Over the past week of working from home, children have busted into my little home office quite a few times. Weird thing is, I don’t have kids.
During this uncertain time of COVID-19 and social distancing to help slow the spread of the upper-respiratory disease caused by the new strain of coronavirus, I’ve been fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to be in close proximity to my brother and his family of six. The mini hoard are my next-door neighbors and in the world of perfect timing, the coronavirus concerns entered Harris County when my brother was remodeling his kitchen.
For the time being, we’re sharing a kitchen and food supplies.
Like most of us who find ourselves bored, my nephews and niece find themselves standing in the kitchen, gazing at a multitude of snacks, wondering which one they should eat that hour. Their choice is usually the Oreos.
After it rained last week, I thought it would be a good idea to do something productive and cookie-related with them. Because once they couldn’t go outside due to the rain and then the mud, I was about to go crazy watching them run in circles. And they started eating way too many of my snacks.
I’ve seen a few posts of people selling cookie-decorating kits in Facebook community groups, and thought it was a good way to spend time with the kids indoors. I bought two different kits from Underwater Oven, which usually sells cookies at Eleanora’s Market.
Each kit came with six sugar cookies, three bags of icing and sprinkles. One kit had a dinosaur theme, while the other was rainbows and unicorns.
These kits gave the fun of cookie decorating without the mess of making the cookies and icing.
The kids also surprised me while decorating the cookies. During Christmas, my family always makes and ices sugar cookies, but the icing usually looks like scribbles. When icing the sugar cookies in the kits, the kids were more concentrated and conscious of what their cookies were going to look like in the end.
This made me realize that having the kids at home opens doors for them to develop other interests. For example, now that my 8-year-old nephew can no longer scour antique stores and thrift shops for old sports cards, he’s taken more of an interest in kitchen activities. He even helped make pancakes last Saturday morning.
So if you’re looking for something to do with your kids that will keep them entertained and get their creative mind rolling, cooking and baking could be the answer.
It might be especially helpful if other craft supplies dwindle down and the only place you can shop is a grocery store.
Kids can learn how to make their favorite dessert, like making homemade ice cream in a bag or making your own candy.
Let the kids decide what’s on the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Have them guess how to make it (without wasting supplies) and then make it together.
I’ve learned through having the kids in the kitchen that while it can be a bit hectic and there’s more than one time I have to say, “Please don’t touch that” and “Put that back,” it’s also built a new connection between my nephews and niece and me.