Are your little ones seeking something to do come snack time? It's their favorite part of the day, so use their playfulness to your advantage by getting them off the couch and into the kitchen! Cooking and crafting complement each other like peanut butter and jelly, encouraging creativity while providing a fun way to enjoy nutritious nibbles. Try these innovative recipes with your household's younger members, and watch their faces light up.
Encourage kids to create an entire environment in a jar by pairing Jell-O with their favorite candies; all you'll need is mason jars, ready-made Jell-O, and an assortment of gummies. Pour rock candy on the bottom for an aquarium aesthetic, then top with blue Jell-O. Use an assortment of fruits, gummies, and powdered candy to bring these little oceans to life and encourage new colors, textures, and flavors that are exciting to eat. Encourage new adventures by moving to land, swapping out the blue Jell-O for green.
Bring dessert to life with these freakishly fun spiders. You'll need chocolate chip cookies, black and white frosting, pretzel sticks, and candy corn. Stick two cookies together with frosting to form a sandwich, then set it aside. Split four pretzel sticks into two to form the legs. Next, have kids slide the legs into the sandwich on either side. Use white frosting to draw eyes, then add black for the eyeballs. Slide two pieces of candy corn into the front of the sandwich to form "fangs," giving these cute cookies a frightening vibe. Give this snack a healthy angle with crackers and peanut butter.
The ideal hot cocoa companion, these tasty marshmallow men are appropriate any time of the year. Place three marshmallows, one on top of the other, onto an extra long toothpick. Pretzel sticks form arms and legs. Candy corn makes an adorable nose, while chocolate chips make the sweetest buttons and eyes. Kids can draw on outfits and additional features with frosting; have multiple colors on hand to encourage imagination.
Toothpicks and grapes can encourage a crafty afternoon among little ones, so give them the space to spread out. By connecting grapes to the toothpicks, they can design increasingly complex sculptures, from people and animals to homes and furniture. Eating as they go encourages healthy snacking, making this an activity they'll crave again.
This nourishing treat finally gives kids permission to play with their food. Cheese, crackers, black olives, and carrots are all you need to get started; slices of pepperoni or lunchmeat are optional. Build each chick's body using crackers and cheese cut into small circles with a cookie cutter. Next, cut each black olive in half to form the eyes. Cut the carrots into round pieces, using a small knife to cut out a notch for the feet; carrot strips can form the feathers on top. Let kids grab and go, creating their ideal cheese and cracker companions.
This crunchy delight will get them craving snack time in no time. Spread the valley of celery stalks with peanut butter, and add an assortment of fruits to form dainty critters. Grapes and berries can form the bodies of caterpillars, while apple and orange slices make bodies for snails; animal crackers and dried fruit are also delicious additions. Soon, they'll have a full zoo—and full tummies.
Simple yet satisfying, this classic treat is one your family's youngest members will love. All you need is Oreo cookies, frosting, and ring-shaped candies cut in half. Stack about six cookies, spreading frosting between them — any flavor will do! Attach an additional cookie to the front to form the head, using frosting to draw on the eyes. Add the ring candy halves to both sides for the legs, and your inchworm is ready for the races!
With its resemblance to the oh-so-adult dish, candy sushi is a delicious way to let your kids feel grown up. Roll gummy candies in Rice Krispies, pop a Swedish fish on top, then wrap the bundles with fruit rolls ups to seal the deal. For added elegance, introduce them to slick ingredients like coconut, crumbled nuts, and dried fruit.
Bring the spirit of spooky season home any time of year with this tasty favorite. Purchase mini, pre-made pizza crusts or bagels, and show kids how to sauce them up. Two olives make excellent eyes. Next, layer the sauced pizzas with mozzarella cheese, placing it in crisscrossed strips to form each mummy's "bandages." Add additional vegetables to spice up the mummies even more.
Who doesn't love chocolate? Insert a popsicle stick into the tip of a banana and dip it in a bowl of melted chocolate. Older kids might want to do the melting and dipping themselves, but for smaller ones, let them step in once the coating is in place. Kids can go grow crazy with sprinkles and frosting while the chocolate is still drying. Design more couture creations by adding food coloring to white chocolate; blue, pink, and green pops provide a rainbow of flavor.