smoresSince becoming a mom, my favorite desserts have become the kind I can make with my son. Oh sure, I still love being dazzled by the wizardry of pastry chefs at fancy restaurants. But nothing beats the joy of making something with your child -- and then watching their delight as they taste their sweet creations. It's enough to make you believe desserts were made for kids. So here are nine desserts you can make with your kids this summer -- some classics, and a few zany, creative ideas they'll love.

1. S'mores. You know the drill -- toast a marshmallow over a fire until golden brown but hopefully not burned black (it's fun to set marshmallows on fire, but try and teach your kids to toast a little farther away from the heat). Then place that marshmallow on top of a few pieces of chocolate bar and sandwiched between graham crackers. An alternative is to build your s'more, wrap it in tin foil, and toast the whole thing near the fire.

2. Banana Boats. Another campfire classic. Slice an unpeeled banana lengthwise and stuff with chocolate chips. Wrap in tin foil and set near a fire until chocolate chips melt. Let cool just enough so you don't burn yourself -- but while everything is all melty and gooey.

3. Root Beer Floats. When was the last time you had one of these? All you have to do is pour a glass of root beer and top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. You'll need a straw and a spoon.

4. Ice Cream Parfaits. Layer scoops of ice cream between your kids' favorite sauces: Strawberry, chocolate, caramel. Top with whipped cream.

5. Homemade Popsicles. The possibilities are almost endless. Here are eight summery sweet popsicles you can make at home. Popsicles made with healthy ingredients that your kids will love (maybe?). And here are ten more homemade popsicle recipes just for kids.

6. Oreo Pops. Melt some chocolate and get some sprinkles for this fun, cute Oreo pops recipe.

7. Jello Fish Bowl. Yes, I'm serious. This will blow you kids' minds. Please take a look at this recipe for a Jello fish bowl.

8. Waffle Ice Cream Sandwiches. You don't even need a waffle maker -- just buy some frozen mini-waffles, toast, let cool a little, and then spread softened ice cream to make sandwiches. Kids also love cookie sandwiches and brownie sandwiches.

9. Fruits of the Forest Ice Cream. This recipe is my son's favorite dessert to make with me. It's from The Silver Spoon Cookbook for Children, and you don't need an ice cream maker to make it! 

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

3 1/4 cups frozen or fresh berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (a combination of berries)

Juice from 1/2 lemon

1 cup sugar

Directions:

1. Whip the cream until it holds in soft peaks, but not stiff peaks.

2. Blend berries in a food processor or blender with lemon juice and sugar.

3. Spoon mashed fruit into whipped cream and carefully fold everything together. Spoon into freezerproof container (like a used ice cream container), cover with a tight-fitting lid, and freeze for 3 hours or until frozen.

What summer desserts do you love making with your kids?

 

Image via Ken Bosma/Flickr