pins to keep the tea towels in place, or
time permitting, sew cording on to the ends of the tea towel so the
kids can wrap the ties around the front of their bodies just like
real chefs! For an added touch, pick up some fabric paint and put
each child’s initials on their apron. Depending on the age of the
children, it’s an excellent activity they can do themselves.

The Table

There is no better way to highlight the food the kids cook than
by setting a proper dinner table. Dig out the tablecloths and other
serving dishes that aren’t used on a regular basis and let the kids
decide which ones to use.

For grade-schoolers and pre-teens let them
choose the basics:

Tablecloth – stick with two or three options so making a
decision isn’t overwhelming

Napkins – go for disposable. There are great colour options out
there and it’s less laundry to do after the party.

Serving dishes – this probably isn’t the time to break out
Grandma’s fine china, but if your confident the kids can be careful
put it on the table. Otherwise stick with the everyday
tableware.

For teens allow them to choose some more grown-up
options:

Centre piece – have them create a view simple arrangements of
flowers or candles

Cutlery – let them arrange cutlery in an artistic way. Knives
and forks don’t always have to be at the side of the plate.

The Adults

After the kids have finished cooking, let the adults play the
servers and bring the food to the table. Dress up in an all black
outfit from the closet, and toss a white tea towel over your arm
for that added effect. It’s a nice way to give the kids the full
gourmet experience!

The Menu:

Grade Schoolers and pre-teens:

Main Dish Ideas

Assembling most of these dishes is easy for kids, put the adults
will have to help with some of the cooking.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Build
Your Own Quesadillas

Tacos
with Fixings

Muffuletta: The Whole Wide World’s Biggest
Sandwich

Dessert Ideas

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthy Parfait and Raspberry Sauce

Teens:

Main Dish Ideas

Cheeseburger by the Slice with Salad

Spinach and Cheese Ravioli with Tomato Maple
Tapenade and Salad

Surf
N’ Turf Kabobs

Dessert Ideas

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

Double Chocolate Brownies

Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

The Music:

Try matching your music to the region where your recipes
originated.

Italian foods – Compliment big taste with a big operatic number
from Vivaldi

French Foods – Try George Bizet’s Carmen

English foods – Move and groove to the Beatles

Canadian – Moxy Fruvous serves up fun songs for kids to cook
along with

The Favours:

Recipe Book

Print off the recipes that were made that day of the party and
assemble into a booklet format for the kids to take home. Have the
kids decorate the front covers of the book so it’s their own
personalized copy. You can even have them sign the inside cover. If
you have a photo printer at home, take a picture each child and
affix their photo to the front of the booklet.

Aprons

Let the kids take home their aprons they used while cooking

Cookie Mix

If you make cookies during the party, have the kids make an
extra batch of the dry ingredients and put them in a jar along with
instructions on what to do with the wet ingredients and seal tight.
The kids can take the jars home and make cookies with their
families another day.

Mixing Bowls and Spatulas

The dollar store is a great source for inexpensive mixing bowls
and spatulas (or wooden spoons if they are easier to find). The
kids can take home some of the kitchen utensils they used earlier
in the day.