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Play With Your Food!

chefWe were sticklers for table manners at our house. Our children (now adults) still tease me about our rule that you had to ask permission before stirring your ice cream and chocolate sauce into a malt in your bowl. However, summertime is a different story. We all  play with food in a sense, with more finger food and fruit decorations and pie-eating contests. Here’s a few things we sanctioned.

Watermelon art. Besides spitting seeds outside, we had contests to see who could arrange their seeds into the prettiest picture. On their plates of course.

Puzzle sandwiches. Grilled cheese works best for this. We parents cut the sandwiches into puzzle pieces for the kids to reassemble before they could eat them.

Cracker fish. If you’ve been out fishing, here’s one way to prepare the fillets. Fill a ziplock bag with enough crackers (Saltines, Ritz or other crumbly variety). Close it tight with little air inside. Then, let your preschooler whack the bag with a toy hammer or heavy plastic mug. A rolling pin, used traditionally, will also work but may not be as much fun. Shake in a little salt in pepper. Dip the fish in milk or oil, then shake in the bag before frying in a bit of butter. Our kids gobbled up their creations.

What other low-mess food fun have you found fit for summer?

Jane Kise, Ed.D. – Educational Advisor and Consultant, 
Jane  writes an insightful post every Tuesday for Kidtelligent. Jane is an educational consultant, specializing in teambuilding, coaching, and school staff development. She is also the coauthor of more than 20 books. Jane’s website  is  www.janekise.com