Summer Sanity: Mom’s Cooking Camp

This Guest Post is a part of Summer Sanity, a series of posts for parents to gain ideas and inspiration for how to keep their children happy, active, educated and having fun during the long summer months.

Today’s Activity: Mom’s Cooking Camp

Last year I sent my two daughters to cooking camp. My then 8 year old learned an array of curse words, while my then 10 year old learned how to spread canned frosting on white bread. It cost me $587.60.

This year I’m putting on my own camp. Mom’s Cooking Camp. I have four kids ages 11, 9, 6, and 3, and all four will be my guinea pigs, campers.

When I floated this idea to the kids, they were so excited. They immediately made a list of what recipes they wanted to make. Here’s what they came up with:

  • Muffins
  • Banana bread
  • Granola bars
  • Pancakes
  • Cookies

To make this camp as fun as possible, I thought it best that each camper make each recipe in full. Yes, it means that I will have four times the number of… well, everything, but it will all freeze well, including the cooked pancakes. If each camper is going to get their chef on, I will need a few extra kitchen tools. I’ll pick up three sets of measuring spoons, an 8×4 loaf pan, a cookie sheet, and a muffin tray to augment what I already have. It should cost me less than $30.00.

To establish some structure, I made this cheat sheet for the kids and I will laminate it so it will withstand the whole week.

Before We Start…

  1. Tidy and wash counter top
  2. Wash hands
  3. Read the recipe
  4. Check that we have everything on the ingredients list
  5. Preheat oven if needed
  6. Get out all the tools we will need including oven mitts, trivets, and compost bin
  7. Get out all the ingredients we will need
  8. Prepare pans/cookie sheets if needed

After We…

  1. Put all the ingredients back where they belong
  2. Put all bowls and utensils in the sink
  3. Wipe down counters and work areas
  4. Sweep
  5. Load the dishwasher with all dishwasher safe items
  6. Wash, dry and put away all non dishwasher safe items or anything that doesn’t fit in the dishwasher
  7. Eat! 🙂

A big part of making this camp a success will be my mindset before I start. Camp is supposed to be fun, so I need to not worry about flour being spilled on the floor, or scooping eggshell bits out of batter, or how long it takes to make a simple recipe. Camp includes campers cleaning up after themselves, so there should be no fear of being left with a kitchen that is a disaster.

Last but not least, every great camp ends with a little gift for the campers. I’m making candy kabobs for my “take-away”. They are easy to make and the kids will love them!

This Guest Post was written and submitted by:

Kelly Williams

Kelly is a mother of four (i.e. short order cook, taxi driver, house cleaner, homework tutor, personal assistant, household accountant, personal shopper, etc.) She is also a wife, sister, daughter, 2nd degree black belt, volunteer, former technical writer, and amateur artist.

Kelly loves a day on the golf course or reading a good book. She is also a shameless car dancer and will dance anywhere not caring who sees her.

Check out Kelly’s musing about personal and parenting lessons she’s learned from martial arts at You can find samples of her art at

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5 Responses to Summer Sanity: Mom’s Cooking Camp

  1. Soozle says:

    So sorry to hear your girls time at Cooking Camp was less than expected – it sounds like such a great time!

    I love your idea of doing a cooking ‘camp’ at home – what a great way for the girls to learn something new, have fun with each other & you and keep busy!

  2. Annie1 says:

    This would be loads of fun! You’re right, its all freezable; we used to freeze pancakes all of the time for our kids!


    Anne Taylor

  3. el03ro says:

    July 29-I think your ‘cooking camp’ is a great idea for children about 5 and up. They love to bake and decorate their baking (cookies), and they are so proud of their achievements. Do you really think there will be enough left over to freeze? Just curious!-el03ro

  4. Jayda says:

    I love cooking with the girls, although we do avoid using our oven in the summer so unless it would be no bake then its not something we do. Great idea though. Those candy skewers are definitely something we’ve done before.


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