Cooking with kids

apple recipes, chicka boom boom recipes, chicka boom boom activities, back to school ideas, recipes for september, recipes for kids, Welcome Back To School!

I know some of you have already started, but here in MI we start the Tuesday after Labor Day! 

A big theme for many teachers is APPLES so I want to center my "kids in the kitchen & classroom" around that delicious and healthy fruit this month.  Apples are also really big in this part of MI.

One of my favorite books to introduce the alphabet is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Story time is in the afternoon and is often followed by our snack, so sometimes it's fun if our snack also relates to what we are reading and/or studying.


Sometimes I'll ask several parents to supply the ingredients to a snack-activity so that my Y5's can make or create their snack.  Click on the link to view/print the Chicka Boom snack letters home.

alphabits cereal, Chicka boom boom activity, Chicka boom boom snack, back to school ideas, back to school snack, alphabet snack, alphabet activity, Making a Chicka Boom alphabet tree is a fun fine motor skill for your students.  I was hoping that all the letters of the alphabet were in a box of Alpha-Bits cereal, but to my dismay when I dumped out the box, I did not find a good enough representation of the alphabet to make it a worthwhile activity for my students to try and find the letters in their name. 

In fact, the letters G, J, M, S, U, & W were entirely missing from my box! 

Instead, give a cup of cereal to each child and have them pick out 8 letters.

Later, if you want, you can give your students a graphing sheet and have them sort and then count the letters in their cup and graph them, then make a class graph of the entire box.  Did you find any letters that were missing too?

Click on the link to print an Alpha-Bit letter graphing sheet.

You can also compare your results to mine if you want to do some more math extensions. Click on the link to view/print my results.'s Alpha-Bit graphing results

My husband came into the kitchen and wondered what on earth I was doing, as I had cereal spilled out all over the counter.  (Our puppy Chloe was anxious hoping for a mishap.) 

Alpha-Bits graphing letters, Chicka boom activity, back to school snack, back to school ideas, recipes for September, recipes for kids, When I told him I was sorting cereal, he then wondered if anyone besides me even cared?  I thought sorting, counting and then graphing letters in a box of Alpha-Bits was a great math extension; besides I really wanted to know if every letter of the alphabet was in the box.  (The answer could not be found online.)

As you can see by my photo the ratio of letters in the box is way off, and the largest plate is the one with broken letters.  Perhaps that's where the missing letters ended up. 

Could the Alpha-Bit missing letter mystery be because those letters are fragile and simply break up in the package?  This could make for a great discussion or writing prompt!  Anyway, my husband thinks I'm crazy.  Are there any other creatively crazy teachers with me?  I'd enjoy a comment or two for back up.

Chicka boom snack, back to school snack, back to school ideas, Alpha-Bits activity, Alpha-Bits graph, Chicka boom snack, back to school snack, Alpha-bits snack, Alpha-bits graph, Alphabet activity, Chicka boom activity, I made two different kinds of Chicka Boom trees.  One with chocolate wafer cookies (palm trunk) and raisins (coconuts) and one with pretzel rods and red grapes.

You can have both sets of ingredients available, and let your students decide which kind of tree to make, or simply pick just a few ingredients.  I find with my Y5's, that usually 1/2 of them do not like raisins. 

If you do opt for raisins, you may want to soak them in water the night before. It was my grandma's "secret" for making the best oatmeal raisin cookies, as the raisins turned out really moist, plump and juicy instead of dried out.

Ingredients & Directions:

  • Granny Smith apples. (Cut apple in 1/2 and then in 1/4ths.  One apple will be enough for 2 children's palm leaves. Each child needs 4 apple slices. 4 palm leaves.)
  • Large bunch of washed red grapes.  Each child will need 3 grapes for their coconuts.
  • Large box or bag of raisins.  Each child will need 9 plump raisins, 3 for each bunch of coconuts.
  • 1-2 bags of long pretzel rods (Chicka boom coconut tree trunk) depending on class size. (I use 2 for each student because they LOVE them, but you could cut it down to 1.)
  • 1-2 packages of chocolate wafer cookies depending on class size.  Each child will need 2 cookies for their Chicka boom coconut tree trunk. 
  • You could get a package of wafer cookies that has 1/2 chocolate and 1/2 vanilla and give your students a choice of flavors.  I find that my students will usually pick chocolate 3 to 1. 
  • I try to include giving a choice in as many activities as I can, because I believe it is a wonderful life-skill my little ones need to learn; however, I almost always limit it to only 2, at most 3 choices, otherwise things get overwhelming for them and they can't make a decision, or waste too much time.
  • 1 large box of Alpha-Bits cereal. Give each child a cup full so they can choose 8 letters to climb up the trunk.  This is a nice counting activity for them. They can simply eat the rest, or do the sort, count and graph activity above with them.
  • large paper plates
  • Children arrange their Chicka Boom edible alphabet tree on their plate and then eat it.

Munch and crunch away at your Chicka Boom alphabet tree today!

Remember to take some pictures so you can post them in your newsletter.

Chicka boom snack, chicka boom activity, september recipes, recipes for kids, Alpha-bits activity, alphabet activity, alphabet snack, Alphabet graph, Alpha-bits graphGrapple Juice: If you've never mixed grapefruit juice and apple juice, give it a whirl for a yummy and healthy fall drink.

  • 2 large apples (My personal favorite is Honeycrisp, but Gala is a close second, and then of course Granny Smith for it's sweet sourness.)
  • 1 grapefruit
How to Make
  1. Wash the fruit.
  2. Core and slice the apples to fit your juicer.
  3. Peel and slice the grapefruit.
  4. Juice and Enjoy.


Alpha-Bits recipe, Alpha-Bits graph, alphabet graph, back to school activity, chicka boom snack, chicka boom activity, september recipes, recipes for kids, Grama Lydia's Apple Crisp and Ice Cream

My sister and I were allergic to so many things that my grama was constantly trying to dream up things my twin and I could have as a dessert. 

Here's a delicious one that tastes wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  Drizzle some caramel on the top for an extra special treat.  The cinnamon baking in the oven makes the entire kitchen smell yummy, and is one of my favorite fall fragrances to this day!


  • 2 large Honeycrisp or Gala apples, peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/3 Cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 Cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 Cup butter or margarine
  • 1/3 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Vanilla ice cream
  • Caramel sauce
  • Prepare apples by peeling, coring and slicing.
  • Place in bottom of a small casserole dish.
  • Add oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and butter in a medium-size mixing bowl

  • Mix together until crumbly. Break up any clumps.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.
  • Serve hot out of the oven in small bowls with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
  • Drizzle with caramel sauce. MMM MMM delicious!

apple smiles with marshmallow teeth, september recipes, recipes for kids, chicka boom recipes, back to school snacks, back to school recipes, fun recipes for kids to make,


Apple Smiles With Marshmallow Teeth:



  • White mini marshmallows
  • Cream cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • Caramel sauce
  • Red apples
  • Plastic knives
  • Small paper plates


  • Cut a red apple in half, then in 1/4th's then into 1/8th's.
  • Each child needs 2 pieces. (1 apple will make enough slices for 8 children.)
  • These become the 2 lips.
  • Give each child a small paper plate, a plastic knife, and a dollop of "glue" (either peanut butter, cream cheese or caramel sauce.)
  • I used caramel sauce in the photo.
  • Children could also have one side where they use one of the spreads, and the other half where they use the other kind of spread.
  • Spread "glue" with a plastic knife.
  • Place mini white marshmallows on top of the "glue" on the bottom slice so they look like teeth.

  • Spread "glue" on the remaining slice.
  • Gently press this top slice on the top of the bottom "tooth" slice so the "mouth" is now shut.
  • Carefully eat.  Mmmm Mmmm delicious!

cinnamon_apple_rings, back to school recipes, september recipes, recipes for kids, apple smiles, Chicka boom recipes, Cinnamon Apple Rings:

For a yummy cinnamon apple recipe and adorable smile poem to go with it, click on the link. She made these for Valentine's Day, but I think her heart border still works for anytime.

I hope you enjoy these activities with your children/students.  Remember... "An apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

because they are such a healthy snack,

so eat up, and welcome back! 

Until next time...bon appetit!
Fun Recipes For August and...

PBJ apple cookie cutter sandwich, special treats for the first day of school, ideas for back to school, recipes for back to schoolA Back-To-School-Lunch Surprise:

This is for all the moms, who are like me, who have to make that first–day-of-school lunch special. I enjoyed tucking in little "I Love You!" or "Have a nice day!" notes or some sort of treat in my children's lunch bags when they were little. Here’s an adorable PBJ sandwich that was cut out from an apple cookie cutter!  Too cute!  The template for the sweet bag can be found at Family FunClick on the link.


Sugar Free Jell-O recipe, easy summer dessert recipe, great summer dessert recipe, back to school recipes, 7-Up recipesKelli’s Cherry Smash

My daughter brought this to our family potluck and it was a “smash” hit.

Kelli doesn’t claim to be a cook, so when something turns out it’s a big deal!


  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 ¼ cups DIET 7 Up
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 2 small boxes of SUGAR –FREE cherry Jell-O

sugar free Jell-O recipes, 7-Up recipes, great summer recipes, children's recipes, back to school recipes, great summer dessert recipes, easy summer dessert recipes, cooking with kids recipesOptional:

  • Cool Whip
  • Maraschino cherries


  1. Follow the normal directions on the Jell-O box with the above ingredients.
  2. Add the 7-Up to the dissolved Jell-O
  3. Then add the pie filling.
  4. Blend and pour into a greased 8x8 glass dish.
  5. Chill in fridge ‘til set.
  6. Cut into squares
  7. Yummy dessert for summer.
  8. Can add a dollop of cool whip and a maraschino cherry to the top if you want a bit of pizzazz.


fruit salad, back to school ideas, back to school snack, ideas for snacks for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, behavior modification technique, recipes for children, summer recipes for kidsBack-To-School

First-Day Friendship Fruit Salad

Make this for the first day or during the first week of school when you are teaching your students about rules, manners, sharing etc.


  • Fresh fruit: My personal favorites:
  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Watermelon
  • Honey Dew Melon
  • Grapes (red &/or green)

  • How much is determined by the size of your class and how much you want to give them.
  • I cut everything up into small bite-size squares and make sure everyone has at least one of everything.  
  • Children love fruit and this is a very healthy and refreshing snack for them.
  • If this is not in your budget, have parents sign up at open house to bring an ingredient and explain what you'll be doing.  They'll love the idea.
  • Click on the link to view/print some notes.  Friendship Fruit Salad

rotten apple behavior modification, friendship fruit salad, ideas for the first day of school, back to school ideas, recipes for kids, fun summer recipes, recipes for august, cooking with kidsPLUS…

  • Large bowl
  • Large spoon
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic spoons
  • And the star of the show: A very rotten apple.  I simply buy one 2 months before school starts and let it sit out. If yours is not getting rotten enough, leave it in a Baggie in the sun.


back to school ideas, first day of shool ideas, cooking with kids, ideas for snacks for the first day of school, ideas for snack for back to school, easy desserts, summer desserts, recipes for kidsHere’s a little scenario of how you can bring home good behavior by making this Friendship Fruit Salad:

  • Explain to the children that the fruit symbolizes all of the students.
  • The bowl symbolizes the classroom.
  • Add some fresh chunks of fruit.
  • These are the well-behaved children.
  • They follow the rules.
  • Does anyone remember our rules?
  • Call on children ‘til you have reviewed all of them.
  • Toss in another kind of fruit.
  • These are the children who share.
  • Who knows how to share? Raise your hand if you are kind and are good at sharing.
  • That’s wonderful.
  • Toss in another kind of fruit.
  • These are the children who say nice things and cooperate.
  • Who does that?
  • Toss in another kind of fruit.
  • These are the children who have a positive attitude and try their best.
  • Who’s going to do that?
  • Sprinkle on the blueberries.
  • This is the happiness we feel when everyone is nice, and obeys the rules so we can have fun, and play and learn.
  • behavior modification, classroom management, ideas for back to school, ideas for the first day of school, cooking with kids, recipes for children, desserts for summer, ideas for back to school lunches, Now pick up the rotten apple.
  • This is the student who does not obey the rules.
  • This is the student who does not share.
  • He doesn’t have any manners.
  • She causes trouble and hurts others.
  • Should we add it to our delicious salad?
  • Why?
  • Give students an opportunity to explain.
  • back to school ideas, friendship salad, behavior modification, classroom management tips, ideas for the first day of school, cooking with kids, recipes for kids, summer desserts,Summarize:
  • One rotten apple really can spoil the whole bunch.
  • Should we throw this rotten apple away for good and promise not ever to be a rotten apple?
  • Throw the apple away.
  • Have children raise their left hand and put their right hand over their heart.
  • “I promise not to have rotten apple behavior, because this class is filled with friendship and fun. Now it’s time for friendship fruit salad! Yum Yum!
I hope you have fun with these recipes!
Until next time...bon appetit!


ice_cream_sandwich, cooking with kids, fun recipes for summer

Ice Cream Sandwiches:

In this crisis-time economy and to try and make better nutritious snacks than the packaged kind offers, have fun making ice cream sandwiches with your kids. 

This is an especially cool activity for June. {Pun intended :-) }  

Oatmeal cookies work well, but you can pick a large sugar cookie too, and if your kids really love peanut butter go with peanut butter cookies.

Sam's Club also sells a nice variety of M&M "monster" cookies, chocolate chip, oatmeal  and peanut butter cookies together if you want to make an assortment. 


  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt (Lowfat if you want to be heart-healthy).
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 8 large round cookies
  1. Soften the yogurt and mix with the peanut butter.
  2. Freeze until firm.
  3. Spread on 4 of the cookies.
  4. Put other 4 cookies on the top to make a sandwich.
  5. Put each one into a Ziploc freezer Baggie.


cantaloupe, frozen fruit pops, fun recipes for the summer, cooking with kidsFrozen Fruit Pops:

Quench your kids thirst in a fruity fun way by giving them chunks of frozen fruit on mini-Popsicle sticks.  You can buy a package of 100 at most craft and Dollar Stores.

Buy a watermelon, honeydew melon and/or cantaloupe and cut up nice size chunks of fruit.  Insert a mini-Popsicle stick.

Lay the fruit on a sheet of wax paper that's been put on a paper plate. Cover with freezer wrap and pop into the freezer. Freeze 'til firm; a frozen fruity - sweet treat so good for them to eat!

banana_blast, cooking with kids, fun recipes for kids for the summerBanana Blast:


  • 6 bananas
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 1 drop of vanilla extract


  1. Peel bananas
  2. Wrap in freezer wrap and freeze until firm.
  3. Cut in half and put in blender.
  4. Add milk and vanilla and blend until creamy.
  5. Serve in ice cream dishes, custard cups or small bowls with spoons.


shrimp_salad, cooking with kids, fun recipes for the summer, Diane's Shrimp Salad:

I just finished whipping some together this week.  My husband and I love eating this salad during the spring and summer months.  

It's great for a quick lunch as an entire meal and fun to take to a pot luck or picnic.

This one is copyrighted so if you use it please give or Diane Henderson credit


  • 1bag of medium sized frozen cooked shrimp (30-40 in a bag).
  • 1 pkg of celery
  • 2 tbs parsley flakes
  • 2 tbs dried Ranch Dressing
  • 1/8th teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/8th teaspoon dill
  • 1 tbs caraway seeds
  • 2-3 tbs Helman's real mayo ( You can add more if you like it creamier.  We are trying to cut calories. )
  • 1/2 teaspoon creamed horseradish if you like some kick.
  • 1 can of large black pitted olives
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 sunflower seeds


  1. Wash hands.
  2. Wash and thaw out the shrimp.
  3. Cut the shrimp into 1/3rds.
  4. Put in a large bowl.
  5. Sprinkle the dry Ranch dressing on the shrimp and blend with your fingers.
  6. Add the celery seed, caraway seeds, dill and parsley flakes.
  7. Add the mayo and horseradish. 
  8. Add the sunflower seeds. 
  9. Wash and dice up the stalks of celery.  ( I like to cut a stalk length wise and then dice so that the pieces are smaller.)
  10. Add to the bowl. 
  11. Drain olives. 
  12. Slice into 1/3rds. 
  13. Add to the bowl.
  14. Add the carrots
  15. Stir 'til blended well. 
  16. Chill in fridge.
  17. Serve in small bowls.
I usually make a double batch and use two bags of shrimp.  We LOVE LOVE LOVE eating this all summer.  Adjust seasonings and mayo to your taste buds.  Enjoy!

beach party for end of the school year, fun school snacks for the end of the year, cooking with kids, fun recipes for kids for the summerIf you're eating this as a meal it's nice to have some Rye Crisp crackers with it. Yummy!

For a few more fun ideas be sure and check out the cute Beach Party snacks that Katja from the Netherlands sent in that were posted on the main blog! Click on the link to go there.

Whatever you're whipping up with your wee ones this June I hope it is summer-super cool!

As always, I'd enjoy hearing from you!  and if you use our recipes please be considerate and link to our page. Thanks!

February is all about sweethearts and sweet treats, and lip-smacking delights! I've got some crazy concoctions for you to whip up with your little ones, that will have their sweet tooth more than satisfied.  

lollipop fizzy treat science experiment, February recipes for kids 

Fizzy Sweet Treat: A Science Lesson For Young Students

Toss some "fizzies" in a plastic bag and dip a cherry or strawberry lollipop in it and you have one awesome treat for a little kid to experience.  I never really knew what was in my "Sweet Treats" as a child, nor why it sparkled and made my tongue all tingly, but it was great fun.  Your students/children can do this too and have a science lesson at the same time!

The basis of the sweet treat is confectioners' sugar.  50g will make enough for about 6 children.  For that amount you will also need a scant teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda and citric acid.  You can buy the latter, in the form of white powder,  very cheaply, in small quantities, from the pharmacy.  Children will also enjoy having a lollipop to dip into the powdery confection.  I get the small "dum-dums" at The Dollar Store so that they don't last "forever". 




  • 50g icing sugar 
  • teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 
  • teaspoon citric acid 
  • lollipops

Directions: Mix all the powders together thoroughly.

Why does it fizz? It's a reaction between the citric acid (the same acid as in lemons) and the bicarbonate of soda, which is an alkali.  In this case the chemical reaction happens on your tongue, as the two dry ingredients mix with water (saliva) they create a gas in the form of lots of tiny little bubbles.  The bubbles provide the tingle in your mouth.  You are creating the same chemical reaction when you drop a bath fizzy bomb into your bath water.  The active dry ingredients-which again include bicarbonate of soda and citric acid-react when they meet the bath water.   Try doing this with vinegar as the liquid and get a real fizzy, bubbling result.  The reaction happens immediately because the vinegar is the liquid.  Combining vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is actually an old-fashioned cleaning recipe, used to help remove suborn stains in the kitchen,  I use this chemical reaction in September during my dinosaur unit and add red food coloring to the vinegar so that it looks like lava.  I put all these ingredients in my students' baby food-jar volcanoes and they have fun watching them erupt!  Keep your "Fizzy Sweet Treats" dry.  Store in little re-sealable plastic bags ready to dip your lollipop in,  or in a plastic food container.  You could also add some red Kool-Aid for a splash of color for Valentine's Day.  

February recipes for kids, kids in the kitchen, ice cream in a bag 


Shake It & Make It - Ice Cream In A Bag

If you've got a few minutes, you can make another Sweet Treat with your students and have more science fun in the classroom.


  • Tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons rock salt
  • 1 gallon-sized Ziplock baggie
  • 1 pint-sized Ziplock baggie
  • 1 bag of ice
  • plastic spoons
  • Optional: Red, Pink & White sprinkles


  • Fill the gallon-sized bag 1/2 full with ice. 
  • Add rock salt to the bag and seal.
  • Pour sugar, milk, and vanilla into the small baggie and seal.
  • Place the pint-sized bag into the large bag and seal.
  • Shake the bag for 5-7 minutes. 
  • I put on a zippy dance CD and my students "shake it up" and dance with their bags.
  • Take the small bag out of the large bag.
  • Open the small zip bag and enjoy your ice cream with a spoon!
  • Put the other students' small bags into the other large bags and repeat, 'til everyone has made a bag of ice cream. 
  • Because it's close to Valentine's Day when I'm doing this, I buy some sprinkles and we add this to our ice cream too. 


cinnamon heart ornaments, gifts for Valentines day, February recipes for kidsCinnamon Heart Ornaments:


  • ¾ cup cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon all spice
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 ½ tablespoons white glue
  • 1 drop cinnamon oil added to the white glue to make them really fragrant.


  • In a bowl, mix ¾ cup of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon all spice, and 1 tablespoon of nutmeg together. 
  • Slowly stir in 1 cup of applesauce. 
  • Pour in 1½ tablespoons of white glue. 
  • Mix well until mixture is stiff.
  • Pour the mixture onto some wax paper.
  • Press another sheet of wax paper over it and roll it out to ¼-inch thickness. 
  • Cut out hearts with a cookie cutter. 
  • (I use a mini copper heart cutter so that I can make more hearts with some to spare in case a child breaks one.  
  • How many you get out of a batch will entirely depend on how big your cookie cutter is. 
  • Use the scraps and roll out the "dough" to make more. 
  • Poke a hole near the top of each heart with a toothpick.  
  • If you are doing this with only one or two children, use a bigger heart cookie cutter, and poke a hole with a straw. 
  • Just an FYI don't do this on Valentine’s Day, because it takes about a week to dry (at room temperature).
  • When dry, string with a ribbon. These make wonderful Valentine's Day gifts and your home or classroom will smell absolutely fantastic while you're making them!  

strawberry chocolate swirl cupcakes, February recipes for kids, cooking with kids, kids recipesValentine Strawberry-Chocolate Swirl Half 'n Half's 

A room mommy brought these cupcakes in for her daughter's February birthday treat. She got the recipe from the Internet and shared it with me.  Makes 24 cupcakes


  • 1 package strawberry cake mix (plus ingredients on the box to prepare mix)
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup strawberry frosting
  • 1 cup chocolate frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease or use paper baking cups in a 24 muffin pan.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds. Let child stir, and microwave for 10 second intervals until melted.
  4. Prepare cake mix according to directions, letting your child help with each step depending on age and skill level. Separate half the batter in a different bowl. 
  5. Combine melted chocolate chips and cream cheese to one batter. 
  6. Beat with mixer at medium speed until blended.
  7. Using chocolate batter first, spoon chocolate and strawberry batter’s side by side in muffin cups about two-thirds full.
  8. Bake for 16 minutes or until tooth pick that you insert, comes out clean. 
  9. Cool cupcakes in pan for 10 minutes before placing them individually on wire wracks to cool completely.
  10. Let your child pick which frosting he wants to be in charge of . They spread the frosting on one half of each cupcake. 
  11. You spread the opposite frosting on the other half.
  12. If you want to get fancy, take a Popsicle stick and swirl the center, making a little peak in the middle. 

I hope you enjoy these sweet treats with your little sweeties!  

May you have a love-filled February! 

Christmas tree cone, December recipes for kids, Christmas tree cone cookieLet’s trim the Christmas Cone! This is relatively inexpensive so that you could do it with your students at your Christmas party for a fun snack that they would create. Or do it during your Christmas Tree theme day.


  • Sugar cones
  • Green frosting (I bought a pre-colored tube. You could buy a can of white frosting and then color it with green food coloring.
  • Green food coloring
  • Sprinkles, I used two different kinds. (You could also use red hots)
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Waxed paper


  • Make sure everyone has washed their hands.
  • Give each child a sheet of waxed paper to place their cone on.
  • Give each child a dollop of frosting, Popsicle stick and cone.
  • Children frost their cone with the Popsicle stick.
  • Give them some sprinkles, or red hots.
  • Children decorate their tree by pushing the red hots into the frosting.
  • If they are using little sprinkles they can roll their tree onto them.
  • When they are done, take a group picture and then the children can eat their trees.

Reindeer_snack_cracker, Rudolph the reindeer snack cracker, December recipes for kidsRudolf the Snack Cracker Reindeer

You can keep this simple, or make it an even heartier snack by adding cheese spread between two crackers.  Because I want to do this with my entire class I omit the cheese.


  • Oval Crackers (I used Keebler's Town House Flip-Sides pretzel cheddar crackers.)
  • Optional: Cheese spread (Put some on one cracker and then add a cracker to the top.)
  • Chocolate frosting (I used a tube because you don’t need that much. Just enough to act as a “glue” to stick the eyes and nose on Rudolph.)
  • Toothpicks
  • Red gumdrops or red M&M’s or Skittles for Rudolph’s nose (I used a gumdrop.)
  • 2 raisins or 2 chocolate chips (I used raisins, but I think children prefer chocolate chips.)
  • 2 pretzels (antlers)
  • Wax paper


  • Make sure everyone has washed their hands.
  • Give each child a sheet of wax paper to work on + their ingredients.
  • Children put a little frosting on their tooth pick and spread it on their gumdrop and then “glue” it to the bottom of their cracker so that Rudolph has a nose.
  • Students add some frosting to each raisin eye and then “glue” them to the top of the cracker.
  • Children spread some frosting on the bottom of their pretzels and put them on the back of their cracker so that Rudolph has antlers.
  • When they are done take a group photo and then children eat their reindeer.

cookieChristmas Cookie

Every year my Y5’s make a Classroom Cook Book and give it to their mommies for Mother’s Day.  I often thought it would be fun to make a Cookie Cook Book for Christmas.  I had one mom submit her “grannie’s” “Red & White Chocolate Drop” cookie recipe from Ocean Spray®, also known as Oatmeal Cranberry White Chocolate Chunk Cookies They are 5-star delicious!



  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 6-ounce package Ocean Spray® Craisins® original dried cranberries
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks or chips


  • Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat butter or margarine and sugar together in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs, mixing well.
  • Combine oats, flour, baking soda and salt in a separate mixing bowl.
  • Add to butter mixture in several additions, mixing well after each addition.
  • Stir in dried cranberries and white chocolate chunks.
  • Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Cool on wire rack.
  • Makes approximately 2 1/2 dozen cookies.

gingerbread cookie recipe, December recipes for kidsMy two favorite cookies to eat that my grama Lydia used to make were her oatmeal raisin cookies and her sugar cookies that we put our thumbs in and filled with a dollop of jelly.  During December tho' the most fun cookie we made were her gingerbreaad cookies.  She made them with black strap molasses which she believed was a cure-all for all sorts of ailments.  I don't think our cookies tasted all that fine because of all the gobbledy gook we loaded them with, but oh what fun we had making them, licking our frosting spoons and then decorating them.  I carried the tradition on with my children when they were really little, and plan to do it with my grandchildren too.  Click here for grandma Lydia's gingerbread recipe from my heart to yours.  There are two; one with molasses, and one without. Gingerbread Recipes


Gingerbread Play-dough Recipe: Now is a great time to mix up a batch of gingerbread play dough! Put it in your kitchen center or have a 15-minute whole-group gingerbread play dough center and give each child a cookie cutter and a small ball of gingerbread play dough to make their very own gingerbread play dough boy!  Click on the link for this delicious smelling recipe. This is a fun activity to do after you've read the story.   Gingerbread Play-dough recipe

Christmas Blessings Snack, December recipes for kidsChristmas Greetings-Christmas Blessings Snack


  • Bugles® brand corn snacks
  • Small pretzel twists
  • Chex Mix
  • Craisins
  • Peanuts/Cashews
  • Red and green M&Ms®
  • Hershey's® chocolate kisses


  • Use even amounts of all the ingredients.
  • Mix together in a large bowl.
  • Each ingredient in the snack symbolizes something associated with Christmas.

Bugles : Symbolize trumpets reminding us that the world is heralding the news that Jesus is born

Pretzels : Symbolize arms folded in prayer thanking God for the reason for the season; LOVE the greatest gift of all.

Chex Mix:  Symbolize a blanket of warmth, comfort and joy

Craisens : Symbolize the holly berries that decorate our homes

Peanuts or cashews: Symbolize the planting of seeds of thanksgiving and peace on Earth.

M&Ms:  Symbolize sweet Memories and the Magic of Christmas

Hershey Kisses: Symbolize the love of family and friends.

If you'd like to make this snack as a gift and put it in a tin along with a note, click on the link to print a copy.   

Christmas Blessings Snack Notehersey_kiss_mouse

To make this adorable Hershey Kiss Mouse click on the link. His tail is the stem from a cherry that's dipped in chocolate. His ears are almonds. MMMMM-MMMM delicious!


Cinnamon Ornaments  

Are something fun you can do with your entire class.  They make a nice gift that is relatively easy to make, incorporates math extensions, and is inexpensive.  If you had parents sign up at your Open House to bring things in when needed, draw from that list for your ingredients, or tie it in with your snack time and ask that parent to donate bulk size jars of applesauce.    A bonus of this activitiy is that  your room smells fantastic!

cinnamon ornaments, December recipes and crafts for kidsIngredients:

  • 1 cup cinnamon (The Dollar Store sells a large bottle. Wal-Mart has 2 for a dollar.)
  • 1 tablespoon cloves
  • 1 tablespoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons white glue
  • 3/4 cup applesauce (Let drain in a strainer for several hours)
  • Optional: cinnamon oil
  1. Mix cinnamon, cloves & nutmeg together
  2. Add applesauce & glue.
  3. Work mixture with hands until smooth and well mixed.
  4. Roll out to 1/4 inch thickness cut with cookies cutters. (I use small hearts )
  5. Use a coffee straw to make hole for hanging.
  6. Put on wire rack to dry at room temperature for several days.
  7. Turn twice daily so they don't curl.
  8. Use ribbon to hang.
  9. So they smell extra strong of cinnamon I spritz with cinnamon oil, and then let dry again.
  10. How many you get from one recipe depends on how big your cookie cutter is. 
  11. Wrap gently in tissue to send home.
  12. Remind students that they will break if they are not careful.


Well that's it for Dishin' Up With Diane for this month. I'd love to hear from you if you have a favorite December recipe or holiday tradition, or if you tried one of my recipes and had fun with it.  Drop me a line at   In the meantime, I hope you have a simply wonderful time with your kid in the kitchen!

gingerbread cookies, cooking with kids, December recipes for kids

You will LOVE LOVE LOVE these adorable "Kids In The Kitchen" fun activities this month  They are some of my favorite family traditions and recipes.  They also make a nice food-craft for your students if you're looking for something fun to include for your Thanksgiving Feast Day Celebrations at school, or just a nice treat for your children the day before the big holiday weekend to wish them a Happy Thanksgiving.

gumdrop_turkey, cooking with kids, Kids Thanksgiving recipesGrama Karis’ Gum Drop Apple Turkeys 

  • 5 tooth picks
  • 1 apple (body)
  • 10 multi-colored gumdrops (1 has to be red for the wattle.) (feathers)
  • 1 raisin (eyes)
  • 1 Hershey kiss (head)

Background: Every Thanksgiving the guys would go deer hunting and the women would putz in the kitchen getting dinner ready. One of the things we’d do with the children while we were “watching” the turkey was make these adorable Gumdrop Apple Turkeys. Grama Flohr would bring all the supplies and each child would design their own gumdrop feathers so they could have a darling turkey sitting next to their plate.  At about the time we were getting finished with our creations the men would come home all red-faced, orange-clad and exuberant with tales of a near miss or a bull’s eye. After they’d shower it was time to eat, drink and be merry around a very thankful table.  I sure miss Grama K and those special memories. I hope you can make a gumdrop turkey and start some memory making of your own. It’s a wonderful family tradition.


  • Put two gumdrops on a tooth pick and put it in the back of the apple.
  • I put 4 feathers on the turkey, but 5 also looks nice.
  • You can make each feather have the same color gumdrops or you can have different colored gumdrops on each feather as shown in the picture.
  • Put one gumdrop on a tooth pick (neck) + a Hershey kiss (head) and put this tooth pick on the front of the apple.
  • Cut a red gumdrop in half and stick it tot eh kiss.
  • Cut a raisin in half, and then in half again and stick these to the kiss for eyes.

Tootie_Frootie_apple Turkey cooking with kids, Thanksgiving recipes for kidsTootie Frootie Turkey 

  • If you’d like to make this affordable to do with your class, as well as a cool math extension, do it with cereal. Children can sort the Tootie Frootie’s and make their feathers and neck all one color, like mine in the photo, or they can make all sorts of color patterns AB ABC or even ABCDEF as there are 6 different colors of Tootie Frooties! Tootie Frooties are made by Malto Meal. They are only $1.99 a bag as opposed to a more expensive box of Fruit Loops.  Send a note home asking parents to have their child bring in an apple. You could also ask 3 parents to donate a bag of Hershey kisses, Tootie Frooties, and candy corn.

Ingredients for ONE turkey.

  • 6 tooth picks
  • 34 Tootie Frooties  (feathers & neck) (6 for each feather.)
  • 1 apple (body)
  • 1 raisin (or yellow frosting) (eyes)
  • 1 red jelly bean or gum drop (wattle)
  • 5 pieces of candy corn (To hold feathers on toothpicks)
  • 1 Hershey kiss. (head)
  • Optional: Yellow frosting in a tube (For eyes.)


  • Stick 6 toothpicks in the back of the turkey a Tootie Frootie space apart from each other.
  • Slide Tootie Frooties on the toothpicks.
  • You can sort them and put one color on each toothpick, or choose to make a pattern.
  • Put a toothpick in the front of the apple in the center.
  • Put 4 Tootie Frooties on this toothpick.
  • Slide a Hershey kiss on top of the Tootie Frooties.
  • Cut a red gumdrop or red jelly bean in half and stick it to the kiss.
  • Cut a raisin in half, and then in half again and stick these to the kiss for eyes.
  • Or, using a toothpick, dot on two eyes with yellow frosting.

Pilgrim Hat CookiesPilgrim Hat Cookie, cooking with kids, Thanksgiving recipes for kids

  • 1 Round cookie  ( I use the kind that are chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other and have frosting in the middle.)
  • 1 Large marshmallow
  • Chocolate frosting
  • 1 Cheerio or 1 yellow Tootie Frootie (buckle)
  • Popsicle sticks.


  • Frost the chocolate side of the cookie with the chocolate frosting. I have my students use Popsicle sticks.
  • Put some frosting on the bottom of the marshmallow.
  • Press it down on the frosted cookie.
  • Frost the marshmallow so it is completely covered.
  • Press a Cheerio or Tootie Frootie into the bottom center of the Pilgrim hat, so it looks like a buckle.

Cornucopia Thanksgiving Snack Mix:  Buy sugar cones (The kind you put ice cream in, and fill them with this mix. They make nice party favors at your Thanksgiving table, or you could ask several room moms to make them as a treat for your students.) I tie my cones with a sheer fall colored ribbon. You can buy a bolt for a Dollar at Michaels or JoAnn Fabrics. I put the mix in a baggie then rubber band it shut and tie with curling ribbon.

  • Sugar Cones
  • Pretzels
  • Candy corn
  • Chex Mix
  • Raisins
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Goldfish Crackers  
  • Reese’s Pieces

Candy_Corn_CookieDiane’s Indian Corn Cookies (My very own invention)  If you want to do these as a class snack activity, ask parents to send in the ingredients.


  • Cookies that are oval shaped. I used Keebler’s new Vienna Fingers. They are $2.99 for a package of 30.
  • Yellow frosting. $1.69 a can
  • A bag of Reese’s Pieces or Fall-colored M&M’s  $2.59 a bag (on sale)
  • A can of LaChoy rice noodles. $1.35 a can


  • Students spread frosting on cookie with a Popsicle stick.
  • Children press candy pieces into the frosting.  Each child needs 10 pieces. (5 different colors).
  • Students press rice noodles in the top to look like corn husks.

Turkey TreatsHershey_Kiss_Turkey_Cookie, candy corn turkey cookie, cooking with kids, Thanksgiving kids recipes, November treats for kids


  • 2 round cookies (I use cookies that are chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other and have frosting in the middle.) (I’ve also seen these done with Oreo cookies where they take them apart and use this frosting or Nila Wafer cookies.)
  • 1 malted milk ball (head)
  • 1 Rolo (body)
  • 5 pieces of Candy Corn (feathers)
  • 1 red jelly bean (wattle)
  • chocolate frosting
  • 1 raisin (beak)
  • Yellow frosting in a tube
  • Toothpick


  • Frost the bottom cookie, chocolate side up.
  • Press the Rolo into the frosting so that it is towards the front of the cookie.
  • Put a dab of frosting on top of the Rolo.
  • Press the malted milk ball onto the frosting so that it sits on top of the Rolo.
  • Cut the jelly bean in half and stick it to the malted milk ball.
  • Cut the raisin (beak) in half and stick it above the jelly bean. (wattle)
  • Using a toothpick dab on two yellow frosting eyes.
  • Frost the bottom of the second cookie.
  • Press the 5 candy corns on the outside edge of the cookie in a fan shape.
  • The candy corn should have the pointed end pointing down.
  • Press this cookie up against the Rolo and down into the frosted bottom cookie.
  • An easier version of this is to skip the Rolo and the malted milk ball and use a Hershey Kiss instead.  The Kiss is the head of the turkey.  I like this version better.

Background: When I was an aide helping teach 2nd grade at Grand View school in Grandville, a room mom, Sheila, made these for tour students as a pre-Thanksgiving treat.  They LOVED them!

Chocolate Pumpkin Guts   Sounds awful tastes yummy!

Ingredients:Chocolate Thanksgiving pumpkin guts cupcake, cooking with kids, kids thanksgiving recipes Filling:
• 8 oz. cream cheese
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup of sugar
• Orange food coloring
• 6 oz chocolate chips

• 3 cups of flour
• 2 cups of sugar
• 1/2 cup cocoa
• 2 tsp of baking soda
• 1/2 teasp salt
• 2 cups of water
• 1/2 cup +  2 tbs vegetable oil
• 2 teasp cider vinegar
• 2 teasp vanilla


Filling: Combine cream cheese, egg and sugar in a bowl.  Blend in orange food coloring.  Stir in choclate chips.  Set filling aside. 


Cupcakes: Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; set aside. I use a large bowl. Combine water, vegetable oil, vinegar and vanilla in another bowl.Combine both bowls and stir.Fill cupcake inner halves with batter, then place one teaspoon of the filling at center. As  the cupcakes bake the batter will rise to surround the filling..  Preheat the oven to 350º.Bake for about 25 minutes.The orange “pumpkin guts” should ooze from the center to the top of the cupcake making a nice orangey contrast against the brown chocolate. Mmmm mmm good. These colors look lovely on a fall table. Wilton has some great autumn cupcake papers with fall leaves on them, as well as Happy Thanksgiving picks to poke in the top. Too cute, and just the finishing touch!

Thanksgiving_treatsTurkey Hand Print Cookies

  • Pre-made sugar cookie dough ( I am not a baker so I need easy maintenance.)
  • Handprint cookie cutter
  • Chocolate frosting
  • 1 rolo for the head
  • 1 piece of candy corn for beak
  • 1 jelly bean or gumdrop cut in half for the wattle.
  • Raisin for eye or a dot of yellow frosting
  • Multi-colored sprinkles
  • raisins for tor the wing.


  • Roll sugar cookie dough out on floured surface.
  • Cut out cookies with the handprint cookie cutter.
  • Make sure you spread the fingers as they will rise and fuse together as mine did in the photo.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 350º for 8-10 minutes.
  • Let cool.
  • Children decorate with chocolate frosting.
  • Add a rolo for the head, a candy corn beak, and red jelly bean or gum drop for a wattle and a raisin cut in half for an eye.
  • Use colored sprinkles, or candy corn for the feathers.
  • Add raisins to make a wing. 
Click here to see bigger pictures in pdf form of the above photographs.

Turkey Leftovers: And if you're looking for something not quite so sweet, like what to do with the turkey left overs, these are somethings I do: Make panini’s on your George Foreman with the turkey leftovers. Add a slice of swiss cheese and their favorite "fixin's".  My husband and I love them; or put the meat in a soft shell taco, spread on some cream cheese and sliced olives and mmm mmm you have a yummy turkey wrap.  Or shred the turkey, add some barbecue sauce and serve on a croissant.  I’ve also diced up the turkey and made it into a quiche.

Or how about something to go with your turkey:

Sweet Potato Casserole With Marshmallows

This is my husband Daniel’s favorite. My daughter Kelli also requests that Mom Henderson bring it as her something to pass dish when we get together for the holiday.
• 1 (40 ounce) yams, drained (I cut them up.)
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 egg, beaten
• 4 tablespoons melted butter
• 1 (16 ounce) bag miniature marshmallows

  Directions:  .Heat oven to 350º Mash yams in a large bowl and add brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, egg, and melted butter. Mix well. Place 1/2 mixture in baking dish. Top with a layer of marshmallows, then add remaining mixture. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining marshmallows. Bake for another 10 minutes or until marshmallows are lightly browned.   Yummy!

Whatever you're makin' or bakin' in the kitchen with your kids, I hope it's turkey-riffic and that these ideas will give you some wonderful memories to keep you warm through the holiday! 

Happy November!