School holidays sorted
You’ve made it through a week of the school holidays, but what on earth are you going to do with the kids for another whole week? Don’t worry; we have fun ideas to save your sanity and keep them entertained…
Start simple with a bit of decorative but edible activity. Invest in some icing piping bags (these Soffritto icing bags are currently on sale for just $3.99 for 20) and some plain biscuits or cupcakes/muffins (or make your own, if you’re keen on baking and want to keep the kids busy for another hour or so). Make two or three batches of icing, colouring them different colours with a drop of food colouring, then let the kids swirl on colour to their hearts’ content. You can also let them loose with hundreds and thousands and pebbles/smarties to up the ante. If they’ve decorated a number of cakes or biscuits and you don’t want them to eat all of them, you could arrange a drop-off at your nearest homeless shelter or aged care home afterwards. Or, if the sun’s shining, send them outside to run a streetside bake sale.
Rice run riot
For slightly younger children, let them play with their food for an afternoon. To colour raw rice, just add 1 teaspoon of vinegar and a few drops of food colouring to 1 cup of rice in a lidded container, then cover and shake until coloured. Spread out on paper towels until dry, then transfer the rice to a roasting dish or large plastic tub (Sistema has a great and affordable range). Depending on the colour you used, it can be imagined into grass, ocean, sand or even a Martian landscape to arrange plastic figurines in and create stories with.
Turn to jelly
Also from the “play with your food” school of entertainment, throw it back to the ‘80s with a morning of jelly making. Use Flexibake muffin pans to set the jelly in to make it easier to turn out. And make it a bit more interesting by setting little plastic figurines in amongst the jelly - sea creatures in blue; farm animals in green; safari animals in yellow - then once it’s set, let the kids have fun trying to excavate the animals. If you have a decent-sized freezer, you can also play a similar game by freezing animals in large containers of ice - once set, kids can take the blocks of ice outside and try and free the animals by breaking the ice (sprinkling salt on it will help to speed up the process).
Lest we forget
Hopefully everyone in the family will be enjoying a public holiday on Wednesday for Anzac Day. Talk to your kids about what the day means, and get them involved in baking some Anzac biscuits. We’re big fans of Nadia Lim’s recipe. And if your baking kit is looking a little lacking/the worse for wear, we have everything you need, from mixing bowlsto spatulas, baking sheetsand electronic scales .
If your kids are fans of sushi, and big enough to help in the kitchen, get them involved in preparing a Japanese-themed lunch or dinner. Making your own sushi is simple - all you need to do is cook sushi rice and season it with a little sushi vinegar, then press it out on top of a sheet of nori and arrange your chosen filling on top (you can buy sushi rice, vinegar and nori at most supermarkets). Kids will love selecting slices of veges for their own sushi rolls. If you’re not sure your rolling skills are up to the task, this Prep Perfect sushi roller is currently on sale for $7.99. Make it a fun experience by talking to kids about Japanese traditions and etiquette. If you have a low coffee table, you could set place settings for everyone around that, giving each diner their own little soy dish (if you need some in your life, these lovely Momento Kobi soy dishes are just $3.99 each) and set of chopsticks (if your children are still learning to wield chopsticks, these Capital Kitchen children's chopsticks come in a fun range of colours and shapes, including giraffes and flamingos). Give everyone a hot cloth to clean their hands with before dining, and serve edamame beans (available frozen from most supermarkets) along with your sushi.