FOR KIDS

Kitchen fun for kids dur­ing fes­tive time of year

Times of the Islands - - Departments - Mandy Carter is a lo­cal mom with a pas­sion for fam­ily travel, a pop­u­lar travel blog­ger in­clud­ing her own fam­ily blog at Acup­ful.com and the Dig­i­tal Con­tent & En­gage­ment Edi­tor for TOTI Media.

Fall Food Craft

Ed­i­ble acorns, the per­fect food project, kitchen magic!

Tis the sea­son for school breaks. Luck­ily, this time of year is also filled with some won­der­ful sea­sonal foods and fes­tive hol­i­days. Keep the kids away from the TV and take them into the kitchen for some fun food crafts. Here are two acorn food crafts that are su­per sim­ple, fun to make and even more fun to eat. Th­ese ed­i­ble acorns are also the per­fect food project for all kids.

PEANUT BUT­TER CHO­CO­LATE ACORN BITES

Per­son­ally, I think peanut but­ter and cho­co­late are a great com­bi­na­tion. If you agree, then th­ese bite-sized fall snacks will be­come a sea­sonal fa­vorite. (Note: If your child has a peanut al­lergy, sub­sti­tute the Nut­ter But­ter for a Ritz Bitz!)

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS Mini Nut­ter But­ter cook­ies, mini cho­co­late chips and Hershey’s Kisses

DI­REC­TIONS In a mi­crowave-safe bowl, melt 1/2 bag of minichips to use as the “glue,” in 5-sec­ond in­ter­vals, stir­ring re­ally good each time. Dip the flat end of the Hershey’s Kiss into melted cho­co­late and top with a bite-sized Nut­ter But­ter. Dip the flat end of a mini-chip into the melted cho­co­late and stick it to the Nut­ter But­ter. Let the cho­co­late harden for a few min­utes be­fore serv­ing.

NUTTY DONUTS

For th­ese you will need only four in­gre­di­ents: Glazed dough­nut holes, cho­co­late sprin­kles, pret­zel sticks and Nutella spread (or your fa­vorite nut but­ter).

DI­REC­TIONS Spread Nutella (or nut but­ter) on the tops of each dough­nut hole. Dip into cho­co­late sprin­kles. In­sert half of a pr et­zel stick into top of dough­nut. Serve!

While mak­ing th­ese fun snacks with your kids, take the op­por­tu­nity to share some in­ter­est­ing facts about acorns: • The acorn is the fruit of the o ak tree. • There are more than 450 acorn va­ri­eties. • Acorns are an im­por­tant source of food for wildlife such as birds, mice, squir­rels, bears and deer. • Acorns are toxic to some an­i­mals such as horses. • Acorns have an im­pres­sive num­ber of health ben­e­fits for hu­mans, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to pro­tect the heart, boost en­ergy, im­prove di­ges­tion, reg­u­late blood-su­gar lev­els, build strong bones and pro­tect the skin.

Ice-cream cone teepees, learn­ing while hav­ing fun!

While help­ing your kids cre­ate th­ese dec­o­ra­tive and ed­i­ble teepees, share with them some facts: A teepee (tipi, te­pee) is a Plains In­dian home. It is made of buf­falo hide fas­tened around very long wooden poles, de­signed in a cone shape. Tepees were warm in the win­ter and cool in the sum­mer. Some could hold 30 or 40 peo­ple com­fort­ably. There was a small fire in the cen­ter for cook­ing and for warmth when needed. Tepees had an open space at the top, a lit­tle off cen­ter to let the smoke out. Women de­cided where to place a te­pee. Men often painted the out­side of the te­pee they called home. The paint­ing was often sym­bolic of their achieve­ments.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS To get started, you will need only a few things: small ice-cream cones, fall-col­ored sprin­kles (leaves are per­fect if you can find them), pret­zel sticks, cho­co­late morsels or candy melts and parch­ment pa­per. Th­ese cute teepees don’t even re­quire you to touch the oven or stove­top; they are easy and fun for all ages. And you can make dozens in a short time.

DI­REC­TIONS

1.

Line your work­ing sur­face with parch­ment pa­per.

2.

In a small mi­crowave-safe dish, heat your cho­co­late chips on 50 per­cent power for 2-3 min­utes, stir­ring ev­ery 30 sec­onds un­til melted.

3.

Care­fully break off the tips of your cones, just big enough so that you can fit a couple of pret­zel sticks in­side.

4.

Now hold the tip of your cone and dip the bot­tom into your melted cho­co­late, just enough that it will cover the edges.

5.

Then set on your parch­ment pa­per and drib­ble your leaf sprin­kles onto the melted cho­co­late.

6.

Care­fully hold the cen­ter of your cone and dip the op­po­site side into the cho­co­late.

7.

Break three pret­zel sticks into three dif­fer­ent sizes, dip the ends in your cho­co­late, and stick them onto the top of your cone teepee.

8.

Sprin­kle a few more leaves onto the top. 9. Op­tional: Dec­o­rate the out­side of the teepee with color­ful ic­ing .

10.

Care­fully trans­fer to the freezer for about 15 min­utes to harden cho­co­late.

Th­ese ed­i­ble teepees are great for ta­ble dec­o­ra­tions at Thanks­giv­ing and can then be filled with ice cream af­ter your feast!

Turkey pop­corn cen­ter­piece, great for home or school par­ties!

While you have the kids’ at­ten­tion dur­ing this craft, take the time to share with them some in­ter­est­ing facts about the turkey:

• The wild turkey is a na­tive bird of North Amer­ica.

• Tur­keys can run up to 20 miles per hour.

• Wild tur­keys can fly, but do­mes­tic tur­keys can­not.

• The long, loose skin that hangs down on a turkey’s neck is called a wat­tle.

• Adult male tur­keys are called toms and fe­males are called hens.

• Ben­jamin Franklin wished to have wild tur­keys as the na­tional bird, rather than the bald ea­gle.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS You will need to ei­ther buy or pop 3-4 bags of pop­corn, a large brown gro­cery bag, 2 small brown lunch

bags, a hot-glue gun, scis­sors, white pa­per for the frill, a large plat­ter and some ad­di­tional items to set the scene.

DI­REC­TIONS To make the frills, cut a stan­dard-sized sheet of white pa­per in half, length­wise. Fold each half in half, length­wise. Make small cuts with scis­sors on folded edges to cre­ate loops. To make the drum­sticks, put your fist in each of the cor­ners of a small pa­per bag and use your other flat hand to mold and round the edges. Fill the bag 2/3 of the way to the top with pop­corn. Gather the open­ing of the bag and twist tightly. Hot glue the be­gin­ning of the length of frill and wrap it around the twisted part of the lunch bag; hot glue the end of the frill to hold in place. Re­peat this step to make a sec­ond drum­stick.

For the turkey body, round the cor­ners of a large pa­per shop­ping bag. It works best to use a plain brown bag, but if you can only find one with writ­ing on the out­side, care­fully turn the bag in­side out. Fill the bag with pop­corn. (If us­ing but­tered pop­corn to fill the turkey, you will need to use parch­ment or wax pa­per to line the pa­per bag to avoid grease marks).

Fold the sides of the bag in and tuck the bot­tom edge un­der, us­ing hot glue to se­cure the edge closed. Use hot glue to at­tach drum­sticks to sides of turkey body. Place on plat­ter and gar­nish with pars­ley, fruit and corn-on-the-cob fa­vors, if de­sired.

Pil­grim hat cook­ies, per­fect snack or school party treat!

While do­ing this fall-themed food ac­tiv­ity, take the time to share with your kids some in­ter­est­ing facts about pil­grims: • The pil­grims sailed across the At­lantic Ocean to reach

North Amer­ica. They sailed on a ship named the Mayflower. • The pil­grims came to Amer­ica to avoid the re­li­gious rules im­posed by Eng­land. • The Wam­panoag In­di­ans were the peo­ple who taught the pil­grims how to get the land ready for plant­ing.

• The pil­grim leader, Gov. Wil­liam Brad­ford, had or­ga­nized the first Thanks­giv­ing feast in the year 1621, in Mas­sachusetts.

• The first Thanks­giv­ing cel­e­bra­tion

lasted three days.

IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

1 cup vanilla frost­ing 7 drops yel­low or or­ange food col­or­ing 32 minia­ture peanut but­ter cups 1 pack­age fudge-striped cook­ies 32 pieces or­ange mini Chi­clets gum (op­tional)

DI­REC­TIONS

Mix the food col­or­ing into frost­ing to cre­ate an or­ange or yel­low color. Hold­ing the bot­tom of a peanut but­ter cup, dip top of cup in frost­ing. Place cook­ies up­side down, so cho­co­late side is facing up. Place the peanut but­ter cup over cen­ter hole on the bot­tom of cookie, form­ing the hat­band. Add a buckle by pip­ing a small square with the ic­ing or plac­ing a piece of the Chi­clets gum in the cen­ter.

Th­ese are the per­fect fall snack or school party treat! You can even use th­ese as cup­cake top­pers for a fes­tive dessert ta­ble!

For more fall food crafts to do with your kids this sea­son, visit toti.com.

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