In The Kitchen Recipe Collections

Summer Vacation! 12 Fun Recipes to Make With Kids

How to stop kids from saying "I'm bored" 4,829 times a day this summer? Get in the kitchen! Here are 12 recipes that kids will love to make AND eat.

12 Kid-Friendly Recipes to Make on Summer Vacation

The sun is shining; routines have changed (read: I can sleep in just a little), and the kids are ready to play all the live-long day! Some may call it Summer Vacation, but I’m over here trying not to call it Summer Cray-cation.

While I really do love the shift in schedules and the freedom to come and go as we want, life with five kids—my youngest ones being 2 1/2 year old twins—working from home, and managing the house can get a little crazy. To keep my kids from saying “Mom! I’m bored!” 4,829 times a day, I’ve made an executive decision that we are going to create a recipe once a week together.

Friday Creativity Days!

I’ve designated Friday as our creativity day, which means we step away from all the day-to-day tasks of life (read: Legos recklessly scattered across my house) and we get together to cook.

Getting my girls involved with baking and cooking really teaches them life skills, fights off boredom, and I’ve noticed they’re more likely to expand their little palates if they’ve helped make the dish. Also, have you ever seen just how big a kid can smile when they step back and realize that they actually made brownies? Or watched their eyes grow wide with excitement as they sip a smoothie full of fruits and veggies and then they shout, “Whoa! This tastes SO GOOD!”?

It really is a magical moment to watch their sense of accomplishment!

12 Recipes for a Happy Summer

Since I want us all to have the happiest of summers, I’ve picked 12 ridiculously fantastic recipes that can be made with your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, or basically anyone you just want to spend a little more time with!

These recipes come with only a handful of ingredients and take minimal time. I find that when I have extra help in the kitchen, recipes can take a smidge longer than usual, but that’s okay!

  • Old Fashioned Pink Lemonade

    Pink Lemonade
    Elise Bauer

    Lemonade is a summer classic! My kids have a lemonade stand at LEAST once a week, and they can’t just have any regular lemonade. They need something that sets them apart from all the other lemonade stands in town, so when their customers find out they’ve made this from scratch? SOLD!

  • EASY Baked Apple Slices

    Mom's Baked Apple Slices
    Elise Bauer

    My kids would eat this all day, if they could! Older kids can slice the apples (with supervision), and the younger kids can toss them in the cinnamon and sugar. Teamwork makes dreamwork!

  • Blueberry Muffins

    Easy Blueberry Muffins ready to eat
    Elise Bauer

    We go blueberry picking every summer, so this is a must! Plus, muffins make for a quick breakfast OR a sweet little afternoon snack. I always make a double batch, because they don’t last very long in my house!

  • Microwave Strawberry Jam

    Microwave Strawberry Jam
    Elise Bauer

    This is perfect for all those PB&J sandwiches you’ll be making! I usually make about four loaves worth of sandwiches and freeze them. Then, each morning I pull them out, and they thaw just in time for lunch. It saves me a ton of time!

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • Crispy Air Fryer Chickpeas

    Crispy Chickpeas in the Air Fryer
    Alison Conklin

    Your kids won’t be able to put these down. How do I know? Because I made them for my kids, and even my pickiest eater devoured them. It would be fun to experiment with different flavors and see what each kid likes!

  • BBQ Chicken Sheet Pan Pizza

    California Pizza Kitchen BBQ Chicken Pizza
    Aaron Hutcherson

    Friday nights are pizza night at my house, so I’m always looking for new variations! We love to grill our pizza, and my kids love adding the toppings on. Sometimes we do personal pizzas, which is always a hit!

  • Berry Banana Smoothie

    Banana Smoothie with berries on countertop
    Elise Bauer

    When it’s scorching hot outside, you need something COLD. Smoothies are absolutely wonderful to make because you can use any fruit that you have on hand! We play a game where one kid makes the smoothie and the rest of us have to guess every single ingredient that’s in it.

  • Banana Bread

    Banana Bread
    Elise Bauer

    What kind of summer would it be if you didn’t bake banana bread? I love this recipe, because it takes only one bowl to make AND it doesn't require a mixer. I always manage to win Mom of the Year when I let my kids fold in some chocolate chips!

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • Strawberry Nectarine Fruit Salad

    Strawberry Nectarine Fruit Salad
    Elise Bauer

    While you’re making the main course for dinner, enlist your kiddos to make a fruit salad for the side! I can guarantee that you’ll catch them nibbling on the fruit as they chop it. If you have younger kids, have them drizzle some honey on top, or have them help you scoop it into a little serving bowl!

  • Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Energy Balls

    Peanut Butter Protein Balls
    Leela Cyd Ross

    Channel that ever-abundant energy that your children seem to have into making these energy balls! These can be made ahead of time and frozen for later.

  • Easy Lemon Pudding

    Easy Lemon Pudding in three cups topped with berries
    Sally Vargas

    These have only a handful of ingredients and can be whipped up in no time, and I think it’d be fun to serve these parfait style. So fancy!

  • Cheesy Bread

    Cheesy Bread
    Elise Bauer

    If your kids are always starving (like mine claim to be) then cheesy bread to the rescue! Tip of the day: To save some time, buy pre-shredded cheese!