Encouraging Kids’ Kitchen Creativity

This post about creativity with kids in the kitchen is sponsored by Mom it Forward and Toca Boca, and I am part of the Mom it Forward Blogger Network. All opinions, overuse of the word awesome, and silliness are our own :)

I love to cook. And bake. And create fun stuff.. I love dinnertime dance parties as we get our evening meals ready. But – my skills don’t always match my enthusiasm, if you know what I mean. But in our home, having fun is more important than having perfection. Which is why I’m a big fan of Abby helping me in the kitchen. Sure, I end up with even more imperfect recipes, but we have a great time, and she learns a ton. This is also why I am a HUGE new fan of Toca Boca’s new app, Toca Kitchen 2. Check it out:

First, kids choose which customer they want to serve. Next they get to choose from a big selection of ingredients, and create recipes in their own online kitchen, to serve to the guests. They have access to tools too, like a juicer, oven, frying pan, and more. They add their chosen ingredients, cook it all up, and then serve it to their guests. They can also add extras, like lemon, Tabasco sauce, salt and pepper. If they made a good dish – like a fruit smoothie – the customer will finish it with a smile. If they make something yucky like shrimp and carrot smoothie, they might make a yucky face and spit it out. If they add too much hot sauce, the customer might breath out steam. It’s a really fun way for kids to experiment with food in a fun way, and learn a little bit about what works well together, and how things can be prepared. Love it!

Toca Kitchen 2 Logo Image

Here’s how the Toca Kitchen 2 app works: You download the app to your iPhone, iPod, or iPad {I’ve heard that maybe an Android version is coming soon? But don’t quote me on that… I read it on YouTube…} Then, it’s SUPER simple and intuitive to use. {Added bonus? NO in-app purchases or third party ads, so it’s a safe for kids, and safe for your wallet too!} After that, it’s all about playing, experimenting, and learning.

So, after using the app for a few days, I decided it might be fun to really bring it to life in our own kitchen. Abby already loves to cook, but I thought I’d let her choose the recipe this time, and use some of the skills she’s learning on Toca Kitchen 2. She of course – because she is a 4 1/5 year old little girl, wanted to make Frozen themed brownies. She dug through my ginormous baking cupboard, and found some super fun snowflake sprinkles, and Frozen colored candy toppings. Then we got to work….

She is SO excited to be the star of the show today. She got to choose what she wanted, and is super ready to get it all whipped up.

Just like on Toca Kitchen 2, she got to pick out and find all of her own ingredients. She filled up the measuring cups with water and oil. Grabbed an egg. Chose her sprinkles to match her theme. Grabbed the box of brownie mix. Next, she found her tools – she decided to make these as brownie cupcakes instead of in a pan. Got her mixing bowl and spoon. And of course, the most important part….

Kids cooking on their own in aprons

….put on her apron. Because nothing says kitchen fun like wearing your own personalized apron, right? :) Then she got goin’, pouring and adding and mixing ingredients. All for her “customer,” which will be daddy, when he gets home. {This was her face as she said, “Oh man – I’ve got a LOT of work to do!}

Helping

For some steps, she needed help – like measuring out the cooking oil. So we do it hand-in-hand. Just like how on her app, she sometimes needs my help in figuring things out.

Scooping

Other steps she does totally on her own – like using a scoop to put brownie batter into each cup. Because she knows how to use kitchen tools, and Toca Kitchen 2 has taught her even more new skills.

Eggs2

And I feel it’s SO important to encourage kids to take the lead, learn new things, and not be worried about mistakes. Like cracking an egg on the counter. Which is surprisingly hard to clean up, lol. But, making mistakes and learning from them is how even us so-called “grown-ups” grow up, right :)

Licking Brownies

And the best part of cooking? Licking the spoon :) I love how even though Abby seriously loves kitchen time, the Toca Kitchen 2 app gives her new ideas, and encourages her to really explore creative options and ideas. For this recipe, we used a box mix she chose – but she mixed it up by choosing lots of other cool stuff. Because she feels empowered as a “chef” now. So great to see.

Frozen brownies

These are what she came up with – her “Frozen” brownies. It starts with a box of Betty Crocker Hot Chocolate Brownie mix. Then she added the ingredients called for on the box; eggs, water, oil. But she also wanted to add some mint chocolate chips into the mix, since she had free access to my baking supplies. Then she added the marshmallow cream to swirl on top. Next – we added the things she thought made them look like Frozen: snowflake sprinkles and silvery Sixlets candies. We baked up full size cupcakes and minis too. She was SO excited at how they turned out!

Learn More and Bring This Into YOUR Home Too:

If you want to encourage kitchen creativity skills in your kiddos too, I cannot recommend this app enough. Seriously. I’ve been checking out some of the other apps from Toca Boca now that we’ve used this one, {they have released 26 now!} and they are all so much fun. Very wholesome and happy, teaching great skills, free of ads and in-app purchases like I mentioned before. And totally appropriate and safe for the littles. Definitely a brand I’ll be buying a lot of apps from :) Be sure to check them out around the web:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram

And, follow the #tocakitchen2 and #pureplay hashtags on social media, to see what other people have to say about this awesome app. Because hearing real feedback from real moms is the best advice, am I right? :)

If you’ve played this app, or any other Toca Boca apps you’d recommend – or have questions – please join the conversation on Facebook! I love hearing from you guys.

 

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Comments

  1. Besides Abby being thee most adorable lil cook ever, this is an app I like because it gives little minds big options. I love the brownie touches too!

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      You are SO sweet :) She was so – #MessyHairDontCare that day, lol. But we had a blast. We recently bought a new smart TV from Best Buy, and it has a YouTube app right on the screen. So I played the video for daddy, and she was SO excited to be on TV :)

      And – seriously, this is such a simple app, but so much fun. I knew she’d love it – and she did, instantly. It’s her new favorite!

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy) says:

    My boys love to help out in the kitchen. They love eating their creations as much as they love eating them.

  3. I think this is so great. Kids have the most free thinking, creative minds out there. It’s important to nurture that. Love it!

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      Right? I totally agree. And giving them a way to really explore all of those crazy ideas that they come up with, but being able to create them on the app, is so cool. Taking it to the next level and making it come to life in the real kitchen was a great idea! I’m definitely trying to think of other ways to bring her favorite apps to life now too!

  4. Oh I have never heard of that App… My kids love to help me in the kitchen as well. Especially my Baby Miss. I totally need to look into this. Thanks so much

  5. This looks like an awesome app! I hadn’t heard of it before. I’d love to try this with my kids!

  6. Starting the kids off early in life in the kitchen is a great way to get them interested in cooking and baking and they learn some important life lessons in the process.

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      YES – so true! They get to learn following directions, measurements, cause and effect. I love it!

  7. She is so adorable in her apron! My kids love to help in the kitchen and I think it helps build good skills :-) I will have to check out the ap! Thanks for sharing

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      An apron is an absolute MUST in our kitchen, lol. We may not always know what we’re doing – but if you have a pretty apron on it doesn’t matter, you feel like a pro :)

  8. This is adorable! Encouraging kids with any kid of creativity is always a great idea!

  9. Oh she is adorable! I love that the app is encouraging her creativity in the kitchen. I hope her customer loved his treat!

  10. This is such a good idea, it’s great to get the kids working with their creativity; this looks like it must have been tons of fun!

  11. My daughter absolutely loves Toca Boca apps. She plays a lot of them. It is great for her creativity.

  12. I hadn’t heard of this app before. I love watching my youngest help in the kitchen.

  13. What sweet photo’s! My kids love being in the kitchen too. My daughter would love your Frozen brownies!

  14. This sounds like a really fun app for kids! I’ll have to check this out.

  15. I think it is super cool that you do not have any third party ads. I hate being in the middle of something and an ad pops up and interrupts you. Grrrrr.

    • Meagan Paullin says:

      Right? Abby gets frustrated by those, and doesn’t always know how to get rid of them. And – the fact that there’s no way for her to make in-app purchases is a TOTAL win for me!

  16. This is a great app and it is fun to get my kids in the kitchen with me. My girls love to cook and bake!

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