Though we have not yet had one in Austin, I've noticed that there have been a rash of snow days around the country lately. If you and your kids have been running out of things to do on those occasions, and being cooped-up together is starting to drive you just a little bit crazy, maybe you can try this activity!
Tell the kids that you are hoping that they can experiment and come up with some delicious new snack recipes. You can call it "(Your family's last name)'s Test Kitchen.
Set out stations around the kitchen for each child. At each station place an apron, a couple of small bowls, saucers, spoons, butter knives and small amounts of ingredients.
Some ideas for ingredients: raisins, ritz crackers, celery sticks, raw carrots, cream cheese, honey, peanut butter, apple slices, pretzel sticks, plain yogurt, dried fruits, almonds, peanuts, cinnamon-sugar, bananas, granola, cheerios, graham crackers, olives, shredded cheddar, sunflower seeds
They are sure to come up with some interesting combinations! Encourage your kids to sample each other's creations, and when a child is satisfied that he has come up with a "winner," be available to write down directions on a recipe card.
Who knows? One of them might discover a new healthy snack that they like, and wouldn't they feel proud to see you following a recipe that they had made each time you made it for them?
Of course, your experimental test kitchen is sure to make a mess and a lot of work for you. But by a unfortunate twist of fate, I think a colossal mess actually is part of the magic for kids and helps turn a passing afternoon activity into a lasting memory.
Have fun! and if you do this activity or have done one like it in the past, I'd love to hear about how it turned out!