In my mind, there is nothing more exciting at the holidays than to spend time with the young’ins doing something that you know they will always remember. In my case, it’s not extravagant, or costly. We are fortunate enough to be my daughter’s child care providers for our grands, ages 4 and 7, which include overnights about half the time. These children inherited my genetic disposition to be early risers. So, this week, we had a before-school adventure which I dubbed, “MomMom’s Breakfast Club”. No, I do not wake them up early for these “good times”. In this case, the early bird gets the craft project.
We decided to do a “test balloon” for an activity I am doing next week in first grade. Make that two first grades! My granddaughter pretended that her dolls and animal friends were her students:
I am positive that the “things” that kiddies remembered in school were the projects, and not my fascinating Math lessons. Sad, but true. We started a tradition of making Applesauce-Cinnamon ornaments several decades ago, the scent of which wafted through the school and could be detected as soon as you entered the building.
*Little side story….they smelled so good, that one day when I was bringing my PreK students by the first grade pod as theirs were drying, one of my students decided he would like to take a taste and popped one in his mouth. Of course, this was followed by screaming, gagging and spitting it out. That’s what we call in education a “logical consequence”*
I would like to spend this blog describing the fool-proof way of doing this, either at home with one little person, or in a classroom with a slew of them! So…here we go…
I’ll include the recipe for this super-fun project. But, I have some suggestions. First of all, there are only two ingredients. Cinnamon and Applesauce. I bought a cheap container of cinnamon and used it as a measuring container to make more. If I was doing this in school, I would make the dough ahead of time.
I bought a one pound jug of cinnamon to refill my container. The recipe doesn’t tell you this, but I think it makes about 8 good-size ornaments. Helpful hints:
Instead of rolling between waxed paper, plastic wrap, or parchment, I just put a handful of dough in a Ziploc bag (I put their name on ahead of time) and let them roll in the Bag, then cut them out, and put them one parchment paper with their name written right next to “theirs” DON’T forget to cut a hole using a straw in the top! Also important: use ornaments that don’t have a lot of things that can break off like heads, arms, legs, etc. Because…they will break off!
In theory, you can air-dry these for 2-3 days, which I did with some of them, turning them every few hours. I also love the kind of drying rack like this:
Here are a couple pix from our early morning adventure.
I also tried baking the second batch, 2 ¼ hours at 200 degrees, and I would highly recommend that! But flip them over after an hour. Dance party while we were waiting…
Use ribbon to hang on the tree, or anywhere! Make sure you have the child write their name and date on the back. I hope the first graders love this on Monday. I am excited to be back in my element for the morning!
Have fun making holiday memories! Here is the recipe I used: