The kids have been on Christmas holidays for fifteen days now. 21,600 minutes to be exact.
I estimate that they've been arguing for 19,600 of those minutes, accounting for the brief respite of sleep and yesterday morning when they were a bit cute for five minutes while the Big Sister read the Little Sister a story.
They move from room to room, leaving decimation in their paths. It's all I can do with my days to referee their arguments, keep up with feeding them and washing the endless stream of costume changes.
So while my Facebook feed is filled with Christmas craft, I cannot bring myself to contemplate adding any more mess to our already messy days. I do find myself in a conundrum though; the farm is too stinky at the moment* to demand they spend extended periods outside and I don't want them to develop American accents from too much time in front of the box.
This salt dough is great for moulding and won't leave your kitchen cupboards covered in stickiness. You do need to have the oven on for a few hours, so you may want to avoid this activity in the middle of the day. Get the recipe here.
'gingerbread' houses made with nice biscuits
Little kids have little comprehension of time. That's why they constantly ask "are we there yet?" and "are they ready yet?"
That's the beauty of this idea for Christmas cooking with kids - the baking step is removed. No mixing and waiting for the construction materials, just crack open a packet of nice biscuits, mix up your icing and Frosty's your uncle! Get the recipe from Kidspot here.
stained glass window biscuits
I'll be straight with you, there's a mess-risk with this recipe. That said, you can minimise the mayhem by making the dough while they're watching TV (or while they're asleep at night) and refridgerate it. Less arguments about who gets to add what and fewer ingredients tipped on the bench instead of in the bowl. Get the recipe here.
rice bubble Christmas trees
Make the trees, then let the kids go crazy decorating them. Get the recipe from the decorated cookie.
melted snowman biscuits
These melted snowman biscuits are a terrific bring-a-plate for kids Christmas parties. Stressed school holiday Mum hack: skip the making the biscuits and let the kids decorate a packet of arrowroot biscuits instead. Get the recipe from Be a Fun Mum.
If your kids are as hungry as mine on school holidays, you're likely finding yourself in the kitchen a dozen times a day, so a reindeer sandwich is an easy way to inject a bit of fun into a snack with minimum fuss. Get the recipe from And Everything Sweet here.
We've been making reindeer food since my genius day care mother first showed me the idea six years ago. The glitter in the reindeer food is scientifically proven** to assist Rudolph to navigate his way to the preferred landing spot at your place. The good news for school holiday sanity is there's just one bowl to wash up! Get the recipe here (and don't forget to stir in a Christmas wish while you're mixing!)
build a snowman pizza
Start dinner early and get the kids to make their own snowman pizza. Stressed mum bonus: kids are ten times more likely to eat a dinner they've made themselves without complaint***. Get the recipe here.
5 minute Christmas bauble biscuits
5 minutes? That kind of patience I can muster! Set the kids up to decorate these biscuits, have a cup of coffee and scroll through your facebook feed with zero Christmas craft guilt. Get the recipe from Bake Play Smile.
Christmas wreath meringues
This is another recipe you can bake ahead to avoid kids' short attention spans (and hot weather tempers). Whip up a meringue mix, pipe them into little circles and bake them while the kids catch back-to-back Paw Patrol episodes. After they've cooled let them ice them with melted white chocolate tinted with food dye and decorate with cashous. Get my no-fail meringue recipe here.
So there you have it, friends, eleven fun ideas for Christmas cooking with kids that shouldn't end in tears (yours or theirs!) If you're looking for more Christmas inspiration, be sure to grab a copy of my FREE 12 days of Christmas cookbook!
what are you cooking this Christmas?
* read: covered in poultry excrement
** the post contains no actual science
*** based on anecdotal evidence, n = 2