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Food kit for ten-year-old?

Hi. I want to buy a fun present for my niece that will allow her to play in the kitchen. I have seen such things as Make Your Own Bubblegum/Gummyworms/Chocolate, etc. (Obviously, different kits for each.) I am about to give my daughter a Make Your Own Cheese kit, since we've been talking about making mozzarella for about a year now.

Does anyone know of a really fun kit? I don't have a ton of time to give to this project, alas, and I'm going to have to either fly with the kit or ship it to where we'll be spending holidays. Although my tendency is not to purchase "kits", I think discretion is the better part of valor this year.

I would love to hear which kits have been/haven't been successful for you all, and if you can, please let me know where you found said kits. Thanks!

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  1. What about a gingerbread house kit? They have the lower end ones that come with the gingerbread pre-made that you just assemble. I've seen some nice ones though, that come with molds for the walls, gingerbread mix, etc. You could bake it with her over the holiday and she could serve it to the family.

    That was the first that came to mind. I am heading out today / tomorrow to Williams Sonoma to pick up a hostess gift. I'll see what they have while I'm there.

    Bookstores, too, have kits. I bought a dog biscuit kit once that saved me on a rainy day.

    1. What a great idea! i know if you Google "making mozzarella kit" you get quite a number of hits. Some with reviews... Good luck and let us know how it turns out.

      1. I have the goat cheese kit from Urban Cheesecraft:
        http://www.etsy.com/shop/UrbanCheesec...

        I've made cheese a few times from it, a soft one (like ricotta texture) and a harder (still spreadable) cheese. It was easy both times and came out tasting pretty good.

        1. this link has oodles of options... i particularly like the twisted pretzel kit :) and the pizza kit... and the edible eyeball kit :-p
          http://www.kazootoys.com/edibleart1.html

          [[my other thought was to package a few goodies off of amazon and do something like a cupcake kit... get her a whisk, apron, silicone mold (well i'd like one), pastry bag, and include a recipe or two... along with a recipe journal that would allow her to keep track of her successes and less than successes... but i like the stuff on that website better]]

          1. There are a number of mushroom kits on the market and my son was fascinated by the growing process.

            Inside herb gardens are fun to do with kids from seedling to plant..then transplant outside.

            Homemade pasta kits require but a few ingredients and can be done simply or with a cutting appliance. Homemade ravioli are even more fun to experiment with (fillings).

            Candy making from lollipops to chocolate boxes can be fun kits through candy supply co's.

            My fav is making homemade tomato sauce with my children. From the tomato crushing to the basil ripping to the garlic infusion to the patience of WAITING. Then we jar up the batch together.

            And lastly jam and jelly making kits. I've done these with my nieces and they love the combinations and process. Usually a full day of laughs.

            1. The 30 minute mozzarella kit from cheesemaking.com is a family favorite. Easy instructions with really good results.

              1. A sprouting kit is also fun and nearly fail-proof -- plus there can be results within 5 days if during vacation. I've gifted the Kid's Sprout Kit before:

                http://www.sproutpeople.com/ (scroll down for the kid's kit)

                1. Great ideas, all!

                  1. we've done the make your own gum kit and it was gross. A lot of the kits I've seen at toy stores are for cupcakes or gummy candy and the results disappoint. There is a Kitchen science book published by DK which is good but not really cooking oriented. Does it have to be a kit? Perhaps she has a favorite food that you can tap into. If it is pizza, you could put together a good, simple pizza cookbook, a pizza cutter and maybe a pizza stone. If it is ice cream, you could get her one of those ice cream balls that make ice cream with no electricity, and the ben and jerry's ice cream recipe book.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mariab

                      Do those ice cream balls work? My son has been asking for one.

                      1. re: Whinerdiner

                        Yes! They are really fun. Sure, its not as easy as the kind you plug in, but then if its too easy my husband (who loves ice cream) would be worried about eating too much ice cream. my kids usually ask to make it when they have a friend for dinner. they pick out the recipe, mix it up, roll it around etc. It calls for rock salt, which can be hard to find, but you can substitute kosher salt.

                    2. I got my nephews a pretzel making kit from Auntie Anne's pretzels a few years ago that they loved. I also purchased this cheese making kit for my husband for Valentine's Day (nothing says love like fresh Mozzarella :-)
                      http://www.eggshellskitchencompany.co...

                      If you want to get the cheese kit, I think you can find it for a bit cheaper than it is listed here. Also, they sell it at Whole Foods sometimes.

                      Have fun with whatever kit you decide on!