Inside: Here are 7 fun dessert activities to do with your grandkids & kids. Arts and crafts, music, books, exciting kitchen activities, and more. They will help develop your grandchild’s small motor, math, and critical thinking skills not to mention create a strong bond and forever memories! And don’t forget to check out “Getting to Know Your Ancestors” at the end!
Dessert Activities with Grandkids & Kids
Don’t you just love desserts?! They are the crowning finale to a satisfying dinner. Did you know the word dessert comes from the French word, desservir? It means to “clear the table,” or clear the palate after a large meal.
During the middle ages, desserts consisted of fruits and nuts dipped in honey. But desserts, as we know them today, evolved over the centuries with the manufacturing of sugar and culinary experimentation.
This week our theme is all about dessert activities with the grandkids. We made 2 desserts in the kitchen and immersed ourselves in arts and crafts, books, and even songs about desserts and sweets.
After reading this book to the grandkids, we launched into fun and creative dessert activities we hope you will try.
#1 Arts & Crafts: Dessert Activities Made with Paper Manipulations & Paper Weaving
This was a 3-part arts & crafts project:
First, I gave the grandkids different colors of paper to roll, fold, cut, curl and squish into various shapes.
Next, I gave them a poster board with a popsicle, a cupcake, and a piece of candy drawn on them. They took the paper shapes and glued them onto the desserts creating a very colorful and interesting collage.
Last, they wove a background with 2 pieces of cardstock paper and glued their desserts onto the weaving.
The result? An opportunity for the grandkids to see just how colorful and fun it is to create paper desserts and a great activity to build fine motor coordination and sequencing skills.
- For the paper manipulations, use colorful printed paper from Michael’s
- Plain cardstock paper 12×12 in different colors—for the woven background
- Template for cupcakes, popsicle, and candy (I used dessert cookie cutters for a template)
- Using the printed paper, show your grandkids/kids how to manipulate the paper into different shapes and designs such as rolled paper, spirals, curls, or folded fans. Even squish the paper into little shapes.
- Draw on a piece of posterboard three desserts—a cupcake, a piece of candy, and a popsicle
- Have the grandkids/kids glue the various paper manipulations onto the desserts to create a collage
- Cut each dessert out
- Using the 12×12 inch cardstock paper, draw a 1-inch border around the entire paper. On the inside of the paper, draw lines 1” apart. Using an Exacto knife, cut slits along the lines
- Cut different colors of cardstock paper into 1” strips. Use these strips to weave a pattern on the 12×12” paper.
- Glue the desserts onto the woven paper
Inspiration for just the paper manipulations: @colourful_minds_kids
#2 Kitchen Science & Math: Making Homemade Strawberry Ice Cream
Making anything in the kitchen is fun and educational—but it becomes more exciting when you’re making homemade ice cream and it’s the dead of winter with snow on the ground. We’ve made homemade ice cream with the grandkids before—and it’s one of their favorite year-round activities.
Click here for my easy-peasy recipe that uses only 3 ingredients: sugar, strawberries, and cream: Best Strawberry Ice Cream Recipe. Just mix the ingredients; put in the ice cream maker and you’ll have a delicious bowl of ice cream in 25 minutes.
The Science Behind Ice Cream
Make this a multi-educational experience and teach fractions when measuring ingredients and science as you explain to your grandkids/kids what happens to make the liquid ingredients turn into a solid.
When first mixing all the ingredients it’s a liquid because the molecules are spread out. However, when you cool the mixture with ice, it becomes cold and the molecules pack tightly together forming solid ice cream. Adding salt to the ice lowers the temperature even more because salt has a lower freezing point which makes the ice cream solidify faster.
Let your kids or grandkids help with:
- Washing and cutting the strawberries
- Mixing the sugar and cream
- Pouring ice and salt into the ice cream maker
- Watching and monitoring the mixture as it turns into ice cream
Before making this ice cream—read your grandkids/kids the book, One Smart Cookie. It’s a great book to help them understand why it’s important to be organized in the kitchen and in life.
#3 Printmaking Ice Cream Cones
Have you ever used painted bubble wrap for any of your art creations? They create fabulous textures on paper and provides a fun way to experiment with different art mediums.
Using painted bubble wrap, the grandkids created these colorful and festive ice cream cones.
- Bubble wrap
- Tempera paints
- Pom-poms, buttons, dots, pipe cleaners, etc.
- Corrugated cardboard
- Glitter glue
- With the corrugated cardboard, cut a triangular shape of an ice cream cone
- Glue the cone to the bottom of the poster board
- Draw and cut circles out of the bubble wrap
- Using different colors of tempera paint, paint the bubble wrap
- Stamp the painted bubble wrap onto the ice cream cone—creating at least 3 ice cream scoops
- Drip glitter glue down the cone to create dripping ice cream
- When dry, add pom-poms, straws, dots, buttons, pipe cleaners to make the ice cream colorful
Inspiration: The Artful Parent.
#4 Dessert Activities: Making Layer Cakes with Tissue Paper
You’ve probably seen many different art and crafts using tissue paper. For this dessert activity, the grandkids glued tissue paper onto a layer cake made out of white cardboard.
It’s a simple activity that teaches fine motor skills and requires minimal supplies.
This was a mixed-media project because the grandkids also painted a background on canvas to glue their tissue-paper cakes onto. Some of their backgrounds were more colorful than their cakes!
- Different colors of tissue paper
- White cardboard
- Cake template (I enlarged my cake cookie cutter to create a template)
- Canvas (8×10”)
- Tempera paints
- Draw a template of a cake on cardboard. Cut out
- Pour some glue into a dish; add water and stir
- Dip the paintbrush into the glue and brush over the cake
- Glue down pieces of tissue paper; creating a collage effect over the cake
- Add more glue and tissue paper
- Paint the canvas with different colors of tempera paint. When it’s still wet, add glitter.
- When the canvas and cake are dry, glue the cake to the canvas
#5: Back in the Kitchen Making Dessert Sugar Cookies
We’re back in the kitchen making another dessert. It’s an oldie-but-goodie all-time favorite—sugar cookies! We’ve made them before so click here to get my yummy sugar cookie recipe.
This time we used dessert cookie cutters—ice cream cone, cupcake, popsicle, candy, cake, soft-serve ice cream, and hearts.
Have your grandkids/kids help measure, sift, crack eggs, and pour the ingredients together—it’s a great activity to teach basic fractions and kitchen skills.
They can also roll out the dough—which increases proprioception skills that are directly related to kids being able to concentrate, focus and learn better.
Try using bags of frosting for your kids/grandkids to increase their frosting skills. They have to squeeze and control the amount of frosting that comes out–a great activity to build fine motor skills.
Before you make these sugar cookies—read the book, Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love.
#6 Dessert Activities: Music Celebrating Desserts & Sugar
There are lots of amazing songs about desserts. Here is a list of the ones we listened to.
Remember those musical instruments we made a few weeks ago? Bring them out and dance, sing, bang, clang, and move to the beat of the music! (click here to read how to make musical instruments)
And—while you are making, baking, and creating—play some of the music in the background. There is nothing like music to create a positive atmosphere and inspire creativity.
- I Love Sweets
- Ice Cream Song
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: The Candyman Can
- A Spoonful of Sugar
- Anne of Green Gables: Ode to Ice Cream
#7 Books About Desserts, Sugar, Chocolate and More
There are so many fun books about sugar and sweets to read to your grandkids/kids. Here is just a partial list. The Chocolate Touch is a chapter book and all of Amy Rosenthal’s books teach values while cooking and baking desserts.
- The Chocolate Touch by Patrick Catling
- Scoop the Ice Cream Truck by Patricia Keeler
- Milk to Ice Cream (Read About Science How Things Are Made) by Lisa Herrington
- Ice Cream Soup by Ann Ingalls
- This Book is Not Good for You by Pseudonymous Bosch
- One Smart Cookie by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Cookies: Bite-Size Life Lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- Sugar Cookies: Sweet Little Lessons on Love by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
- If You Give a Dog a Donut by Laura Numeroff
- Kawaii Sweet World Cookbook by Rachel Fong
The book, Kawaii Sweet World Cookbook by Rachel Fong is a darling Japanese-style cookbook that includes 75 different desserts and treats. Kawaii is a Japanese word that means, “cute” and everything in this cookbook is cute! Plus, she lists kitchen tools needed for little hands and definitions of different dessert ingredients.
If you love baking and cooking desserts with your grandkids or kids—I highly recommend this book.
“Get to Know Your Ancestors” Tip
Do you have an ancestor who loved to bake and create desserts? If so, when doing these dessert activities with your kids/grandkids, copy off your ancestors’ pictures, and share stories about their lives and different dessert recipes they loved to create and bake. Here are 3 of our grandchildren’s great-great-great grandmothers whose recipes we’ve made together as a family. It’s a fun way to connect to these talented women from the past!
Here are other posts for activities for grandparents & grandkids:
- How to Have Fun on a Nature Study with Grandparents
- 9 Super Fun Ocean Activities for Grandkids & Grandparents
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