Let your kids try these activities and meals

Cristen Clark shares some recipes inspired by her children during their COVID-19 prevention self-isolation.


If someone would have told me the year 2020 would be the year of toilet paper rationing in my house, I’d have laughed them off their chair. COVID-19 has thrown some curve balls into the regular routines of families across the country and across the world. In my naiveté I never fathomed anything like this happening in my lifetime.

The first week of self isolation was a pretty normal spring break week with decent breaks in the weather. The kids had plenty of things to keep them busy. The second week went off much the same, but by the third week I felt like a V.I.P. concierge instead of a self-employed woman who uses her kitchen table as a workspace.

I didn’t lay the groundwork like I should have by establishing a schedule and routine for the kids. After all, they have that at school, so why not give them a little bit at home? So we do a little school, a lot of common sense learning (how and where to charge the cordless drill, changing a tire, etc.) and then the kids have to come up with their own fun for a couple hours per day so I can get my work completed with a bit of peace.

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times: “Mom, I’m hungry.” It doesn’t matter one bit that there are two bowls of portioned out snacks on the counter. I believe my kids feel like the announcement of their hunger should awaken and enliven me to shuck my ear buds and spring forth from my workspace to make them a chef-inspired, five-star snack. I thought they knew me better than this, but now I’m beginning to wonder. I wanted to share with you guys some of the home economics lessons we’ve had to learn over the past few weeks to keep my kids busy and full enough so I can get some work done!

Homemade Play Dough

Makes a generous portion, enough for two kids to share


By: Cristen Clark


2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup salt

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups warm water



In a medium saucepan, combine flour, salt and cream of tartar. Stir to combine.

Add oil and warm water, stir well. Place saucepan over medium to medium high heat (6.5/10) and cook dough for about 3 minutes, until pliable, yet firm.

Turn out on counter top, let cool a few minutes. Divide dough in half, if desired.

Color accordingly with food coloring (15 drops per half of dough). Add glitter, scented oils or extracts to further customize.

Microwave Egg Tacos

Makes two generous protein filled snacks/breakfasts

By: Cristen Clark

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk


1 large pinch of salt or seasoned salt

1 pinch of black pepper

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salsa, hot sauce, taco sauce

Flour tortillas, fajita or small taco size

*Optional garnishes: bacon or bacon bits, breakfast sausage, sliced avocado, sliced grape tomatoes.

Spray a small microwave safe mixing bowl with non-stick cooking spray and add eggs, milk and seasonings. Whisk well. Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds. Remove and stir mixture. Repeat process until eggs are cooked. Use hot pads if bowl gets warm to touch. Add eggs to flour tortilla with 1/4 cup of cheese in each shell, add salsa and any additional optional garnishes listed above. Serve warm!

Microwave Loaded Baked Potatoes

Makes two baked potatoes


By: Cristen Clark

2 medium sized potatoes, scrubbed clean, pierced

Vegetable oil

1 tablespoon butter

Salt and pepper

Sour cream

Shredded cheddar cheese

Green onion tops snipped with a scissors


Bacon bits

Pierce baked potatoes ¼-inch deep with a fork all over clean potatoes. (Kid chefs: This means to poke the potato a lot, all over, with a fork!) Rub potatoes with a small amount of oil. Microwave for 6 minutes. Let cool in microwave for 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and split open. Add a half tablespoon of butter to each potato then salt and pepper to your liking. Add your favorite toppings like sour cream, shredded cheese, bacon and more!

Cristen Clark lives on an Iowa farm where her family raises corn, soybeans, pigs and cattle. She loves cooking and writing, and sharing contest winning recipes with people she knows. She can be reached at or at

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