Virtual fun cooking games might be easy to find online, but what if you want to play fun food games within the context of cooking in a real live kitchen?
Whether you’re dealing with kids or adults, planning a birthday party or family reunion, there will always be something to eat.
Food – and therefore the kitchen – is a natural gathering place. So it just makes sense to combine fun and food andgames all together.
Fun Food Games
Build a “gingerbread” house out of graham crackers, icing and small candies – regardless of the season.
Gather small milk cartons from the school lunch room to help hold the graham crackers in place. Just rinse, air dry and staple closed.
It doesn’t have to be Halloween to eat a donut on a string. Hang a
donut on a string from the ceiling, allowing it to drop to about
shoulder height. The object of the game is to eat the donut – without
using your hands! With lots of people and more donuts, you can easily
turn this one into a relay game.
“Pass the Orange” is another fun relay game. While holding the
orange with your chin – no hands allowed – pass it from person to person
down the relay line. The first team to get the orange to the end of the
line, without dropping it, wins.
Fun food games also make great icebreakers. For example, smash and
crumble several candy bars and put the bits and pieces into separate,
numbered zip lock sandwich bags. Have everyone guess which bag is which candy bar.
The traditional cake walk
is always fun for families (especially at family reunions where you’ll
quickly get a feel for each family branch’s cooking flare). Don’t forget
you can play this one with cupcakes, too.
And if there’s cake, you might as well have ice cream!
Make ice cream in a bag. Here is a printable recipe:
ICE CREAM IN A BAG
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup half and half
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup salt (The bigger the granules, the better. Kosher or rock salt works best, but table salt is fine.)
Ice cubes (enough to fill each gallon-size bag about half full)
1 pint-size ziplock bag
1 gallon-size ziplock bag
1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.
2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.
3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too! Serves 1.
Fun Cooking Games
Whether it’s in the form of frosting sugar cookies or cutting sandwiches into goofy shapes, there are plenty of activities that can be fashioned into fun cooking games with your family.
Children are especially easy to entertain with food crafts – let them help design and assemble items everyone can eat (think snowmen made out of marshmallows and toothpicks – check out many more ideas on my family crafts page); or, let them use food to simply design something fun (think fruit loop necklace or pasta art).
Science experiments are great fun and could also be cooking games. Take OOBLEK, for example, which acts like a liquid and a solid. Mix 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water and you’re ready to play. Watch the ooblek ripple when you touch it or mold it into a ball. If the concoction starts to dry out, simply add a bit more water. If you’re feeling brave, add some food coloring.
Identifying food smells and tasting with your nose are also great science experiments that can easily turn into kitchen games with a bit of advanced preparation.
Kidshealth.org gives experiment instructions.
Have a cupcake contest. Divide into groups or teams and decide on a theme – cars, flowers, space, animals, whatever. Give each group the same number of cupcakes (already baked), icing and other decorating supplies. The assignment: make or decorate the cupcakes into something (anything) within the pre-determined theme. You’ll be surprised what people come up with! This activity also makes a great team building exercise, as individuals have to work together in their assigned group.
Want more fun while cooking? Clearly, games can be as adventurous or as simple as you desire. This one takes quite a bit more time but would be great at a bridal shower, as it tests the cooking skills of the bride-to-be. Set out all the ingredients (or not) to make a chocolate cake from scratch and then have the individual (or group) make the cake without a recipe. (You might have to add a rule that the cook has to actually eat the food when it’s finished!)
Make up fun cooking games for the fondue party. Challenge guests to create new dipping sensations or make them choose or dip their food items while wearing a blindfold. (Watch the grease though! Safety first.)
On make-your-own pizza night, hold a contest to see who can come up with the most interesting pizza shape. Or go with round pizzas and have everyone use toppings to turn their pizzas into faces.
Put your culinary skills to the test by identifying various foods.