If Valentine's Day is approaching, consider leading your children in an entertaining and creative project. Make a meal for your friends and family members that communicates your appreciation for them. Give your children a taste of what it is like to cook, bake and plan for a special Valentine's Day event.
Sit down with all of your little cooks and decide on what you would like to make for your Valentine's Day meal. You might want to pull out a few cookbooks, and let your children look through them. You can adapt many recipes in your adult cookbooks to reflect the tastes and interests of your children. Think of foods that are naturally red or utensils you have that can be used to make heart-shaped foods such as cookies or even pancakes.
Plan a menu that your children will eat, so that they will be encouraged to follow through with all of the cooking and baking. Keep your menu simple. For example, make an appetizer of crackers spread with cream cheese and decorated with red pimentos or peppers. Make a heart-shaped loaf of bread for the table or a heart-shaped cake for dessert. You also can make favorite foods and just give them Valentine's Day-theme names such as "Cupid's Mashed Potatoes" and "I Love You Pizza."
Preparing a Valentine's Day meal means that everyone must be involved. But having too many hands in the kitchen can lead to chaos. Organize your Valentine's Day cooking session by assigning roles to your children. For example, you may want to make your oldest child the "head chef" and the younger children the "sou chefs" and "pastry chefs." Explain that everyone is important to the success of the meal, but duties are unique and different.
Make a heart cake out of angel food or red velvet cake mix. You can buy a heart-shaped pan from an online cake supply vendor or you may be able to buy one from a craft store or cake supply store. Decorate the cake with white, pink or red icing and embellishments such as edible glitter. Let your children do the decorating so that they can explore their creativity.
Every kid cook needs appropriate apparel for the kitchen. This not only makes the task of cooking appeal to children, but it helps to protect their clothing. Buy a set of kid-sized aprons in Valentine's Day colors such as red, white and pink. If you have the budget, get the aprons embroidered with your children's names or entertaining nicknames such as "Chef Stephanie."