Is there anything better than homemade pizza? Nope! It’s quick to prepare (really!), smells amazing and you can’t beat the taste of fresh crust made from scratch. Plus, making homemade pizza with kids is a fun way to build cooking skills together.
Why It’s Important to Cook with Kids
Cooking together in the afternoon or evening is a nice way to wind down from the day. When your kids’ hands are busy with a task, they’re more likely to start chatting and sharing what they’re thinking, too.
It’s also a great way to weave in lessons you’d like to instill in your kids. When making kid-friendly recipes together, it’s a chance to talk about how food fuels our bodies and where our foods come from. You can learn about the world together when making dishes from other countries. And if you have a picky eater, cooking together may just turn things around at the dinner table.
Skills Your Child Will Learn Making This Recipe
Little ones can work on fine motor skills when pouring ingredients or kneading the pizza dough. Older kids have the chance to practice math skills when reading the recipe and measuring dry and wet ingredients. Baking and cooking is also all about chemistry. You don’t need to go too in depth, but teaching your kids about some of the science in the kitchen is some good practical knowledge. If your kids are really interested in science, try these kitchen science experiments.
How to Make Pizza with Kids
Kids of all ages can get in on the fun in the kitchen, especially when pizza is involved. We’ve broken these directions down into jobs for big kids (school age) and little kids (preschool to kindergarten). For this family-friendly pizza, we followed this top-rated recipe for homemade pepperoni pizza.
Ingredients for the dough:
- 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup warm water (110°-115ºF)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, marjoram and thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 package (3-1/2 ounces) sliced pepperoni
- 5 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
Step 1: Mix the dough
In a large bowl, combine two cups flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil, then beat until smooth. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Big kid job: Measure and add wet ingredients. This job can get a little messy, so let the big kids handle it.
Little kid job: Help to measure and add the dry ingredients. Providing a small bowl of flour for little ones to play with and measure can be a great activity while you work with the older kids.
Step 2: Knead your dough
Carrie Madormo for Taste of HomeTurn your dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, elastic and stretchy—about seven minutes. You can tell the dough is kneaded enough when it passes the windowpane test. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, oil and seasonings. Yep, the sauce really is that easy!
Kid job: Kids of all ages love helping to knead dough. Make sure you have a large floured surface and let each child have a few minutes to knead.
Step 3: Bake the pizza dough
Carrie Madormo for Taste of Home
Divide the dough in half; press into two 15x10x1-inch baking pans coated with cooking spray. Prick the dough generously with a fork. Bake at 425° until lightly browned, 12-16 minutes.
Big kid job: Pressing the dough into a rectangle can be challenging for little hands, so ask the older kids to pitch in with this task.
Little kid job: Carefully prick the dough with a fork.
Step 4: Add your toppings and bake
Carrie Madormo for Taste of Home
Remove your pizzas from the oven and spread sauce over crusts; top with cheese, pepperoni and all your other favorite pizza toppings. Bake until cheese is melted 8-10 minutes. Cut into squares. Yes—squares! (It’s a Midwestern thing.)
Big kid job: Spread the sauce over the crusts. The pan will be very hot; younger kids may have trouble remembering not to touch it.
Little kid job: Carefully help with sprinkling the cheese and toppings over the crusts.
Carrie Madormo for Taste of Home
How to Store Leftover Pizza
When saving leftover pizza, allow it to completely cool first. This helps prevent the cheese from sticking and then being pulled off when you try to reheat it.
Leftover pizza can be stored in a large zip-top bag, air-tight container or on a plate covered with plastic wrap. Keeping the pizza sealed when placed in the refrigerator helps it stay fresh and prevents that pepperoni smell from taking over all the other leftover food in the fridge.
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