Cooking is one of the best ways to bond with your kids and communicate some valuable skills. Here are eight places to get started.

1. Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake


This is a straightforward recipe that’s great for introducing kids to cooking. Just measure out all of the ingredients, and then have your young chef-in-training do all the mixing. Get our Slow Cooker Chocolate Cake recipe.

2. Strawberry Fruit Leather


You can make your own fruit leather with the little ones, and you don’t need a food dehydrator. Just purée strawberries with a little sugar, pour the mixture onto a nonstick baking mat, and bake. Get our Strawberry Fruit Leather recipe.

3. Texas Queso Dip


There are many versions of this dip—ours is easy enough to make with the kids to make yet packed with flavor. When you start to melt the cheese it may look a little funny, but have your little helper keep stirring and you’ll have a creamy, smooth dip in no time. Get our Texas Queso Dip recipe.

4. Grilled Jam and Cheese Sandwich


This sweet approach to grilled cheese features fruity jam and melty cream cheese, for a hot breakfast sandwich. Let the little ones assemble, then watch you grill. Get our Grilled Jam and Cheese Sandwich recipe.

5. Ladybugs on a Raft


Peanut-butter-stuffed celery topped with raisins (a.k.a. ants on a log) is a classic after-school snack, but why not get adventurous with the kids and try a new nut butter like cashew or almond and switch the ants (raisins) for ladybugs (sweetened dried cranberries)? Get our Ladybugs on a Raft recipe.

6. Oatzravaganza Cookies


There’s a lot of ingredients here, but trust us—these flavors and textures were all meant for each other. Keep the kids busy measuring and mixing on a rainy afternoon. Get our Oatzravaganza Cookies recipe.

7. Basic Granola


The only thing kids love more than granola is helping you make granola: measuring, mixing, stirring, and, of course, sampling the results. Get our Basic Granola recipe.

8. Basic Seven-Layer Bars


A.k.a. magic bars, these are the ideal gateway dessert recipe for kids. They only take one pan and require no mixing of ingredients. Just melt butter in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish, sprinkle it with crushed graham crackers, and layer on the coconut, chocolate chips, and nuts. Sweetened condensed milk binds it all together while it bakes. Get our Basic Seven-Layer Bars recipe.

Related video: How to Make Easy Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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