Have you completely run out of ideas for fun indoor activities to do with your child? Don't worry - we've all been there. When the weather is bad, the temptation to sit the kids in front of the TV or the iPad for the day is strong. But we have a better idea.
Not only is this activity fun for the little ones, but it will also take an item off of your to-do list. Making a pizza together can be an excellent group activity, and when you're done, dinner is already taken care of.
Keep reading to learn more about the ins and outs of pizza making with children.
Great question! There are many reasons why we chose this particular dish.
First, it will get the children excited and keep them engaged. Pizza is a staple of life, just like taxes, and even though they'll need to put in some work first, many children will view this activity as a special treat.
Pizza is also highly versatile. It's possible to substitute out all of its major ingredients without compromising the fun and flavor, which can't be said for most recipes.
This is especially helpful for children with allergies or other food sensitivities. For example, regular crust can be replaced with a gluten-free crust, mozzarella can be replaced with vegan cheese, and toppings can be swapped out for almost anything.
You don't even need to use tomato sauce - white pizzas are an option that is beloved by many.
Additionally, since you're in control of all ingredients that go into the pizza, you can make it a much healthier dish than what you'd get if you ordered delivery. We all love takeout pizza, of course, but we don't know what goes into making it, and it tends to be quite unhealthy.
If you're trying to be healthier, or you just need the kids to eat a vegetable for the first time this week, homemade pizza is a great option. Go ahead and pile veggies on top, or use a low-fat cheese option, or opt for a cauliflower crust — the sky's the limit!
Pizza making with children
If you have multiple children, you're probably much too familiar with the bickering that ensues when your family orders pizza for delivery.
It's a classic argument that plays out among many, many families. One child is a vegetarian, but the other one wants double sausage. One is lactose intolerant, and one wants something odd that no one else will touch, like pineapple and anchovies.
Making pizza at home with your children eliminates this issue entirely. Whether you're making your own dough or bought pre-made pizza dough from the store, you can split the dough into as many mini pizzas as you want.
Every child gets their own individual pizza to decorate to their heart's content. Not only will this preempt any fighting, but it also gives your child a series of choices they must make in order to build their pizza. And here is another benefit - making pizza is actually good for their brains!
The cognitive benefits of pizza making
Making pizza requires you to go through a series of choices to pick out different parts, consider how they will work as a whole, and then build the final product.
This process is actually quite complex for a child's growing brain. That's why pizza making is a great way to practice cognitive reasoning and processing with your child.
Making a series of decisions to get to the desired endpoint really flexes the cognitive muscles in a young child's brain. It may help them with their decision-making and logical reasoning skills outside of the kitchen.
It's also a great way to teach your younger children some basic cooking skills. Maybe not how to use the oven, but how to navigate around the kitchen and put together different ingredients.
This skill can help them become more independent and less reliant on having a parent do everything for them. For example, if they want a snack, they can make something simple for themselves, like a PB&J or cheese and crackers.
Gradually working up to handling small tasks more independently is great for a child's confidence and self-esteem. And of course, making pizza as a family and spending quality time together is an amazing plus.
A way to spend time together
The benefits of cooking with your family are well-documented. Spending time together on a shared task nurtures the special bonds between siblings and parents and children.
Even a moody adolescent can be persuaded to join in with the promise of a cheesy reward at the end.
Cooking and eating together gives you time to connect and give your entire attention to your family. As a parent, you can also model healthy habits at the dinner table, such as learning manners or saying "no thank you" when you're full.
One surprising fact is that people of all ages eat more fruits and vegetables when they are eating in a group. That's right — you can help your child be healthier just by being with them at the dinner table.
Making pizza and beyond
So now you're an expert on all the benefits of making pizza with your children at home. But that's not the only family-friendly activity that is fun, healthy, and promotes cognitive development.
Taking a moment to plan out group activities with your children, and assessing the benefits they'll take away from each one, helps to set your child up for a lifetime of higher self-esteem and better processing skills.
Be sure to check out our Crafts & Projects section to discover tons of engaging ways to pass the time indoors with your little ones. Happy baking!