Snowman Stacking Cups

Snowman Stack (5)

There are so many uses for these easy little snowman figures, from competitive stacking games to imaginative play. All you need are 12 Styrofoam cups and you’re ready to go.

The game couldn’t be easier to set up. First, we cut circles from adhesive-back black felt for the eyes. Whoops – at this point they looked almost like ghosts. Wrong time of year!

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Orange carrot noses and little dotted mouths helped set things right. Now they looked like snowmen.

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For older kids, you can stage great stacking games to see which formations you can come up with…

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…or who can stack them the fastest. Travis had a hard time getting the snowmen into a pyramid, but he loved running the stopwatch and timing while I tried! Note of caution: static electricity can make things especially funny and interesting when it comes to stacking Styrofoam.

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After that we used our cups more as a playful prop. Travis set all the snowmen up for a picnic with a campfire.

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We decided snowmen would melt if they had a hot campfire, so made it out of… shredded coconut snow!

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Nothing wrong with stealing a nibble.

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Again, for Travis as a preschooler, stacking into complicated arrangements wasn’t interesting. He preferred to pile the snowmen atop one another into one big stack.

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But big kids (and moms and dads!) can heat up the snowman stacking competition to see who goes the fastest, or who comes up with the best stacking arrangement.

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What games will you play with your snowmen cups? Please share in the comments!

Molasses Muffins

Molasses Muffins (1)

I probably don’t need to sing the praises of molasses to most vegans – we’re all familiar with this powerhouse of B vitamins and iron. I try to keep molasses on hand – it’s great in smoothies! – but had just a little bit left in a jar that I wanted to use up. Enter this perfect little recipe that only yields a half dozen muffins. It’s exactly right for when you only have a little bit of an ingredient on hand or don’t need to feed a crowd!

Ingredients:

For the topping:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground ginger

For the muffins:

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 6 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  1. To prepare the topping, melt the butter and place in a large bowl. Add the remaining topping ingredients, combining with a fork; set aside.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the molasses, applesauce, and oil. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and ginger. Stir in 1/3 cup of the topping mixture, along with the molasses mixture, and the raisins, stirring just until combined.
  4. Divide the muffins evenly among 6 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with the remaining topping mixture.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes – a wooden pick inserted in the centers should come out clean. Cool on a wire rack, or serve warm.

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