- Get a head start. Cook, drain, and rinse the pasta, and cut up the celery and sweet pepper before getting your kids into the kitchen. Lightly toss cooked pasta with a little oil to keep it from sticking.
- Watch out for slippery fingers. Make sure little hands are completely dry before beginning any snipping step or shaking the dressing.
- Keep a clean scene. If one of the ingredients spills or drops on the floor, even it it's just a little, stop and wipe up the spill immediately.
- Share silly Dad stories: Tell your children funny stories about things their Dad did when they were babies.
- Play the kitchen math quiz: For example, when does 1+1+1 = 1? Simple. When you're talking teaspoons. Three teaspoons equal one tablespoon. Or, when
does 4 x 1 = 1/4? When you're talking tablespoons. Four tablespoons equals one-quarter cup. To prove it, carefully measure four tablespoons of water into a measuring cup and show how they add up to 1/4 cup. Or, count the pieces of green pepper as you add them to the salad. When little ones can't count any higher, toss in the pieces that are left.
- Stage a tasting with a red and green bell pepper. Chat about how red bell peppers started out green. Explain that when you leave green peppers on the vine, they change color to red and become sweeter as they ripen. Then have each person shut his or her eyes, but don't let your children see what color the pepper is. Can they tell which it is just by tasting?