Keep The Kids Busy Before The Christmas Holiday

Keep The Kids Busy Before The Christmas Holiday

Keep your kids busy in the days leading up to Christmas with great ideas and crafts from Recipe4Living.

It may be the most wonderful time of the year for your kids, but the holidays can be down right stressful. Between entertaining, shopping, cooking and cleaning you almost wish the kids would stay in school for two weeks. And the worst part is, you're supposed to be having fun and making memories that will last a lifetime. It's enough to make even the sanest parents despair. That's why at Recipe4Living we've put together some tips and fun things to do with your kids that will keep them busy and you from losing your mind.

One of the best ways to keep kids occupied during the days leading up to Christmas is to let them help decorate the cookies. Depending on the ages of your children you could even let them help prepare and bake them. A great kid-friendly cookie recipe is Sugar Cookies

This basic recipe is essential to have on hand with little kids. Decorating sugar cookies is the perfect solution to birthday parties, rainy days and much more!

1 C. margarine
1 C. vegetable oil
1 C. confectioners' sugar
1 C. white granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
4 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Decorating sugar, if desired

Cream together butter, oil, sugars and vanilla. Add eggs; beat until fluffy. Sift flour, salt, soda and cream of tartar together and add to creamed mixture. Beat until smooth. Make into balls and roll in plain or colored sugar. Place on un-greased cookie sheet and press with a glass dipped in sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

Yield: 100 cookies

Note: These cookies freeze well after baking

You can also make traditional Gingerbread Cookies and let the kids decorate them with easy to use items such as hard candies and sprinkles. They're an easy way to get into the holiday season: let the kids help with the cookie cutter and then decorate. They also make edible tree ornaments!

1 5.9-oz. pkg. butterscotch pudding mix
3/4 C. butter
3/4 C. firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
2 1/4 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbs. ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Cream pudding mix with butter and sugar; add egg, and blend well. Combine flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon; blend into pudding mixture. Chill dough for 1 hour or until firm. Roll dough on a floured board to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut with cookie cutter. Place on greased baking sheets; use a straw to make a hole in the top of the cookie for hanging on the tree, if desired. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Decorate if desired.

Nothing keeps kids busier than making play dough ornaments so go ahead and make a bunch of colorful dough and let the kids make a Crèche, ornaments, and even gifts for the grandparents. Your children will love to make things with this and you will too!

Play Dough

2 1/2 C. flour
1 Tbs. alum (a spice)
2 sm. pkgs. Kool-Aid (for color & smell)
1/2 C. salt
2 Tbs. oil
2 C. boiling water

Knead all ingredients together. Store in airtight container or zip lock bag.

More Play Dough Recipes

Play Dough
Homemade Playdough
Stove Top Play Dough

And if you just can't take another minute of SpongeBob and Club Penguin, you can always download fun activities crafts from a variety of sites such as Suite101, Activity Village and MomsInABlog. And don't forget to check out our articles on Cooking With Kids and Spending Some Quality Time With Your Kids In The Kitchen. Make this Christmas more fun and less work by utilizing one or all of these great ideas.

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