Okay, so there’s part of you that would like to spend the day scarfing burritos and binge-watching Archer reruns—hey, every man’s allowed his fleeting fantasies. Now back to reality: What awesome activity are you going to do with the kids this Father’s Day? You know, the kind of roll-up-your-sleeves, all-engrossing project of which great memories are made. Here at ChefSteps, our favorite family-friendly projects usually happen in the kitchen. Most kids will be excited to help you cook, but not all kids are little chefs. You could help them by watching some videos of childrens songs about cooking to get them in the mood and learn a little something. Below, we’ve assembled five of our top ways to spend time with kids while cooking. Your children will be thrilled when you sit down to a Father’s Day feast of homemade pasta or ice cream they churned on their own—so thrilled, they might just skip off to bed without protest. And then you can start that Archer marathon.
1. Ice Cream and Ice Cream Cones
Maybe your ice cream socials are the stuff of neighborhood legend, maybe you’re brand-new to the world of DIY frozen desserts—either way, our free Ice Cream Class will inspire your family to make all sorts of cold creations in the kitchen. Pick that fresh mint that’s taking over the herb garden and pack it into a refreshing Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, or go buy some dry ice and teach the wee ones to whip up ice cream in a stand mixer (but only when supervised, of course.)
Short on time? Grab some rocky road or Neapolitan at the store, then head home and make your own Ice Cream Cones. Your kids will be dazzled when Super Dad turns their plain-old sandwich bread into a delicious edible vessel.
2. Chocolate Soufflé
You’ve seen your offspring flip out over chocolate plenty of times. And those chocolate lava cakes they serve at steakhouses are the stuff of childhood dreams. Way more dreamy: watching your kids’ faces as they discover they can produce a dazzling Molten Chocolate Soufflé at home. Our technique is remarkably easy and requires no special tools—so it’s a perfect solution for families in search of a last-minute plan.
Any parent with a budding scientist in its midst should consider investing in a spherification kit. Trust us, Young Einstein will never forget the day she and Dad learned how to make liquids appear to be solids, creating tiny spheres that burst with flavor when consumed. Our free Spherification Class walks you through all the fundamentals. Fear not, ye overachievers, there’s a quiz you can take at the end.
4. Homemade Soda
Soda seems to have a magnetic pull on children, which is why you’re always pulling them away from the fizzy drink aisle. Because it uses real fruit juice, our Strawberry Soda is a drink you can let them consume without visions of cavities dancing in your head. And you’ll all have fun creating a carbonated beverage that harkens back to old-timey soda fountain days.
5. Fresh Pasta
One of our all-time family favorites: Fresh Pasta. Work through our simple recipe for supple noodles, and you’ll be making them together for years. Plus, the pasta holds up in the fridge for three more days. What better way to stretch out a holiday that’s all about you? (in name, anyway.)
Looking for more ways to cook with the kids? Join the ChefSteps community to talk recipes and techniques with chefs and home cooks.