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What will your family learn while making pasta together?

We started with Aprons, flour, eggs and
a pasta machine.  A simple activity
to entertain the kids on a rainy weekend. 
It was so much more!

We got amazing pasta but for me as
​a mom, the best part of our dinner was watching my kids work together, rely on one another and be patient.


On rainy days at home, put down your distractions, cell phones and turn off the television.  Put your ‘to-do’ least aside. Instead, spend time with your family. 

I like to plan family projects, mostly cooking projects! I love to bring them into the kitchen and prepare fun meals that we can all share. 

On this particular rainy weekend we decided to make PASTA! And it all turned out to be so much more!

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​While kneading and cutting pasta the kids worked together.  They created different roles to help each other.  They were engaged with each other. They communicated. They were patient. The best part of our pasta making was the comradery that was built with the kids and the patience it taught them.  I want to forever make pasta with them!

I heard it was simple but had never tried it.  So, I planned ahead and borrowed a pasta maker from a friend.  On my weekly shopping trip I made sure to buy Semonila flour and extra eggs, that’s all you need!

After a morning of playing games and short bike rides in between rain showers, I called the kids in and took out the pasta maker and aprons.  hey were immediately engaged.  A new tool they hadn’t seen before, it was shinny with different features and a wheel you can turn.  They loved it and would have been happy just playing with the machine.

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​We gathered eggs and flour, took out our bowls and wooden spoons.  They totally loved going upstairs to collect hangers.  That was a new kitchen request, for sure!  They brought down different colored hangers and couldn’t wait to start using them.

Making the pasta was simple.  Make a hole in the middle of your flour and fill with your eggs.  With a wooden spoon mix it all together.  Knead the dough, roll it and cut using the pasta machine. Hang to dry.

Now I had to split the work between three kids and build family bonding time.  Here is how we split the work that led to unexpected surprises.

​FIRST STEP
 
Wear your aprons.  Why not! Plus making pasta with kids could produce a bit of a floury mess.  So Let’s wear our aprons for this and make it even more fun!

Child 1 Cracks the Eggs
Child 2 Prepares the flour and bowl, flours the table and collects the rolling pin
and wooden spoon.

Child 3 Goes upstairs to collect hangers and finds spaces to hang them in the kitchen

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​SECOND STEP

Because everyone will need a turn at mixing the eggs and flour, they can share! I gave each of them a few minutes to work on the mixture.  The last one also gets to take the dough out of the bowl and be the first to knead on the table.

Kneading dough helps hone in on gross motor skills, using hand and arm muscles. I let them knead for a while until the dough was no longer sticky and stretched easily. 
They will tire, so taking turns shouldn’t be an issue.

While one kneads the dough, the other can flour to prepare their work area for kneading.  Or simply take a break and watch.

I also like the repetitive pattern of kneading dough.  They see the changes in the food made by our motions (STEM) plus it helps to relax their minds and bodies.  These repetitive motions while still heavily using our muscles will help to calm a child that is hyper, physically or mentally.

Our home was quiet.  TV was off.  No distractions (expect me taking videos for Insta Stories no one else was allowed electronics!).  We kneaded dough for about 15 minutes.  It’s hard work and you need strength, so if you have young ones doing the work it will take them a little longer.  I helped a little bit too.

The kids said it was more fun than playdough!


​THIRD STEP 

Flatten out the dough a bit and cut, with a pizza cutter, in 3 parts (or for however many kids you have).

I have a rolling pin for each child.  Let’s face it, some things are just too difficult to share.  Plus it’s easier for me if they are all working together.  I also like one big mess and just one clean-up.

Make sure that their work area is floured well before rolling.  Rolling pins should be floured as well and sprinkle some flour over the top of the dough if it’s still sticky. 

Place some flour on a bowl in the middle of the work area so they can grab the flour with their hands and keep their work areas ready.

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​FOURTH STEP

Take out the pasta machine! FINALLY!
My kids couldn’t wait to get their hands on this!

After we figured out how it all worked we began rolling the dough to make it thinner and thinner.  Here is how we broke down the work:

1st each child had a turn turning the machine knob when they were working on their piece of dough. 

2nd One child would hold the dough up over the machine and make sure it was inserted correctly. Second child would ‘catch’ the dough as it came out and had to carefully care for the fragile (and now thin dough) of their sibling.

This is the part when the team work kicked in.  As I sat back and observed this process with the kids.  I just loved it.  My heart was happy and I believe theirs was too.

The three of them worked together alternating roles as they each worked on their piece of dough.

I mention patience too, the dough needs to be slowly rolled out and ran through with patience.  They were careful not to break it and do it right. PATIENCE!  Working slowly and together.

Catching, holding the dough, turning the wheel, cutting the dough and hanging it up on hangers to dry.

Soon we had pasta filled hangers all over the kitchen.
 
If you do not have a pasta machine, borrow from a friend.  That’s what we did.  You can also cut the pasta with pizza rollers or table knives.  Take out your ruler and make it a fun measuring activity.  It will also help their fine motor skills creating straight lines.  I think next time we might take this route.

It takes about an hour to dry (did I mention patience already?).  

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We mixed our Vegan Pesto (frozen in the fridge) with our pasta, sautéed a few veggies, broccoli, onions, colored peppers and zucchini.  Dinner was done.

Remember to allow your kids a chance to cut the veggies too.  Cuttings soft veggies such as the zucchini and peppers are a great way to begin teaching kids knife skills in the kitchen.  Use a child friendly knife, such as a table knife or these child chef knives are our favorite for the kids!

Find the recipe we used here: Mom Approved Pasta!

I hope you too are able to set aside some family time on a rainy day.  I would love to hear from you and see pictures of your family in the kitchen!

Check out our Pinterest Board for more fun family dinner ideas.

Happy Cooking!

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