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Entertaining Children

Keeping children busy is half the battle in keeping them quiet and happy, and there is a huge amount of advice available on ways to manage this, including our page - Top Tips for the School Holidays.

For more inspiration try our pages on Cooking with ChildrenGardening with Children, and Craft Activities with Children for some ideas for things to do at home.

If you’re thinking of going out and about, check out our pages on Outings with Children.

Of course, there is the issue of the ‘electronic babysitter’, and whether it is good for children to spend time watching television or using computers. This is a perennial issue for all parents, whether your child is barely 18 months or approaching 18 years old. Read more in our page on Screen Time for Children.

Children’s parties are an ongoing challenge for parents. Learn more about how to cope in our pages on Planning Children’s Parties and Managing Children’s Parties.

If you just want some general advice on parenting, and don’t know where to start, try our Top Ten Parenting Tips.

You may also find our pages on Parenting BoysParenting Girls, and Mindful Parenting are good starting points.


Even the most accomplished and experienced cooks may find the idea of cooking with children a challenge.

What sort of things should and can you cook? How involved should they be? Will it help to reduce picky eating?

The questions are endless.

This page provides some ideas for what to cook with children, and how to manage the process safely and age-appropriately.

Getting Ready to Cook with Children

The first rule of cooking with children is BE PREPARED.

If you offer cooking, children will want to do it NOW. It is therefore a good idea to have everything ready, including the recipe, especially with smaller children who cannot reach the cupboards to help you get the ingredients out.

Top Tip!

It is best not to enter into too many discussions about what you’re going to cook. Instead, make a decision and present children with one or two options:

  • Who would like to help me cook chocolate brownies?
  • Shall we do some cooking? Would you prefer to make cakes or cookies?

If your offer is countered with “Can’t we make x?”, have a swift reply ready, such as “No, sorry, there isn’t time/I don’t have the ingredients for that/I need to make this for school/tea/whatever”.


As part of your preparations, you probably all want to consider wearing aprons or overalls, including you, and rolling up sleeves. There will be mess, but at least this will minimise the washing.

Don’t forget to wash your hands beforehand, and make sure that the children do so too.

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Saturday, 02 July 2022