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How to Make Sushi Easily at Home with Kids

Learn how to make sushi at home, including which rice and tools to use to effortlessly learn how to make your own at home. It’s easy and fun for kids!

Tips for making sushi with kids. This version is even heart-shaped!

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This summer, two of my sister-in-laws, M & K, taught all of us  how to make sushi at our family reunion. I made some once as a college student with help from a friend, but I wasn’t able to replicate the results when I tried on my own. This summer I paid more attention, and my kids were able to make their own for a low stress, delicious dinner!

Tools that Make it Easy to Learn How to Make Sushi

At the reunion, we learned to use bamboo rolling mats wrapped in cling wrap to roll sushi. I opted for less traditional tools that make it super easy!


These are the basic sushi ingredients we used:

Here’s what we put in our sushi:

  • Cream cheese (really good! I got this tip from my sister-in-laws)
  • Avocado. My kids agree with me that this is the most important sushi ingredient.
  • Carrots
  • Fresh zucchini (we used a spiralizer to cut it.)
  • Canned tuna (our only non vegetarian option for home use). It is not traditional at all to use this canned, I’m afraid, but one of my kids really wanted fish and that was what we had.
  • Gluten-free soy sauce for dipping. Regular soy sauce also works. Avoiding soy? Try using coconut aminos instead.
  • Traditionally, you would also eat ginger and wasabi sauce. We skipped these to make it more child palate friendly.

Our Sushi Making Tools

Silicone Mat and Rice Paddle

This silicone mat is the tool I used. I loved the silicone rice paddle, and I found the mat really easy to use. It’s definitely easier to prep and clean up than the bamboo mats I used in the past.

Kikkoman has this great tutorial on basic sushi wrapping techniques:

SushiAya Deluxe Sushi Maker Kit

Great tips for making sushi easily at home with the kids.

All four kids opted to use this deluxe kit.

They especially loved making heart shaped sushi as shown in this tutorial.

Eight-year-old Lily is my star heart shaped sushi maker!

How to make sushi with kids.

Sushi Science

My kids were surprised to see holes in our sushi knives. We did some research, and it turns out that the holes in the blade help prevent a vacuum from forming. This makes it easier to slice quickly, and to remove the knife between cuts.

Tips for making sushi with kids, including which rice and tools to use to effortlessly learn how to make great sushi at home.

Do you know how to make sushi? Do you have any tips to share? Have you made it with your family? We’d love to see photos! Share a picture  on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram

MaryAnne is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.

9 thoughts on “How to Make Sushi Easily at Home with Kids”

  1. My tip for sushi is for making the rice. I took a class on making “beautiful rice.” First, wash the rice — first wash in spring water NOT tap water. Wash the rice 2 dozen times with tap water. Then drain the rice in a colander with a damp towel on top of the rice. Let it rehydrate for 20 minutes. This step is crucial. Then add water so it comes up about 1/2 inch above the rice. Use spring water again. Cook in a pot or rice cooker. The rice will be sublime. But, when the rice is hot, cool down in a wooden bowl using a fan while you are adding the vingar/sugar mixture. You must cool the rice QUICKLY and the wooden bowl helps to absorb the moisture. The fanning is to cool down the rice as you gently fold in the liquid.

    Ta da! Perfect rice. Also, you just use Japanese short grain rice, but that goes without saying! :)

  2. Natalie PlanetSmartyPants

    I have never tried sushi at home even though we all love eating them. Your tutorial makes me want to try!

  3. I love the hearts! I’ve never made sushi but last week packed Parker all the ingredients (seasoned rice, avocado, cucumber, cut up strips of nori) in a bowl like a salad for lunch, He loved it except he said “Nice try. I found the cucumbers.” Apparently he didn’t realize how often he ate them in rolls.

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