As a Together Counts™ ambassador, one of my favorite things about summer is that it just seems easier for families to be together. Without the schedules of the school year, finding time to sit down as a family and share a meal happens more often.
Some of that summer family togetherness can be extended into the next month or two while the weather is still warm by firing up the grill. If you live in a warm climate like I do, this is a year round opportunity for family fun!
Grilling out on a weeknight or weekend is an easy way to get dinner on the table while involving the whole family. Adults can be in charge of the meat and fire. Kids can take over setting the table, fruit, veggies, and drinks.
How Kids Can Help When Grilling Out
Obviously, age-appropriate tasks are key here, but giving a child a project and quietly supervising can be a surprising peek at how much they can do on their own!
- Set the Table – This may simply be paper plates in a stack on the backyard picnic table, but giving kids ownership to be in charge of plates, napkins, flatware and cups may result in some cleverly folded napkins!
- Fruit – We use two gadgets in my house that helps kids slice fruit knife-free. One is a flat, metal apple slicer that slices and cores apples by pressing down. It takes all my youngest son’s weight to make it happen, but he loves placing it on a low table and accomplishing a fully sliced apple. We also use a sturdy boiled egg slicer to slice strawberries. Simply place the strawberry in the egg cradle and push down on the metal wire plate.
Kids can also slice bananas with a butter knife, peel oranges or use a melon baller for watermelon or cantaloupe. There are lots of ways that even younger kids can help with this task!
- Snacks –Creating a picture out of veggies and other snacks on a tray is the perfect use of kid creative energy!
- Drink – Let kids design their own fruit-infused beverages. Have them choose a fruit combination that they like and place the fruit in a pitcher of water the night before you plan to serve. Let the water absorb the fruit flavors through the day and serve over ice for dinner. Kids can garnish their creation with additional fruit.
Eat together tonight around the grill! It doesn’t have to be fancy. Getting the whole family involved not only lessens the load on mom and dad, but gets the kids excited about sharing their homemade masterpieces.
Holly Homer is a stay-at-home mom of three boys ages 7, 10 and 12. She realized early on that boys have a lot of energy and energy can be turned for evil use if not channeled in the proper direction! She partially homeschools and has embraced that the dining room table will never be free of kids art projects. Keep up with Holly on Kids Activities Blog.