Hanukkah Sugar Cookie Decorating Party for Toddlers

For a recent play date my friend and I decided to make sugar cookies and let the kids decorate them. Neither one of us have made sugar cookies before, so through trial and error we were able to figure out a recipe that worked. Our first attempt at dough came out too crumbly. Once we got the dry and wet ingredient ratio worked out we had a buttery, smooth cookie dough.

Recipe for Sugar Cookies:

Ingredients

2 1/3 c. flour, sifted

1 tbsp. vanilla pudding mix

1 c. white sugar

1 large egg

2 sticks of butter-room temperature

Directions:

First we combined dry ingredients and then added the wet using a stand alone mixer on medium. We mixed them together for 10 minutes, scraping down the sides.

Once the ingredients were combined we kneaded with our hands for five minutes and then rolled it to 1/4″ thickness using a rolling pin. We used metal dreidel shaped cookie cutter to cut out our shapes.

The cookies baked in a 350 degree oven for 9 minutes on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Once cooled we could begin adding our colorful royal icing.

Recipe for Royal Icing:

Ingredients:

1 c. confectioner’s sugar

4 tbsp. milk

Directions:

Pour sugar into a medium sized mixing bowl, add milk. Whisk together until smooth. Spoon into 3 small bowls, add one drop of food coloring and mix to create blue and gold.

We laid out a easy wipe tablecloth with a festive print, a paper plate for each child, small bowls with the royal icing, one bowl with Star of David sprinkles, and tiny spoons for decorating.  The children decorated each cookie one by one, spooning one the icing and creating a marble effect.

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This activity was a hit!  The kids were involved with each step of the baking and decorating process.  They loved decorating the cookies the most-each child decorated 10 cookies!  We had so much fun and will definitely be doing more cookie and baking activities with our kids for future holidays!

Snowflake DIY 

I am a huge fan of What’s Up Mom’s. I love all of their videos and their really happy energy. They definitely influenced my decision to become a blogger. So here is one of their DIY projects from their YouTube channel that I tried out. You can see their tutorial here.

I tried having Ben paint the popsicle sticks first and he was not at all interested. So then it dawned on me to have him paint the finished product. I built the snowflake but every time I built it I noticed that one end was a little bit crooked or one of the sides was not parallel to another side. I was popping off popsicle sticks left and right and starting over. Even now as it’s finished I still see areas that could use a little tweaking.

 I would  recommend if you’re going to do this project to do it on some sort of a grid or on a table with straight edges that you can better plan out your snowflake and make sure that everything is straight and parallel. I also recommend using wood glue, it dried faster than Elmer’s glue all.

If a child is helping you paint the snowflake-turn areas that could use paint towards them so they can reach new areas easily.

Overall I think our snowflake came out really nicely.  It’s definitely a craft for home or small groups with large work areas.  A classroom desk would not be enough space for the finished snowflake.

What blogs or vlogs influence you?Please share your answers,

Eight Posts for Hanukkah Bonus-Rustic Pinecone Dreidel Centerpiece

This is where my pinecone dreidels wound up.  I had been thinking of stringing them together to make a garland, but I came across this metal pail and got inspired.  I wrapped the bottom of the pain and handle with twine, securing with hot glue.  I also used the twinevto tie little bows around my dreidels.  I took a wooden round piece and painted it with chalkboard paint and drew a Menorah with chalkboard marker.  I’m really pleased with it and can’t wait to put in my Hanukkah tablescape!

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Footprint/Handprint Art Apron

I like to do keepsake crafts on holidays with my baby boys. Footprint art is an easy first art experience to do with a baby. I did handprints with Ben because he’s two and a little bit more mature -he has had some experiences with art. As Adam is less than one I only used his footprint.

Footprints and handprints can get really messy so I like to set up my station with wipes right next to me, lots of paper towels, and making sure that all the surfaces around my baby are easily washable.  To make the menorah I painted Adams feet blue and his toes yellow. I painted and printed each foot separately and I did it as quickly as possible. Are used a good fit come out of paint on the flat so as to make sure it doesn’t dry before I got my footprint.

I like Martha Stewart craft paint because it can be used on several surfaces and it won’t flake off after it’s been through a wash

Afterwards,  I did touch up the footprints a little bit with a small paintbrush. Then I printed Ben’s hands underneath using a darker shade of blue and the same yellow on his fingertips.

Using an oil paint based Sharpie marker I wrote their names and ages next to their prints.  I also wrote the year. Underneath their handprints and footprints I wrote “My Little Miracles!” I can’t wait to wear this when I making latkes this year and for many more to come!

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-3 DIY Wreaths for $15 or Less!

three-wreathsEvery year I look for quality Hanukkah decorations in stores and I can’t find anything good.  So this year I decided to craft my dream Hanukkah decorations and to do it on a shoestring budget since I’m currently a stay at home mom.  One item I’ve long dreamed about is a beautiful wreath for my front door.  Online-I think because they’re so rare-they can be quite pricey.  Here are 3 DIY wreaths and each  cost less than $15 to make.

For this easy wreath I purchased the straw wreath base at Savers, the ribbon at Dollar Tree, the chalkboard paint and wooden rounds came from Michaels.  This time of year there are lots of sales at the craft stores-so it’s definitely good to do a lot of craft shopping now.  To start with I used my hot glue gun to hold the white and burlap ribbons down as I wrapped them around the base.  Then I painted chalkboard paint on the wooden rounds, once dry I wrote Happy Hanukkah with chalk marker.  I got glued them on and added a twine loop to hang.  Easy and cheap!  Took me less than an hour to make!

I found the base for my second wreath at Savers as well.  This is an upcycling project.  It was a plain burlap wreath on a wire base.  First thing I did was spray paint it with 4 coats of silver spray paint.



I took white and silver tulle I picked up at the Dollar Tree and knotted 4″ pieces every 3″ apart on the wire base. I also found blue wire edged ribbon at the Dollar Tree that I cut into 4″ pieces and I knotted them every 3″ apart around the wire base.


My friend Anat brought a Hanukkah garland with blue and silver foil Hanukkah decorations held together by silver jump rings.  We took it apart and I glued some of the dreidels onto the tulle and I added six silver ornaments that were purchased at the Dollar Store as well.


The last wreath I’m going to give instructions for is one made by my friend, Anat. She found most of her materials at Walmart.

She used a wire base and she attached tulle and ribbon to it using pipe cleaners to secure every 4″. Lastly, she used a happy Hanukkah signed she found it $.99 store last year as a focal point at the center of the wreath and added a little silver flower that she also picked up at the Dollar Tree.


The most time consuming wreath was the second one with the burlap because it took several hours to apply the silver spray paint and allow it to dry between coats.  All of these wreaths are no sew and were assembled simply with a glue gun.

 

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Rustic Chalkboard Countdown Sign

As promised I will be incorporating a lot of rustic elements in my Hanukkah DIY projects.  This is another easy project-but it does take some art skills.  

You’ll need:

chalkboard paint

a wooden sign

painters’ tape

chalkboard markers

a sponge tip brush

chalk

To start: I taped off the area of the sign I wanted to paint. Then I applied  1 even coat of chalkboard paint.  



Then I activated my chalkboard markers by pressing in the tip several times and free handed the letters.  Underneath I drew the menorah.  I tried to draw flames, but the slats got in the way so I just repainted over them with a small brush.  Many chalkboard markers are permanent, so if you make a mistake you have to paint over it.  This morning I told Ben that Hanukkah is coming up and we drew the number of nights on together.  I told him the number in Hebrew and English. He has been learning how to count in both languages.  We also talked about how 10 and 9 make 19.  He liked drawing with the chalk on the sign.  


I added a burlap and a wire edged ribbon tied in a knot, trimming the ends.  Now I need to make something to count the actual nights of Hanukkah!

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Burlap Hanukkah Card Craft for Kids

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Want an easy and stylish kids craft to do this holiday season?  Burlap is everywhere.  I see it on garlands, tote bags, pillows, you name it!  To make this easy craft you’ll need:

1 piece of burlap 4 1/2″x 3″

1 piece of brown craft paper 4 1/2″x3″

1 chisel tip Sharpie

puffy paint or homemade paint (the recipe is here)

Clear Krazy Glue

Directions:

Glue the piece f brown craft paper inside the burlap.  Once the glue is dry (30 minutes or so), fold the card in half.  Kids often need a lot of help lining up items to glue and folding-plus you’ll have to use the Krazy Glue.  Older kids can draw a menorah or write Happy Hanukkah with the chisel tip Sharpie, younger kids will need an adult to do that.  Then they can decorate with puffy paint or if they’re little like Ben (2 years old) they can use homemade paint and a Q-tip to apply paint. Let it dry. img_6691

 

 

Eight Posts for Hanukkah -Pinecone Driedels (Easy D.I.Y.)

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Rustic style is very “in” this year: burlap, chalkboards, wood, vintage elements.  I’ll be exploring in my Hanukkah posts how to incorporate these rustic elements into your Hanukkah decor.

dreidel-youll-need

One easy way to incorporate a rustic looks is experimenting with pinecone dreidels.  I gathered a bunch of pinecones for a Thanksgiving D.I.Y. that never happened. To make the dreidels took 5 minutes, not including the time it took to spray paint them silver and light blue.  All I did was trim off a two inch section of a twig and hot glue it to the top of the pinecone.  I had to hold the twig in place while the glue dried.  Afterwards I had 10 pinecone dreidels.  I spray painted mine silver and light blue. I’m including a picture of them without the spray paint below so you can decide for yourself how you want to yours to look.  I plan on using them in future projects that I will be sharing on the blog this week.img_6610

Eight Posts for Hanukkah-Kinetic Kids Menorah

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I’m going to post this in both my blog under Hanukkah and Art Lessons for Educators and Homeschoolers which will link straight to Lesson Plans.  This time I’m not writing a full fledged lesson plan I am, however I am sharing everything you’ll need to write your own. I do have a full lesson plan on his Agamographs I will share as well.   The Kinetic Kids Menorah is based on the work of Israeli artist Yaacov Agam who founded the Kinetic art movement.  Kinetic literally mean “movement” and he is interested in creating art that looked as though it were moving.  He tricks the eye with color placement, different sizes of the same shape or object, and images that change based on where the viewer is standing.  He created Agamographs which are printed that almost look like they’re woven and depending on if you’re standing to the right or the left you’re seeing 2 different pictures.  He is highly celebrated in Israel.  He designed a fountain and a hotel in downtown Tel Aviv.  My photo of the hotel is below, but it was at night, so you can’t really see the colors clearly.

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To create the Kinetic Kids Menorah you’ll need:

*scissors

*cardstock in red, orange, gold, and two sheets of two shades of blue

*a hole puncher

*nylon filament

*glue (I used a glue gun, but Elmer’s Glue All would work too)

*a ruler

*a pencil (I used pen so you could see my work more clearly)

*optional-I had Ben free paint on white cardstock with red, orange, and yellow paint prior and used that painting for the flames.

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To start I measured out my candlesticks on the blue sheets of paper.  The piece with the slits were 2″ wide and 6″ tall with a 5″ slit.  I cut them out.  The pieces that fit inside the slits were 5″ tall.  This left a little space at the bottom for a hole to connect the candles later.

agamagam3I slid the 5″ pieces into their slits, securing with drops of glue.  Then I cut out 8 flames from Ben’s painting he had done the day before.  Side note: you can use glitter, glitter paint, regular cardstock if you want to add to the flames.  You are the artist, let your creativity shine!

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I traced around his flames onto orange cardstock 8 times and yellow 8 times.  I cut out all the flames.  The yellow ones are a bit larger to frame Ben’s and the orange ones.flame

I cut a tiny slit in each flame and the top of each candlestick, then slid the flame into the candlestick securing it with glue.

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I created a much larger flame with leftover scraps.  I punched holes in the tops of all my candlesticks and three holes in the bottom of my large flame.  I also punched one in the top of my large flame.  I strung the hook at the top of my large flame with nylon filament I picked up at Joann Fabrics and the candlesticks, alternating colors (some needed a hole punched at the bottom, but do that as you go).agam-1

This project took a couple of hours for me to create.  I would recommend it for middle aged school kids or if you’re doing one on one you could do it with a fourth or fifth grader.  I did most of the work, but Ben did contribute-so it can also be a fun decoration for the holiday including your younger child’s work.