With summer vacation right around the corner and the looming idea of camp and summer activities, the initial thought many parents have right now is “what can I do to keep my children entertained and occupied?” A daunting question every parent faces as the school year winds down. With the advent of the digital age, engaging kids has become easier, yet cumbersome, with the notion of digital privacy and protecting ourselves from the unknown. Outlined below are a few ways to keep your kids engaged, nurture their inquisitive side, and build a skill set that they can be proud of with the help of useful technological apps.
Kids have a knack for eating yummy treats. For example, when you are grocery shopping and hit the cookies aisle, your kids know they want that yummy box of Chips Ahoy! to munch on during the ride home. Why not take this a step further and incorporate their passion for food into a skill-building hobby? They can have their cookie and eat it too! Here’s a simple, sweet solution - food science!
Get together with your loved one and sit down to have a conversation about creating something together. This will not only engage them in creating their favorite cookie recipe but also enable you to incorporate the wonderful use of food science, budgeting, and cultivating their inner scientist. With the help of an iPad or tablet, utilize iBook’s store or pre-download a PDF (which you have read and approved) of a recipe to introduce your kids to food science.
Next, you and your kids can experiment with baking using an example of how a homemade soft butter cookie dough mixture versus a store-bought hardened butter cookie dough mixture differ. Explore the differences between cookie shapes, texture, and flavor. Use the Internet to research different ingredients and explain how and why different temperatures of baking affect the textures and flavors of cookies. Introduce your child to the math in measurements of the ingredients; maybe even introduce them to a healthier option of paleo or vegan cookies!
With ingredients in mind, families can further promote critical thinking by creating a budget for your wonderful cookie batch. Show your kids an app like Numbers, then create a spreadsheet with the ingredient names, the cost of each item, and itemize these ingredients. Use baking as an introduction to budgeting and financial management. Encourage them to use their allowance money on this project and make sure they’ve saved up for the proper amount.
Lastly, parents can nurture a young filmmaker who loves cooking - marrying a hobby of creating wonderful dishes with creating home movies. Utilizing iMovie, kids can shoot videos of the steps they followed in the recipe, to create small clips. Together, you and your kids can sit down and upload these clips to the iMovie app. Give them free creative reign to make fun soundtracks, cool video transitions, and to use more fun features that iMovie has to offer. Make an afternoon out of the whole DIY project.