6 Easy Steps for Making a Cooking Show with Kids

I have been making cooking videos with my nieces and nephew for a few years now. After I posted our latest cooking show, a few friends posted that they too wanted to make a show too, so I thought I would lay out a few helpful pointers.

Do not stress out. This is not easy if you’re a high stress person, rolling with the messes & spills is part of the fun.

Now, I’m an auntie doing this – I know if you’re thinking about doing this with your own kids that it can add another layer of stress. They may not be as excited and may certainly act differently. Get them pumped up – show them one of the videos here to see other kids doing it. Have the kids make their favorite recipe, or a favorite recipe of a grandparent, friend, etc. (The videos & resulting cookies make great gifts for grandparents!)

I use the following to film the videos:
Flip Cam

You of course can use whatever you want to film and edit – Windows Movie Maker, Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, etc. If you’re using a Flip it comes with really easy to use editing and “stitching” software..we’ll talk more about editing in a bit.

Get your kitchen set up so the kids have a clean workspace. You may be lucky enough to have an island, or you could set up a card table. Make sure you have decent light in your kitchen. If you can, filming in the day, next to an open window will ensure good lighting.

If you’re working with younger kids, it is be helpful to measure and set out the ingredients (just like they do on real cooking shows!) Of course, as kids get older, measuring is also part of the fun and an added life skill.

With my nieces and nephews, I usually give them a prompt of what to say, they practice, then we record. As they have grown up and have started to read, we make cue cards and even write a script. Once the kids get in the flow of things, they naturally start to ad-lib and the fun begins.

To make the editing process easier, I record in quick little chunks for each part of the recipe. If you leave the recording going, editing becomes a bit more of a chore. Between breaks we clean up and talk about the next scene.

I do my best not to talk on the tape at all (though, sometimes they ask me questions that are “clip worthy” and they make the final cut.)

With roots in radio and tv production, this is the fun part for me – and usually the most frustrating part for others. Don’t be afraid to cut parts that are boring! Keep it snappy – a 2 minute 30 second clip is what I try to shoot for – but with cooking shows, they usually end up being about 5 minute segments. Having a nicely edited video is what will set your clip apart from others and will make the experience so much more enjoyable for your family & friends viewing the clip!

As I mentioned earlier, Flip comes with pretty handy easy-to-use software for newbies to editing.  You can always Google “how to edit video with <insert what you’re using here>” for tips and tricks.

Share! That’s the reason for making the video – parents, grandparents, family and friends love to see the kids!! There are many popular venues for sharing like Facebook and YouTube. My favorite video hosting site is Vimeo.

That’s it!

If you found this helpful and make your own cooking show, please share it with me! I know my nieces and nephew would love to see other kids around the world cooking and it would get them psyched up for our next show.

Here are a few more of our fun videos: