So we were struck with illness the last couple weeks, and never have I ever been so grateful to be able to do so many festive activities at home with things that we, mostly, already had, which are the features of today’s blog post.
Activity #1 – DIY Pipe Cleaner Ornaments!
My favorite thing about this little project is you can make it as simple or extravagant as you want. Add beads, glitter, sparkly pom-poms, ribbon- whatever floats your boat. Or, just use pipe cleaners like we did. My 2nd favorite thing about this project- the ornaments you end up with are non-breakable! (Cue round of applause!)
One of the kids’ favorite books is “Orange Bear Apple Bear,” so we made one of each for our tree. The kids were completely tickled, and it reminded me of making balloon animals- just with a whole lot less energy expenditure.
Basically, all you need are pipe cleaners, and, again, any extra embellishments you’d like to add!
Activity #2 – Christmas Cookies (Baking and Decorating)
We’ve now made two batches of Christmas cookies because this activity is that much fun. Most likely, you already have everything in your pantry / fridge to make homemade sugar cookies. I like this recipe from Real Simple, but I’ll bet your Southern Living or Joy of Cooking cookbook has one in it too. If you don’t want to make them from scratch, you could always grab a box mix or even do break and bake if you prefer. Although, if you’ve been following me on Insta for any amount of time, you know I love getting my kids involved in food prep. So, the fact that this activity is a two-part activity (baking AND decorating) is a win-win.
Besides what you need to make the actual cookies, you will need things to decorate with. We used Lenox cookie cutters that one of my grandmas gave us last year, pre-made cookie icing, and red and green sugar sprinkles. I also had a couple things of red and black gel icing in our pantry that we used too.
Don’t have cookie cutters and don’t want to buy them? Use cups or circular Tupperware to make round ball ornaments out of! Or, roll your dough into a rope and curve it at the top to make it a candy cane. Cookie cutters are just an extra- not an essential.
The most important thing to remember when baking / decorating Christmas cookies is to keep it fun. It’s going to be messy, the cookies are not going to look like something you’d buy at a bakery, you are going to end up with some broken cookies I’m sure (we did both times), and at some point your toddler will figure out those sprinkles (and dough) are edible and will cease to decorate but commence eating instead. Try to roll with it as best you can and enjoy the giggles.
I hope this gives you a little inspiration this week for how to spend quality time with your kids AND get into the holiday spirit a bit all within the comforts of your home. This series will wrap up shortly with part 4 coming soon!