Are your kids abuzz with anticipation over the holidays? Mine are. Even Madelyn seems to know something special is going on. All this excitement can make it hard for busy mommas to get anything done. Luckily I’ve been able to channel my little ones’ creativity. I don’t know about you, but I have a to-do list that is a mile long, so I need all the help I can get over the next few weeks.
Our top go-to activities right now:
All it takes is some in lumber from Home Depot, wood glue and craft
s from the craft store to turn my son’s tool bench into Santa’s Workshop.
Evan has spent hours creating Star Wars ships, necklaces and other creations. He dons his Santa hat each time he gets to work.
Felt Christmas Tree
Miss Madelyn loves rearranging the ornaments on this felt Christmas tree. I just cut a triangle out of green and multi-colored circles. I taped the tree to the wall and the felt sticks to itself, so she can move the ornaments anywhere she pleases.
I also made a felt nativity using patterns from the blog Under my Polkadot Umbrella.
Admittedly, adding my kids’ help to kitchen activities means we spend more time accomplishing our tasks, but they enjoy the one-on-one time that can buy me time to myself a little later in the day. A great acitivity is making cereal treats, as I can have Evan measure and re-measure the cereal at least five times. This treat made with Chex cereal was fun to whip up with the kids.
We livened up our usual pizza making by pulling out the alphabet cookie cutters and creating a fun canvas for sauce and cheese.
Pre-made dough from Trader Joe's made it even easier. My little guy is totally into letters these days, so he loved it. I love fostering some early reading skills.
Sounding out vowels over dinner…what could be better?
My hubby’s grandma introduced me to this little salty-and-sweet treat. I had to mix up a batch for our house. The key is to get just the right ratio of peanuts and candy corn. Not only do I like the way it tastes, I also like the way it looks. These little candy corns are inspiring all kinds of baking and decorating ideas right now.
I shouldn’t multitask. It can have unhappy consequences. Like earlier this week when I slipped this pan of cookies in the oven, then interested Evan in some toys, put Madelyn down for a nap and started in on a work project. It wasn’t until the smell of burning sugar and butter made its way from my oven, through the kitchen and into the next room that I remembered I had even made cookies…let alone put them in the oven. It was a sad, sad day at our house. And I didn’t even have any cookies to help make me feel better.
Apple Puff Pancakes are easy, good and will definitely get you in the mood for fall. Our fresh apples made it even better.
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter
Mix ingredients until smooth. Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan and bake at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.
Two cups chopped tart apples
1/2 cup apple juice
1/8 cup sugar
1 tea. cinnamon
Combine in sauce pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender and syrupy.
Cut the pancake in fourths and serve with the apples.
What is your favorite way to use a bounty of apples?