15 fun + easy summer recipes for kids

Looking for a boredom-busting summer activity? Check out these easy recipes for kids.

Easy recipes for kids

When school's out, you can bet I'll be in the kitchen with my four kids. It's one of our favorite places to be! I can't lie to you guys though. Cooking with kids isn't a faster way to get food on the table by a long shot, but the upside is so worth it. We're creating memories that last a lifetime. Kids who are comfortable in the kitchen also get a ton of benefits in the meantime: a sense of curiosity, creativity, growing independence and even a willingness to try new foods.

Plus, if you're looking for some screen-free educational activities for kids over summer break, you could hardly do better than turning to the kitchen. Cooking isn't just a life skill, it's also a great opportunity to learn about chemistry and math.

Here are my 15 favorite summertime recipes for kids.

Chocolate Granola Bars

Chocolate granola bars

Foodlets

Tiny hands can help stir ingredients together then press bars into place--a task just messy enough to lick those fingers clean. And the results? Perfect for taking on hikes or snacking by the pool.

Homemade Soft Pretzels

Homemade soft pretzels

Foodlets

Think play-dough that you can bake, then eat! What fun for a rainy day. Bonus: Skip the traditional shape and go with anything you like, including personalized initials for everyone in your family.

5-Ingredient No-Bake Snack Balls

5-Ingredient No-Bake Snack Balls

Real Mom Nutrition

Whole oats, chocolate chips, honey and two more ingredients make this fast, easy and filling snack one that your kids can make (and savor) all summer long. Bonus, they're nut-free too.

Rainbow Surprise Pound Cake

Rainbow Surprise Pound Cake

Foodlets

This isn't your average pound cake. Little cooks help scoop colored batter into a baking pan for a simple cake that doesn't even need fussy frosting. Just glaze and you're done!

S'mores Cookies

S'mores Cookies

Sweet Potato Chronicles

Who knew s'mores came in cookie shape? No need to make a fire for these beauties. Kids will love adding each familiar ingredient plus shaping the cookies to bake.

Bears at the Beach Cookies

Bears at the Beach Cookies

Foodlets

You won't believe how simple it is to give graham cracker bears a day at the beach. With a few simple supplies, kids can make a whole batch to share with friends.

No Cook Pizza Sauce

No Cook Pizza Sauce

Foodlets

Delivery, schmalivery. Making homemade pizza just got so much easier! Try this recipe for easy-peasy whole-wheat pizza dough that doesn't even need time to rise. Fresh, healthy and customizable in every way you can imagine, you'll make this pizza a regular item on your summer menu.

Super-Soft Homemade Bread

Super Soft Homemade Bread

Foodlets

This simplified bread recipe is perfect for summer break. Each step allows for time to play in between, and the result is pillow-soft bread that's only made more perfect with a pat of fresh butter.

Peaches and Cream Muffins

Peaches and Cream Muffins

Sweet Potato Chronicles

What other summer fruit is sweeter? Make peaches last longer with these gorgeous muffins that work for breakfast or snacks.

3-Ingredient Strawberry Pan Fritters

3-Ingredient Strawberry Pan Fritters

Foodlets

Not one of them is sugar! Supervise kids at the stove and they'll make these for breakfast, lunches or snacks. And when you run out of strawberries, add any berries you like! The recipe works for anything.

Rainbow Meringue Cookies

Rainbow Meringue Cookies

Foodlets

Light as a cloud, with every color of the rainbow, these cookies transform egg whites into fluffy confections--like magic! Learning the science behind them is almost as enjoyable as eating them. Almost.

Peanut Butter Chocolate No Bake Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate No Bake Cookies

Real Mom Nutrition

Step away from the oven. You won't need it for these sweet and chewy cookies. If peanut butter won't work for your family, try almond butter and enjoy the same decadent result.

Watermelon Pizza

Watermelon Pizza

Sweet Potato Chronicles

Sweet and juicy fruit topped with Greek yogurt, fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup. What's not to like about a sweet spin on a beloved food for kids?

Rainbows in the Clouds Cupcakes

Rainbows in the Clouds Cupcakes

Foodlets

Rain or shine, kids love decorating these adorable cupcakes all summer long. Even littles can frost and form rainbows using the simplest of supplies.

Fruity Lemonade Popsicles

Fruity Lemonade Popsicles

Foodlets

Got a kid-safe knife? Put kids to work slicing fresh fruit, then stuffing popsicle molds. Use any combination of fruit to make any design they like, and repeat all summer long.

Charity Curley Mathews is a former executive at Martha Stewart and HGTV who's now a family food writer, blogging at Foodlets.com. That's where you'll find quick & easy recipes (packed with fresh ingredients) plus tried-and-true advice about raising little foodies. She's been featured on Food Network.com, Huffington Post, WHUP radio, ABC 11-TV and more. The author of four cookbooks, including "Super Simple Baking for Kids", she lives on a small farm in North Carolina with her family of six, plus their rescue dogs, bunnies, chickens and bees.