Playing with your food can be plenty of fun and it can entice reluctant eaters to try new things. Cooking games are a creative way to involve your budding chefs in meal prep, encourage their developing palates and even teach them some essential life skills. Bring your appetites and try out our picks for the best cooking games that make food fun.
Videos From Tinybeans
Eat the Alphabet Challenge
Trying new foods can be a lot less intimidating when you tie it to something relatable, like the alphabet! This is an easy game that can stretch across an entire month. For example, start every day with a new letter of the alphabet, and challenge your kids to try a food that starts with that letter. It can be as easy as “D” for donut or up the ante with something a little more daring, like “D” for Dragonfruit. You can also add a scoring system to earn points for the most unique foods they can think up.
Want to get your kids to eat spinach and earn cool mom points? Of course, you do! Bulk up like the Hulk and gain superhero strength after making a batch of "Hulk Bread" or spinach muffins, like this recipe from Super Healthy Kids. Have your superpowered chefs help you with baking this tasty treat, and then you can all pretend to have hulk strength when you eat it.
Measure and Guess Game
Cooking with kids can be fun and educational. Shake things up a bit by turning the measuring of ingredients into a guessing game. If you’re making blueberry muffins, for example, fill the measuring cup and then have your tiny chefs guess how many blueberries are in the cup. Whoever guesses the closest gets to eat the first muffin! You can play this game with all sorts of different recipes and ingredients.
Bread in a Bag Game
Can you make bread in a bag? A great way to teach measuring and how to use fine motor muscles (kneading the bread!) is to have a cooking game challenge for kids. Our friends at Your Homebased Mom cleverly show the best way to do this. Shake, knead, bake and eat.
Cooking by Numbers & Letters
Cooking and counting go hand in hand and pretzels are easy to make. We love What We Do All Day's brilliant pretzel game using bread dough, salt, butter, a brush and a ruler. Besides practicing letters and numbers, little kitchen helpers can count out the dough pieces and measure the length of each rolled pretzel. We're sure these hot buttery treats will go fast!
Invent a Recipe
Creative cooking! Meal prep takes on limitless possibilities in this free cooking game brainstormed by our friends over at Tinkerlab. Let your little chefs invent their own recipes. Discover, create, validate (with you), then make their dish. Experimenting encourages independent thinking and problem-solving skills in the kitchen. Even more, eating what they make will be easy as pie.
Read & Make Cooking Game for Kids
Hot chocolate banana muffins take on a whole new meaning with the read and make game cooked up by Growing Book by Book. First, you read the book If You Give a Moose a Muffin together, then cook up a fresh batch with the littles.
Rainbow Cooking Game for Kids
Sometimes the simplest cooking games are the most fun. Who can resist a colorful rainbow fruit parfait courtesy of our friends Mama.Pappa.Bubba. Let your kids pick out fresh fruit at your local farmer's market. Then it's time to peel and chop. Add a whipped cream cloud on top–yum!
The Pizza Symmetry Game
It takes two! Making pizza becomes a free cooking game when you add in this genius idea from Fantastic Fun and Learning. You'll need pizza dough, sauce, cheese and toppings. Just put a string down the middle of the pizza and mirror your partner's topping placement. We're sure they'll chow down on their symmetrical creation.
Taste Test Game
Keep 'em guessing (and fully engaged) with this flavorful cooking game dreamed up by Create.Play.Travel. You'll need a muffin tin, food, paper and pen. Let your little one try the item (you can blindfold her too!) then say whether it's sweet, sour, spicy, salty or tangy. When cooking a meal have your kids decide the taste of the main ingredients.
Follow My Instructions Game
Easy as one, two, three. Le Coin de Mel fosters independent cooking and following directions in this toddler cooking game. Mamma Mel whips up a simple recipe to describe step-by-step to her little chef to make vegan gluten-free chocolate muffins. Expect a mess and for the muffins to go quickly!
Chopped Game for Kids
It's time for a cooking challenge! A fun and creative game to get kids cooking up a storm crafted by Life as Mom. You can play with two or more. Set out the ingredients to use in separate baskets. Then everyone shares pantry items to add flavor and taste. Put it all together, present it to the judge, and choose the best creation.
Banana Sushi Game
Chop, chop! Budding chefs can practice their fine motor skills by making this snack created by My Fussy Eater. Littles can peel the bananas, chop them up (with a kid knife), then roll them around in toppings like coconut, melted chocolate and rice Krispies. Have them rate each topping and pick a winner. The best part is eating with chopsticks.
—Taylor Clifton, Nikki Walsh & Shahrzad Warkentin