Happy Monday, friends! We had a beautiful weekend and spent most of it outside, it was GREAT. Another family activity we did this weekend is one I want to share today– the kids made their own pizzas!
If I’m honest, I had to kind of learn how to love cooking with my kids. I love to prepare food on my own, but getting used to our family creations not tasting or looking as good was hard! I so wanted to be that laid back mom that didn’t care about the mess or egg shells in the mix lol, but it really took some effort to get there.
Thankfully (?) I’ve lowered my standards haha and just embrace the craziness of cooking with kids. My little ones love it SO much, and there are tons of benefits to cooking as a family that make it worth it. It also helps to find recipes that are easy for them to help with, like pizza!
For other recipes that are easy for kids to follow, check out this post on 60 Easy Dessert Recipes for Kids!
Cooking and baking together is a wonderful way to connect with our kids, and it can actually teach them a lot too! Measuring, counting, fractions… you can basically use time in the kitchen as their math lesson for the week haha. Plus it does a lot for them socially and emotionally as well.
Putting in the effort to make something themselves gives a sense of accomplishment. Having a recipe to work from helps them with following directions. And we all know the importance of spending quality time with our kiddos!
So this weekend I decided to gather the ingredients to make a pizza with my littles. This was an especially fun sensory activity for them as they played in the dough, flour, and sauce. And you can bet they snacked on pepperoni the whole time haha 🙂
Another reason this is such a great activity for kids is they can really do almost all of it themselves. All I has to do was put the ingredients in front of them and they put it together! So here’s my quick step by step on making pizza with kids:
1. Make the [store-bought] dough
Not trying to win any homemaker-of-the-year awards here, so we just used the packages of Betty Crocker mix that only need water added. I have made homemade dough before and will probably do that with them in the future, but honestly store-bought is more than enough for a pizza made by preschoolers haha. Plus yeast has been sold out of the grocery store since this pandemic started soooo, store-bought it is!
Once you have the dough all mixed up, let them knead it for a bit! It’s hard to over knead dough, so just let them enjoy the texture for a bit. Then let the dough sit covered for whatever amount of time your recipe or mix bag says! Just be sure to knead BEFORE letting it rest to prevent a tougher crust.
2. Roll it out
This may be the one part you’ll have to take over for if you have an overly zealous roller like my son. Lulu did a great job rolling her doughs out with a little guidance to make sure she didn’t press too hard. J on the other hand just wanted to roll out one side of it and make it as thin as possible lol!
Something else to consider at this part, especially for multiple kids, is dividing the dough into smaller portions. One bag of the mix we used was meant for a 12-inch pizza, so I divided it in half to give each kiddo a “personal pan” 6-inch pizza. The size worked out great and it was a lot nicer letting them have their own to work on.
3. Load on the toppings
First you have to rub some oil on the dough. I’m actually not sure why they do this, but I worked in a pizzeria in college so I feel I have some authority on the matter to say this is a necessary step haha. We used a pastry brush for this part and the kids loved “painting” the oil on.
Then put whatever toppings on that you like! I think many younger kids like to keep flavors pretty simple, and my kids are no different. So we just did a basic sauce, cheese, and pepperoni.
Their favorite part of the whole thing (besides eating pepperoni as they worked) was spreading the sauce out. I let them use their hands and they loved it! As you can see, Lu couldn’t resist making handprints in the sauce haha.
I also threw together a quick dessert pizza too to stay on theme. To make one like it just use a simple strudel topping and sugar glaze. It was seriously delicious! Here’s the specific recipe we used if you’d like to recreate it– and I highly suggest you do!
Even though we kept it simple, there are seriously endless ones to try with your kids! Here’s some other pizza topping inspo:
- Sausage and green peppers
- Garlic, onion, and tomato (classic white pizza)
- Breakfast pizza: scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, and sausage
- Peanut butter and jelly
- Pineapple and ham
- BBQ Chicken
4. Bake in the oven and enjoy
Now you can just stick the pizza in the oven and wait for it to be done. Your kids will be so proud that they made dinner for everyone!
While waiting for your pizza to cook is the perfect time to work on the pizza printable I created for your kiddos. Below you’ll find a fun little activity where they can work on their numbers, putting things in order
The printable includes the different pizza toppings for your kids to print out and put together. Then there’s an activity sheet for them to make pizzas to match different orders from “customers”!
It may not have been the best pizza we’ve ever had haha but they were so proud of themselves! Hope you and your kiddos enjoy cooking as a family!