Winter Craft Ideas
To celebrate the season, have your grandkids play with their food — and join in the fun with them. Make silly snowmen from almost anything you have in the cupboard. It doesn't take a crafting expert, just you, the kids, and a little imagination. Here are ten fun ideas the grandmothers at Grandparents.com came up with to create saucy snow figures.
Use a rice cake as a base. Then stick a bamboo skewer, with the point down, through the snowman and into the rice cake. This will make your snowman stable. Decorate the rice cake with coconut or icing to make it look snowy.
Snow Bee man
Little Debbie Snow Puffs snack cakes are the perfect foundation for this little snowman. Stack three horizontally on top of a rice cake base, then top with a standing (vertical) cake for the head. Run a bamboo skewer through the middle of the head and body and push the end into the rice cake. Use store-bought icing that dries hard, not gel or fluffy, to adhere the chocolate chips for the eyes, a candy corn for the nose, and a bit of carrot for the mouth. Felt wings and antennae made with toothpicks and mini marshmallows turn this snowman into a Snow Bee.
Bake two large Russet or Idaho potatoes. When the potatoes have cooled slightly, cut in half lengthwise; and scoop out the flesh. Add 1 tablespoon of sour cream to the potato flesh; mash. When cool enough for kids to handle, have them form the mashed potatoes into six snowballs. Place the features and buttons — bits of sweet pepper, slices of olives, curls of orange rind — on the snowballs. Allow to dry for half an hour. Flatten the bottom of the base snowball and skewer the three snowballs together to make your standing snowman. Snap a few photos of the kids with their two creations, and dig in!
Rice Cake Man
Four rice cakes make this simple snowman. First, lay three rice cakes flat, align them in a row, and push a long bamboo skewer through the middle of all three so they are joined lengthwise. Press the sharp end of the skewer into the middle of the flat side of the fourth rice cake, which will act as the base. Use store-bought icing that dries hard, not fluffy or gel kinds, to serve as glue to attach the features. We cut a little scarf from an old sock; fraying the edges makes a nice touch.
Stack three Hostess CupCakes — the yellow ones work great — to make this snowman. Place the first cupcake icing-side up on the rice-cake base. Place the next one on top, but on its side so the icing faces forward (with the white-icing swirl making a little belt). Delicately scrape the white frosting lines from the third cupcake and place it on its side on top, so the frosting face is facing front. Use a bamboo skewer to hold the pieces upright. Add eyes, a nose, and a mouth. We added arms of Piroulines, a twisted sugar cookie, and a stocking cap made from the toe of a small sock.
A simple way to make little snowmen is to skewer three big marshmallows onto a rice cake. Using this simple figure as your starting point, you can adorn it with features, and accessories, and make a snowy scene on the rice cake. Let your imagination guide you.
Fry or bake meatballs according to your favorite recipe. Have kids add features for the face and buttons when the meatballs are cool enough to handle. Apply a bit of cream cheese to help the features and buttons — bits of diced and sliced vegetables — stick. Place uncovered in refrigerator for an hour. Stack the two on a third meatball with bottom cut off to flatten. Insert skewer to hold together. Snap a photo of the kids with their creation; serve.
Rice Krispies man
Using your bare hands, ball up Rice Krispies treats, store-bought or your own, until you have three sizes you can use. Coat the balls with Marshmallow Fluff or white icing and coconut for a snowy look. Stack the three balls and skewer them together onto a rice cake base. Decorate.
Run a skewer through three navel oranges, making sure to position the middle orange so that the navel faces out (giving the snowman a cute little belly button). A rice-cake base is not needed for this one as long as you use an orange with a flat side. Add features by cutting into the skin or poking toothpicks through the skin.
Round, white onions are perfect for making adorable snowmen. But, beware! Poking through the skin will release pungent onion odor. (Make sure to tell kids not to touch their eyes when working with onions.) Employ these snowmen only for short-term displays, or place them far out of smelling range. If you use glue to add features or to hold the onions together, instead of puncturing them, they will last much longer.
Prepare sushi rice according to package directions. When cool enough for kids to handle, form the rice into snowballs. Refrigerate the snowballs for an hour. Place features for the face — either sweet or savory — on one snowball using store-bought frosting that dries hard for sweet and cream cheese for savory. Place buttons on a second. Stack the two on a third snowball with the bottom flattened. Insert a skewer to hold together.
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