Rudolph Sandwiches

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We love watching classic Christmas movies, and what better to nibble on during a re-run of one of our perennial favorites, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer than little Rudolph sandwiches?

To assemble, cut bread slices into triangles and spread half of the slices with your sandwich filling of choice. We made one with peanut butter, one with agave nectar, and one with non-dairy cream cheese!

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Top with additional slices of bread. Add maraschino cherries for noses, raisins for eyes, and pretzel twists for antlers.

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The kids thought these were adorable, plus loved sitting together for the cartoon. All in all, this was a cozy pause on a winter afternoon.

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Crazy Bird Puppets

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If a cold winter afternoon is driving your kids a bit stir-crazy, then make crazy puppets with all that energy. Crazy bird puppets that is!

To start, paint paper plates with any colors your kids want. You’ll need two and half plates per bird, but we just went crazy (of course!) and painted more than we needed, ending up with about 7 or 8 plates.

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Veronika really wanted to help, too, and loved mixing colors and alternating between large- and small-bristled brushes.

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I needed some place to let all those plates dry. Ideally I would have had some place to hang them from clothespins, but I settled for laying them down on top of scrap paper in the bathtub. Once dry, we folded two plates in half and then stapled together. Place the half plate underneath the bottom one and staple on.

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Now, your hands can insert between the two full-sized plates so you can work the “beak” of the bird to make it look like he’s cackling and cawing and talking. Travis helped glue on feathers and pom poms for decoration, and then these birds looked even crazier.

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Put a sock on your wrist and you’ll even have the illusion of colorful neck feathers as you make the bird’s beak move.

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Here’s hoping you have a crazy good time with these puppets.

Candy-Less Canes

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Confession: we’ve probably eaten way too many sugary candy canes this holiday season. So it was time to put a healthier spin on this favorite holiday treat!

Over two afternoons, we had fun making faux candy canes with red-and-white foods. First up was a fruit version. I sliced strawberries and bananas and set them on a cutting board, then challenged Travis to arrange them like a candy cane (or as Veronika calls it, a “minty”).

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He quickly got the hang of it, and then both kids loved devouring this trompe l’oiel snack.

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Needless to say, the red stripes (a.k.a. strawberries) didn’t last long.

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The next day it was time for a savory spin on the treat! This time I set out piles of sliced tomato and vegan feta cheese. Travis again quickly figured out how to line them up like candy cane stripes.

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And the kids quickly polished it off for a snack! What foods would you use for a pretend candy cane? Please share in the comments!

Christmas Noisemaker

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I love Christmas music and have been introducing Veronika not just to the classic carols this holiday season but also to fun contemporary tunes (think: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree and Jingle Bell Rock). So of course she needed a Christmas instrument to shake along as we rocked (around the tree quite literally!).

An empty frozen juice can makes the perfect size shaker. We filled this was dried beans and a few jingle bells. Popped popcorn pieces would work, too!

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Seal the lid tightly. I used hot glue, but you can also secure with tape. We then covered with red felt and Veronika helped decorate it with Christmas-themed stickers.

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Time to shake!

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She loved prancing around with the shaker and drumming on drums as we put on our favorite Christmas tunes.

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We wish you merry music making!