Christmas has been my favorite time of year ever since I can remember. I think it’s because with the start of December 1st, my mom instantly went into holiday baking mode, and it became something I looked forward to intensely.
To me, nothing was better than a day in the kitchen with my mom. Christmas lights on, Christmas music playing, amazing scents coming from the oven at all hours of the day and a host of projects for me that all were in desperate need of my little fingers to spreading holiday cheer upon them in the form of sugar sprinkles and white royal icing. The hardest part with little ones is finding projects that they can really get involved in – those that don’t involve electric mixers and baking. If you’re looking for some fun, delicious kitchen adventures with your little ones this holiday season, here are a collection of some of my favorite ideas.
Rice Krispies & Variations
One of the easiest treats to make with little ones is Rice Krispy treats. Your kids can pour in the marshmallows and help you stir. Then, you can make the “treats” and then let the little ones decorate. I like to roll out the treats thin while they’re still warm and then the kids can cut out fun Christmas shapes with cookie cutters like sugar cookies. They can then even frost/decorate with sprinkles as they like.
A variation on this is to make these with corn flakes instead and add green food coloring. Drop them in spoonfuls on wax paper, open up a circle in the middle and let your kids put in red hot candies for fun “Christmas wreaths.”
You’ve probably seen these appear at a holiday party somewhere. They’re extremely easy, fun and the salty-sweet mixture is tough to top! You just need a pretzel for a base and then a chocolate candy of your choice. Hershey kisses (any variety), mini peanut butter cups, caramel candies and rolos are all good options. Let the kids put the chocolate candy on top of the pretzel and then stick them on a cookie sheet and warm in the oven until the chocolate just starts to melt. Pull them out and then have the kids push in holiday chocolate candies on top like M&Ms.
An easy substitution to the classic gingerbread house that requires molds and baking is to use graham crackers. All you need is white icing and candies for decorating. The kids will have a blast and you won’t have any prep work!
Caramel/Chocolate Covered Apples
Little kids will love dunking apples in chocolate or caramel and then topping off with sprinkles or nuts or candy crumbles! Just place a crafting stick in the apple and let the kids do the rest. Be careful to supervise the dunking chocolate/caramel however, you don’t want it to be so hot that anyone could potentially get burnt.
Even easier than apples are chocolate dunked marshmallows. Again, simply warm chocolate, place long sticks in marshmallows and allow the kids to dunk and decorate!
Ice Cream Cone Trees
For this, all you need are ice cream cones. Waffle cones work the best because it’s the shape you need. Then you can let the kids wild with bowls of frosting, sprinkles and small round candies for ornaments. You can help them and pipe on “garland” for extra special décor if you want.
This was my favorite treat as a child and still is! It’s so easy but so incredibly delicious (sweet meets salty again!). Melt white almond bark and dip pretzels while it’s still warm. Lay on parchment paper and top with sprinkles or mini M&Ms. Allow to dry and then peel off the paper. And eat!
These are just a few of my favorites that are easy enough for any age to enjoy making and delicious enough for every age to eat and enjoy! Why not make some lasting memories this season? No matter the age, gather your little ones together for some festive fun in the kitchen. You’ll have an afternoon’s worth of activities planned and you’ll finish with delicious, scrumptious treats that the whole rest of the family will love you for!
Author Jocelyn Anne is currently writing for Air & Water and compiling content on their electric heaters for homes for large families. She branches out to write family and baking content whenever she can!