Wrap It Up

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If you’ve noticed that your toddler’s favorite part of opening presents is the wrapping paper itself, you’re not alone. Babies and toddlers love the feeling of paper, the crinkly sounds it makes, and of course just ripping things open. So keep up the fun with this quick game.

Use leftover wrapping paper to randomly wrap a few old toys. It’s not what’s inside that matters here, but the fun of getting to it!

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I selected a few of Veronika’s toys and wrapped them loosely, using just a little tape on each. You can even leave a bit of the toy showing, since this helps your little one understand that there is a toy inside.

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At first Veronika was most interested in the roll of tape, which didn’t surprise me.

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Then I encouraged her to pull back sheets of the paper. She loved tearing at it, once she got the idea.

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Old toys seem new again, when they’re revealed like this! You could even turn this into a regular game if it ever seems like your toddler needs a refresher on fun around the house.

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For extra fun, we wadded up the wrapping paper once the gifts were open, and tossed these balls into a “basket”.

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The fun here is almost limitless!

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Crispy Potato Latkes

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This recipe from Travis’s Holiday Traditions Raddish Kids crate makes latkes that are cooked in the oven, not fried. Still, the recipe was a great deal oilier and saltier than we normally cook in our home, but as a special treat for the holiday, it was worth the indulgence. Travis loved all the steps involved to peel and grate the potatoes!

First, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 3 large potatoes and cook for 20 minutes.

Transfer the potatoes carefully to a large bowl filled with ice. Travis loved watching them cool, and heaping extra ice over them.

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The skins will begin to slip off as the potatoes cool. Use a peeler to carefully peel the rest of the way, then use the large holes of a box grater to shred the potatoes. Transfer to a large bowl.

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Add 2 Ener-G eggs, 1/2 cup flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, and 2 teaspoons salt to the shredded potato. Mix well.

Divide the mixture into 16 portions, about 1/4 cup each, and arrange on 2 baking sheets covered with greased foil (8 latkes per sheet). Coat the bottom of a measuring cup with cooking spray and press each portion into a circle.

Drizzle each baking sheet with 3 tablespoons canola oil and sprinkle each with 1/8 teaspoon salt. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes. Flip the latkes and bake an additional 10 minutes, until browned and crisp.

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We like these with non-dairy sour cream and applesauce. For the latter, use store-bought or cinnamon-laced homemade!

The recipe card featured a little background on traditional Hanukkah foods, as well as lots of suggestions for family traditions to uphold or begin. We know we love the following recommendations: checking out neighborhood holiday lights; reading holiday books; donating to charities; gifting baked goods to friends; and of course making holiday cookies!

Homemade Applesauce

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Sure, store-bought applesauce is super convenient. But there’s something so cozy about simmering a big pot of apples and cinnamon over the stove, making this recipe well worth your while!


  • 4 large apples
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Peel and core the apples, and cut into 1 inch chunks.Homemade Applesauce (1)
  2. Transfer the apples to a large pot, along with the water, lemon juice, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, until the apples are soft. Homemade Applesauce (2)
  4. Let the apple mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth.

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