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Kitchen Playthings. Literally.

As you use all sorts of gadgets to cook, have your kids be part of the fun. Not only is spending time in the kitchen a great way for the family to bond, but your kitchen can become a science lab, art studio or magic parlor depending on the gadget at hand.

And what kid won’t be enamored by the beating and whirring, spinning and scooping a well-stocked kitchen drawer beholds? So the next time you pull a pre-Shabbos cooking marathon, invite the kids to explore their creativity as you stir and chop, dice and sauté.

While you set up shop at the stove, here are three art projects your kids can do to keep you company.

Meat Pounder

Once you’ve pounded away at the shnitzel, offer the allure of the meat pounder to the chef-in-training. After all, what kid wouldn't want to use a heavy, solid disk to smash something?

Have him make smashed berry prints by placing fresh or frozen berries on half a piece of watercolor paper or an absorbent paper towel. Fold the other half over the berries and - smash! Unfold and examine the print. Abstract art is suddenly his expertise.

Salad Spinner

After the salad greens are dry, hand over the salad spinner to the junior cook to make spin art. Have her cut a circle of white paper and place it in the bottom of the salad spinner. Pour a few drops of of food coloring or water-based tempera paint on the paper. Put the top on the spinner and let 'er rip!

Pastry Blender

As dessert bakes in the oven, have your kitchen apprentice use a pastry blender to make rubbed crayon prints. Rock the pastry blender back and forth in different directions all over a sheet of construction paper, pressing down to make indentions. Then, with minimal swift srokes, rub the paper with the side of a peeled crayon. The rubbed designs come out every time you make them.

Felisa Billet writes on Jewish food from her home in Hollywood, Florida.