If there's one thing most kids can agree upon, it's a love of pizza. Pepperoni pizza, in particular, is a fave among many kids as well as grownups. In fact, 36 percent of all pizza orders are for pepperoni, according to Pizza.com. If you've got a pepperoni pizza-loving kid at home, take the opportunity to engage her in pizza-themed activities that are entertaining, educational and tasty.
1. Read about Pizza
Celebrate pizza with your child through age-appropriate children's books. For children ages 3 and older, "Pizza Pat" by Rita Goldmen Gelman, uses a classic poem to tell the story of mice who stole a pizza maker's just-made pizza. For kids 6 and older, "Case of the Secret Sauce" by Aaron Rosenberg follows kids Penny and Pete, who live above their family pizza parlor and become detectives when the recipe for their secret sauce goes missing. Also for kids 6 and older, "Pizza for the Queen," by Nancy F. Castaldo, which recounts the true story of pizza maker Raffaele, who was called upon to make a pizza for Queen Margherita in the late 1800s in Italy.
2. Homemade Pizzas
Put an apron on your little one and bring her in the kitchen to prepare homemade pepperoni pizza with you. You can make a traditional-style pizza, using prepared dough and sauce. Let your child press the dough in the pan, spread the sauce over the dough, sprinkle the cheese and lay the pepperoni slices on top before you put it in the oven. If your kid is a major pepperoni lover, have her put a layer of pepperoni before the cheese, as well as on top of the cheese. If she has a few friends over, you can bring all the kids into the kitchen to make individual bagel or English muffin pizzas, which are just as tasty. Add a creative touch by arranging the pepperoni to resemble a smiley face or other image.
3. Pizza Fun and Games
Set up a relay race with your kid and her friends, in which they have to race to make a pepperoni pizza. Cut out large circles from cardboard and place them on one end of your yard. On the other end, set up the kids in teams of three. The first person in line must run to a bucket of red paint to "sauce" the cardboard. The second person in line must sprinkle a handful of old shoelaces on top for shredded mozzarella cheese, and the third person must place poster board pepperonis on the pizza. Then the whole team must race to "deliver" the pizza to you first. Another idea for kids learning their fractions is to give each team a paper pizza pie, cut into eighths. Call out fractions for the amount of pizza slices you want and let the kids race to bring you the correct amount.
4. Pizza Crafts
Make pizzas out of salt dough with your child that she can use for pretend play. To make salt dough, combine two parts flour with one part each of salt and warm water. Your child can then shape some of it into a pizza crust and use the rest to create pizza toppings. Give your child non-toxic acrylic paints to paint the salt dough so that it looks like a pepperoni pizza. You can help your child make a felt pepperoni pizza to play with as well. Help her cut out felt pizza crust, white felt strips for mozzarella and small red circles for the pepperoni. She can also cut felt for other toppings that she might like as well.
- Pizza Pat; Rita Goldmen Gelman
- Case of the Secret Sauce; Aaron Rosenberg
- Pizza for the Queen; by Nancy F. Castaldo
- New York Times: Pepperoni: On Top
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