Dining In

Fancy it up! You don’t need to dine out at a French restaurant for a grand dinner.

Here are our top Kidstir tips for having a restaurant experience at home and turning any simple meal into a special occasion. Making a meal feel a little fancy is a great way to bond, teach manners and celebrate a great day. 

Start by getting your little one excited. They can write out a menu of what they are making — picture menus work too! Next, set the table, and fold napkins just like how they do it at restaurants. Now the important question: what’s for dinner? You could cook up this month’s kit, or prepare a Kidstir classic. You’ll feel like five stars making our Baked Salmon or Pasta Caprese

After you’re done cooking, everyone dresses up and comes to the table in style. Turn on music, light some candles, and say “Cheers!” For a cherry on top, add a vase of flowers, and serve on your best plates. Remember, use your best table manners: say “please” and “thank you,” and kiss the cook!

It’s great to slow down and celebrate the little things. You could toast a day of chores well done, a new skill learned, or a scholastic achievement. You could even encourage good habits — like letting your little chef host a meal when they finish a book and having them tell you all about it over dinner! By taking the time to acknowledge these moments, you motivate good behavior and create great memories for the whole family.

Kawaii

Photo of Kawaii Food

Have you ever heard the term “kawaii”? If not, you’ve probably seen it. This term loosely translates to a “culture of cuteness” that Japanese people hold dear. It’s the reason why so many characters, designs, merchandise, and cartoons that come from the island nation are so, well, adorable. 

Interestingly, the word kawaii originally comes from “kao hayushi,” which means “blushing.” Characters that are considered cute within Japanese culture are often shy or bashful, which means people tend to care for them more.

You might have spotted a few kawaii characters hidden throughout our Bento Box cooking kit. Can you name other examples of these loveable designs?

 

Sweet Shades

Photo of Sweet Shades

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Make your own ‘80s sunglasses! Get creative with markers or paint—then cut along the dotted lines! Slide your glasses on, snap a pic with your favorite ’80s Night recipe, and upload it on social media with the hashtag #kidstir for a chance to win prizes!

Share your stories and photos with us! Join our Kidstir Kitchen Facebook group or follow and tag @kidstir on Instagram.

Newspaper Cone

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For about 100 years, store owners served warm food like Fish ’n Chips in scraps of newspaper, which were inexpensive and easy to find. Now we know that it isn’t healthy to wrap food in real newspaper, but with a little creativity, we’ll help you craft a safe and modern version of this classic seaside delight.

How to Make a Newspaper Cone

  1. Fold the newspaper in half diagonally and cut a matching piece of parchment paper to lay on top.
  2. Take one of the corners on the longer side, begin to curl it inwards, and line it up with the short corner at the top of the triangle.
  3. Place a piece of double-sided or rolled tape on the outside of the cone and continue rolling over the tape. Use one last piece of tape to secure the outer edge of your Newspaper Cone.
  4. Serve your Bristish-Style Potato Chips or your Fish ’n Dip in your Newspaper Cones! You can download more Newspaper Cones to print at kidstir.com/newpapercone.

Need help solving the puzzles? Here’s the answer key.

Share your stories and photos with us! Join our Kidstir Kitchen Facebook group or follow and tag @kidstir on Instagram.

Make a Dream Catcher

The Ojibwa were the first Native Americans to use dream catchers. They believe that the night sky is filled with good and bad dreams, and when a dream catcher is hung over the bed, it snares them. The good ones pass through the openings, but the nightmares get trapped in the web only to be destroyed with the rising sun. Many other tribes and cultures have adopted this comforting tradition, and lucky for kids, dream catchers are easy and fun activity to make together. Our instructions are for a simple dream catcher, but feel free to encourage kids to add beads, craft feathers, and other decorations you have on hand.

What you’ll need:

  • Small embroidery hoop
  • Scissors
  • Yarn
  • Felt
  • Craft glue

What to do:

1. Remove the outer ring of the embroidery hoop. Set aside. Wrap the inner loop with yarn. (You can also paint it if you prefer.)

2. Cut a 3- to 4-foot piece of yarn. Knot one end to the hoop. Roll the remaining length into a small ball or bundle (it makes the yarn easier to manage).

3. To make the web, loop the yarn around the frame every few inches until you reach the starting point. At each point, go over the top of the hoop then wrap the yarn around the tight strand you just created. That will help anchor the loop in place. Continue weaving the yarn around the strands, pulling them tight as you go. You can follow a pattern or just do it randomly! When the web is complete. Knot the yarn and trim the ends.

4. Make the tails. Cut several lengths of yarn. Cut small and large feather shapes out of felt. Cut circles and other shapes if desired. Sandwich one end of yarn between two feathers. Glue to secure. Decorate with additional feathers or circles as you like. Knot the other end to the bottom of the hoop. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

5. Tie a loop of yarn at the top of the hoop, then hang your dream catcher over your bed.

Craft projects are among kids favorite activities that also teach life skills, including 1) following directions 2) concentration, 3) motor skills & 4) patience.

Pretty Pie Posts

Pretty Pie Posts

Use your Pretty Pie Posts to label all the delicious pies you make this month. Or invite your friends over and have everyone bring a different kind of pie to share!

  1. Cut out each pie label.
  2. Write in the name of your pie.
  3. Tape the label to a toothpick or straw and stick it in your pie!

Share your stories and photos with us! Join our Kidstir Kitchen Facebook group or follow and tag @kidstir on Instagram.

Baker’s Secret

It’s time to take your Choc Full o’ Chips Cookies to the next level! Remind you little bakers to follow these oven-savvy tips for best results:

  1. Check cookies at 8 minutes, and watch closely from there. Oven temps and personal tastes vary, and cookies bake fast!
  2. Remove cookies just when they start to turn a touch golden on top. Or if you like them crunchier, keep going! (In our team some folks took them out at 10 minutes while others waited longer.)
  3. Encourage kids to write notes in their cookbook pages about timing, ingredients and any other preferences they discover along the way. Happy baking!
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Cookie Grams

Cookie Grams

  1. Place a cookie from your Cozy Cooking’ kit in a ziplock or snack bag.
  2. Cut out the Cookie Grams along the dotted lines.
  3. Write a special note on each Cookie Gram.
  4. Insert or tape the note onto a bag and send it off to someone special!

Share your stories and photos with us! Join our Kidstir Kitchen Facebook group or follow and tag @kidstir on Instagram.