Decorating sweet baked goods: a quick activity if you buy a kit

Monkey (formerly Child 1) spent about 30 minutes putting icing and egg-shaped candy on egg-shaped gingerbread biscuits. There is a plan to bake sugar cookies during these holidays so Mungbean (formerly Child 2) can enjoy them, too.

School holiday activity #1: decorating gingerbread Easter egg biscuits.

A photo posted by Andrea See (@serialdeviant) on

I put the contents on a roasting tray in an attempt to contain any potential mess. It worked this time.

(Thank you, B&M, for cheap, additive- and sugar-filled, decorating sets!)

The children aren’t interested in Bah Humbug

So now Child 1 is very interested in the concept of Christmas. Last year we got away with no tree (our tree is a tabletop plastic number). This year she’s been excited about it way too early. These are a few of the things I’ve done to entertain her thus far.

Colouring reindeer cards

Child 1 adores colouring, so I asked her to colour in our Christmas cards for this year (image from Made by Joel). But as I predicted, she didn’t do them all in one go, but over the last fortnight or so, she’s coloured 26 of them. That’s pretty good going!

Cutting strips of paper

I also got her practising her scissor skills cutting strips of paper out, so that we could make…

A paper chain Christmas tree!

Our tree coming together
Our paper chain Christmas tree

Our ‘tree’ is made of plain coloured paper that we already have, and from Christmas-sy flyers that ended up in our mailbox. It’s adhered to the wall with masking tape. Cost of Christmas decorations so far: £0.00.

Trimming the tree

I knew Child 1 would need to do more to take more pride in the tree, as I was the one to really make the paper chains and ‘construct’ the tree, so I bought her some ribbon and bows (£0.89), and asked her to stick them on the paper chains to trim the tree.

Add a cheap string of lights (£5.99), and our Christmas tree is complete!

Tree with the lights on

We have also coloured in Hattifant’s Christmas cones (Child 1 says she wants to bring the large one to preschool).

(We’re not total Grinches. We do have a turkey breast thing ordered for Christmas day, and the kids do get presents.)

Process art and tape resist

There are a myriad of benefits to letting young children create via process art, and my reason for encouraging Child 1 — and Child 2, when I get it together enough to make her some edible finger paints — to experience process art is it makes her happy.

Our process art materials: poster paint, copier paper, masking tape, recycled cardboard scraper, cotton buds, balloon, paintbrush, cotton balls, and clothes pegs
Our process art materials: poster paint, copier paper, masking tape, recycled cardboard scraper, cotton buds, balloon, paintbrush, cotton balls, and clothes pegs
To begin, I used masking tape to create a border and a random geometric design, then Child 1 started with a clothes peg-cotton ball combination
To begin, I used masking tape to create a border and a random geometric design, then Child 1 started with a clothes peg-cotton ball combination
Using cotton buds and a piece of recycled cardboard to scrape paint across the paper
Using cotton buds and a piece of recycled cardboard to scrape paint across the paper
Using cotton buds and a piece of recycled cardboard to scrape paint across the paper
Finally, a balloon was painted and used as a stamper
Finally, a balloon was painted and used as a stamper

For us, it’s the best way to wind Child 1 down if she’s been over-stimulated, she loves paint that much — your mileage may vary (some kids don’t like getting their hands dirty).