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Theme Park Kitchen: Kids learn food safety as they play

The Learning Games Lab team is proud to share our newest game, Theme Park Kitchen. Our team designed this game-based learning experience to support youth ages 11-13 in learning basic food safety concepts when handling food. Players engage with themed kitchens in the game to serve delicious and safe meals to clients and teach kids food-handling skills.


Research-based food safety practices can prevent thousands of Americans from getting sick or dying. Education is one of the best ways to fight foodborne illness, supporting consumers with knowledge and safe behaviors around food handling. This game is part of a growing trend in Extension: using multimedia products to educate and engage diverse audiences. 


May be a screenshot of a game based on a theme park kitchen.
Theme Park Kitchen aims to educate players on cross-contamination and food management.

Learners can play Theme Park Kitchen individually or collaboratively in formal (classroom) or informal settings such as afterschool programs. The game can be played on a computer, laptop, or tablet using a web browser. The game has five themed areas, with three levels in each area, progressively addressing food safety content. Gameplay addresses the following content:


  • Washing hands and surfaces

  • Cooking meat and combination foods to the proper temperature

  • Avoiding cross-contamination

  • Applying multiple food safety concepts when cooking 


Thanks to the support of the NTAE program in 2022-2023, a collaboration between USDA NIFA, Oklahoma State University, and the Extension Foundation, we revamped our successful “Ninja Kitchen” game, focusing on enhancing its cultural sensitivity, making it more user-friendly, and providing a better gaming experience for a wider audience. Theme Park Kitchen includes special features for users with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive needs and can be played on a wider range of web browsers and with accessible keyboards and tools. 


Collaborating with the Extension Foundation, we created a teaching guide to help Extension agents and other educators use this game in formal and informal educational settings. The publication is available at: https://extension.org/portfolio-item/teaching-youth-food-safety-a-game-based-experience/


May be a screenshot of a website.
Theme Park Kitchen has been part of collaborations with the Extension Foundation.



Play the game online: ThemeParkKitchen.org


Platform: Web-enabled devices (computer, laptop, tablets)

Type: Educational game

Gameplay time: 45-60 minutes

Audience: Youth 11-13 years old 

Content: Food safety 

To learn more about our games and design process, contact:

Matheus Cezarotto, PhD

Assistant Professor

Extension Educational Technology Specialist

575-646-5284


Written by Matheus Cezarotto, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Innovative Media Research and Extension


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