While it can still be kind of fun to make cookies if you buy the premade dough, I think making them from scratch is the way to go. It takes longer, which is good if part of your goal is spending time together with your kids doing fun stuff. It’s easier to accommodate special diets: you can lower the sugar content using Splenda or Stevia, you can use egg replacers and vegetable shortenings for vegetarians, and so forth. Plus, the kids get to measure and see real ingredients – so much learning can happen over a batch of cookies.
You can decide on a simple cookie or a more fancy variety based on your families tastes and the age of your kids. There are great recipes all over the internet, but often we just use whatever recipe comes on the back of the package of chocolate chips. One of our favorites is to use a regular chocolate chip cookie recipe, but use M & Ms instead of the chips, or mix chips – like half chocolate chips, and half butterscotch or peanut butter chips. You can allow the kids to get creative with the chips, as long as you stick to the recipe for the dough, and they will feel very creative and the cookies will still turn out great.