Cooking with your kids is like a no brainer, in my book. You have to cook, they have to eat. What could be a better way for everybody to get to spend some quality time? You can even involve Dad and make it a total family affair. You get some help (?) in the kitchen, the kids get to see what goes into preparing their food and everybody gets to help clean up the kitchen at the end.
There is a wealth of opportunity for learning experiences in the kitchen. Math (measuring and weiging), organization (getting your equipment and ingredients assembled and prepped), problem solving (reading Great-Grannie's handwriting on that famous family recipe) and patience (waiting for water to boil is nothing compared to waiting for your cupcakes to bake). And who knows, you might end up with a budding chef?
I also think this is a great way to instill a degree of future independence in kids, because it is one thing you can check off the list of what you need to teach kids about the "things mommy won't be there to do for you when you grow up". This is especially important for boys, although I know a lot of girls who could use some lessons, too. I have two sons and both of them were taught to cook,wash and fold their own laundry, clean the toilet, sew on a button and a host of other mundane chores that some guys have no clue about once they are out on their own. This can go a long way to making a college kid away from home a little less lost and confused when away from home for the first time. Anyway, now that you are inspired, here is a good website to get you started.
Cooking with Kids GREAT SITE!This is an online version of the book "Cooking with Kids" and the author has taken great care in providing information that is more than just how to bake cookies with your kid. It is about families preparing and having their meals together and the value of a child's involvement in that process. There are insights into why cooking with your child is more than letting him/her be "mommy's little helper" once in a while. And I particularly like the section on helping to set up your little "chef" with their own set of "pint sized" cooking tools. Tasty recipes included, too.