Kids love to play with their food. Although most parents don't encourage it at the dinner table, why not let children have a little fun during meal prep time? If you're hesitant, consider this: Many cooking-related tasks, such as kneading dough, actually increase dexterity [source: Reilly]. Even tiny tots who can't negotiate a rolling pin will enjoy squishing and molding a little dough with their hands. Older children can learn to make dough from scratch and then help mold biscuits or roll it out to create a pie crust.
Children love to mark special occasions, so whether it's Christmas, St. Patrick's Day or Valentine's Day, you can bet they'll want to make cookies with holiday-themed cookie cutters. Homemade or refrigerated store-bought cookie dough can also serve as an unlikely educational tool when you direct your kids to roll it into various shapes and sizes or when you show them how to make numbers and letters out of it [source: Parents]. Add a little homemade frosting and some sprinkles, and young chefs will have a tasty creation to show off to the rest of the household.