Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark (5)

You can make this classic holiday treat vegan thanks to white chocolate chips from companies like Pascha Organic. Look for white chocolate at health stores or online at veganessentials.com.

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The recipe has lots of kid-friendly steps (including a chance to eat extra candy canes as we worked!) so I had two happy elves in the kitchen.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups non-dairy chocolate chips
  • 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups non-dairy white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 3 candy canes
  1. Combine the chocolate chips and 1/2 teaspoon oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at 20 second intervals until melted, stirring each time. Pour the chocolate mixture into a 13×9-inch baking dish lined with foil, spreading to the edges with a spatula.
  2. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, until set. Meanwhile, combine the white chocolate chips and remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil in a bowl and microwave at 20 second intervals, until melted. Stir the peppermint extract into the white chocolate and pour over the chilled chocolate layer.
  3. Place the candy canes in a zip-top plastic bag and seal. Use a mallet to crush, then sprinkle evenly over the white chocolate layer.
  4. Refrigerate at least 1 hour, until firm, then break into pieces.

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Tape Resist Candy Cane Painting

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Tape resist is a great art method for toddlers because they get to make a mess but still wind up with a recognizable image or picture. This candy cane version is just right around the holidays!

I first placed horizontal strips of masking tape on white construction paper, then squirted generous blobs of red fingerpaint all over it. I was glad we did this in a craft tray, because it definitely got messy.

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All Veronika had to do now was smear! She quickly decided she wanted to use yellow paint instead, so I let her play with that on the side and finished off the red version, making sure to wipe off excess paint.

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Immediately peel off the strips of tape, then let the paint dry completely. “Look what I made!” Veronika proudly said when she spotted it drying on the table.

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Once dry, I cut the paper into candy cane shapes and glued them against a green paper backdrop. You can hang these from a door if you attach a loop of ribbon, or simply tape to a wall as holiday decor.

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No one will believe your toddler can make such straight lines, but they can!

Wrapping Paper Stocking

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As you wrap gifts this holiday season, no doubt you’ll end up with just as many scraps and small bits of wrapping paper as I do. So after some early gift wrapping today, I gave Veronika the leftovers!

She loved looking at all the different patterns before we even started crafting with them, particularly seeing images of Santa Claus and Christmas trees.

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I then gave her a glue stick to smear all over a piece of green construction paper and showed her how to add the scraps of wrapping paper any which way.

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I made sure to leave a little space blank at the top, but other than that, all the placement was up to her!

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Once the glue dried, I cut out a simple Christmas stocking shape, and wrote her name at the top.

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This makes a great decoration to hang around the holidays and is great for early name recognition, too!

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