Let the Kids Mess Up your Kitchen!

Welcome to our final “ENJOY the HERE and NOW” post of the summer.  The season has just flown by, but we are grateful we took time each week to complete the #ETHANproject challenges with our children.

We made so many memories with our children this summer, and it has been pretty awesome to be able to share many of them with you through our blog posts.  Here’s what we’ve done so far, just in case you missed it:

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? They would definitely make a mess, but it would be worth it!

Week 1: Enjoy Friendship – A Day at the Park with Friends

Week 2: Enjoy the View – A Beautiful Drive in the Black Hills

Week 3: Enjoy the Flavor – Homemade Freezer S’Mores

Week 4: Enjoy the Water – 35 Excuses to Enjoy Water All Summer Long!

Week 5: Enjoy the Sky – 10 Reasons Drive-In Movies are Back in Style

Week 6: Enjoy the Dirt – 6 Fun Jobs for the Little Gardeners in your Life

Week 7: Enjoy the Sound – Enjoying the Sound of Motherhood

Week 8: Enjoy Something New – Helping our Kids Enjoy New Foods

Week 9: Enjoy the Drive – 10 Ways to Share your Hometown with your Kids

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? They would definitely make a mess, but it would be worth it!

By: Sarah Koontz

Our challenge for this week is to “ENJOY the MESS.”  There is a reason we saved this one for last!  It is so difficult for moms to sit back and watch their kids make a mess without intervening.

Sammi and I discussed many different mess-making-strategies.  As we chatted we began to discover that we were both wary of giving our young children free reign in the kitchen.

Sammi and I love to cook for our families.  We enjoy getting our kids involved in the process but tend to hover and help them every step of the way.

What would happen if we gave them a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!?

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

Of course, we knew the kids would have fun, but we didn’t realize how much fun it would be for them.  They definitely accomplished the “ENJOY the MESS” part of the challenge. There were spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, sticky fingers, and smiling faces.

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

They took turns, worked together, and nobody burned themselves on the stovetop!

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

The best part is that Sammi and I had fun watching it all unfold.  We tried to resist the urge to help too much and forced ourselves to sit on the other side of the counter and just offer moral support.

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

I am not going to lie, there was a bit of cringing and I think Sammi had a more difficult time than me (ok, that’s a lie…just look at my face!).

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

And we even let the kiddos scrape the bowl for all the leftover goodness!

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?!? There will be spilled oats, milk on the floor, chocolate drippings on shirts, and sticky fingers, but there will also be smiling faces. And that's when you know, the mess is worth it! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! http://www.groundedandsurrounded.com/kids-mess-up-the-kitchen/

And then we found them “cleaning up” by dumping water off the deck onto each other.  Bless their messy little hearts.

The chocolate no-bake cookies sort of turned into cookie crumbles, but the kids gobbled them up anyway.  They had a blast and we learned a thing or two about stepping back and letting our children experiment and learn in the kitchen.

What would happen if you gave your kids a simple healthy recipe, all of the ingredients, and free reign of the kitchen?! Come on mom, let go and let them have fun! Cooking is a lifelong skill and who better to teach them than us, their parents? Find our easy recipe and snack ideas to make with your toddlers, first time little cooks, and teens!

We challenge you to allow your children to make a mess in the kitchen this week!  We have compiled a list of 9 simple, kid-friendly recipes for your little ones to try.

These recipes are simple, include few ingredients and are a great place to start when you are learning to “ENJOY the MESS” with your kids in the kitchen:

Mint Chocolate Chip Popcicles

Sandwich on a Stick

Cookie Cutter Fruit Salad

Healthy Bites {Even a Toddler can Make}

Simple Freezer S’mores

English Muffin Pizzas

Homemade Berry Ice Pops

Breakfast Toast Cups

Peanut Butter Banana Quesadillas

We hope you enjoyed our #ETHANproject Summer Challenge Series.  We sure would love to hear from you, should we do this again next summer?  With a fresh new twist of course 😉

Don’t forget to swing on by our last #ETHANproject Blogger Link-Up for more ideas on how to “ENJOY the MESS” with your kids this week.

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Sarah Koontz

About Sarah Koontz

Sarah Koontz is a freelance writer and regular contributor at Grounded & Surrounded. If you are interested in growing your faith, nourishing your family life, and discovering the beauty of God's design, be sure to follow her personal blog at SarahKoontz.com. When Sarah is not writing, you are likely to find her covered in dirt, sitting in the middle of her garden, adoring her beautiful flock of backyard chickens. She is eternally grateful for her husband and two little girls, and revels in their simple, uncluttered life. You can also find her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.