Holiday recipes often are passed on from family member to family member. We decided to do the same with our Kolcraft family. We hosted a holiday cookie exchange complete with cookies, cakes, hot chocolate, homemade apple cider and all sorts of delicious coffees.
Every bite was a delight to the taste-buds so we decided to not only share pictures from the event, but also a few recipes for you to try out with your family!
Butter Oatmeal Cookies
1 ¼ cups Flour
1 ½ cups Quick Oatmeal
1 cup Butter
¾ cup Sugar
Cream butter and sugar. Add flour and mix. Add oatmeal and mix well together. Make into small balls and press down with fork on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
Magic Raspberry Cookie Bars
2 cups Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ cup sugar
½ cup butter or margarine
1 can 14oz sweetened condensed milk
1 ¼ cups seedless red raspberry preserves
1 1/3 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar. Add margarine/butter. Toss until combined. Press onto bottom of 13x9x2 baking pan. Evenly drizzle sweetened condensed milk over crumbs. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Spoon preserves over top. Sprinkle with coconut and nuts. Bake at 350F for 25 to 30 minutes until light brown. Cool completely. Cut into bars. Yields 24.
Do you have a favorite cookie that you make at Holiday time?
Holiday time brings family, fun, food and some holiday hazards if you aren’t careful. A few tips to protect your baby from common holiday hazards.
- Those pretty trees with all their lights and shiny ornaments are eye catches for baby. She will want to pull up on the tree, grab the ornaments or lights which an lead to a toppled tree, burnt little hands (yes, those holiday lights get hot) or a fistful of ornament shrapnel. Be sure to supervise baby with extra care when she is around the tree.
- Who doesn’t love the beauty of candles and Menorahs? Be sure to set them up high even when they are not lit, because the wax can contain toxins that can be swallowed. Also remember to keep candy dishes and miniature nativity sets out of baby’s reach.
- All those bows and ribbons make gifts extra beautiful, but they can pose strangulation or choking hazards. Be sure to have a garbage bag nearby so you can throw away wrapping paper, bows and ribbons as soon as presents are opened.
What holiday safety tips do you have?
The holidays are a great time to have family date nights to see decorations, lights and more. Many cities have free events for people of all different cultures and faiths. We took a little tour around Chicago to find family date night events that were free. Here are some ideas for you to do in your city.
One of our favorite traditions in the Santa Express CTA. For the low price of a CTA fare (children ride free or reduced rate depending on age), you can hop aboard the Santa Express. Every car has an Elf who hands out candy canes, holiday music playing, holiday decorations and lights, special Santa seat coverings and Santa on his sleigh is hitched between cars. We Googled Santa trains and many cities have special Santa trains for families to ride.
Department stores have great decorations for the holidays. Macy’s and other department stores decorate their windows with a theme especially for children. If you have a Macy’s in your city, be sure to stop and write a letter to Santa (we did!) and watch the believe-o-meter rise!
Go for a family holiday scavenger hunt. Plan to go to a few department stores, the town square, etc. with a list of holiday themed items you need to find. You can just check them off the list or take a photo since you don’t want to take decorations from public places! The list of items to find can be: an elf, a snowman, Santa, a sparkly tree, a wooden soldier, etc. If your family is big enough you can divide into teams!
Google to see if different cultural centers or houses of worship will have special exhibits about their culture at holiday times. Learning how other people celebrate the holidays can help your children to appreciate other traditions as well as their own.
Pack some hot chocolate, pile into the car and put on some holiday music as you drive around the neighborhood and see the lights. If you Google “best places for lights in (insert name of your neighborhood)” you will find the hot spots for holiday lights in your neighborhood. You local holiday music radio station site will also have a calendar of holiday happenings in your town.
The options for a free family date night during the holidays are limitless. In the midst of all your holiday preparations, don’t forget to take the time to celebrate with family.
What inexpensive family holiday date night tips do you have?
It’s that time of year where we seem to be meeting ourselves coming and going. Holiday time is fun and magical, but it can also be very stressful. A few easy tips (or reminders) on keeping the holidays as stress-free as possible.
- Be realistic – No parent can do it all. We think that somehow we have to do every activity with our children while attending office parties, cooking every possible holiday dessert from scratch, wrapping presents and decking the halls with perfect boughs of holly. It’s ok not to do everything and honestly – most people won’t notice if you don’t do everything perfectly from scratch. If you are completely stressed, you won’t be able to be present to your children. Concentrate on a few things that are important to you and your family and let the rest go.
- Put on your kiddie googles – That’s right, see the holidays through your child’s eyes. You may want to hop from house to house and fit in as much as possible during the holidays, but that may be confusing to your children if you are changing homes late at night to go to the next party. It may be as simple as explaining to them why you are doing the activities you are doing or you may want to do something special as you travel from event to event such as let them pick out the holiday song you will sing, or perhpas cut down on how many events/parties you attend, etc.
- Explain, explain, explain – The holidays mean something different to every family. Be sure to explain to your children why your family celebrates the holidays. If the holidays are part of your religious tradition, explain the religious meaning to your children. If your holidays are about gathering to share love with family and friends, explain that to your children. Don’t rely on others to explain the meaning of the holidays to them.
Most of all have fun. The holidays don’t have to be perfect – they only need to be what you and your family want them to be.
What holiday stress-free tips do you have?
PS – Don’t forget our contest to win a humidifier from Crane Humidifiers! http://bit.ly/hLfHGM
Everyone gathers around the Thanksgiving table ready to eat a feast and your toddler couldn’t be less interested in all this rich “adult” food. Or even worse – the succulent dishes are filled with nuts, shellfish or other things your child can’t have. An easy solution that everyone will love is to create your own Kiddie Thanksgiving Buffet. (Make sure you set aside small servings before nuts and other ingredients your child might not eat are added to the dish.)
Set aside in smaller dishes some of the softer kid friendly food such as potatoes, dinner rolls, stuffing and vegetables. Your child will feel like she has her own special Thanksgiving feast Kiddie style! We love Dippy Cups for kid-friendly meals especially during the holidays.
What tips do you have for making your Thanksgiving more Toddler friendly?
While it may seem like we just finished Trick or Treating with our children, Thanksgiving really is next week! We wanted to share with you some recipes, crafts and activities that you can take to your own Thanksgiving family celebration.
- We love Jamie Oliver’s very tasty and healthy Thanksgiving recipes. We give the roast potatoes, parsnips and carrots 5 stars! Check it out on the Jamie Oliver website.
- Food Network has some great side dish recipes that we love. We highly recommend Alton’s Superstar Mac & Cheese.
- These DIY Turkey muffins are so fun for your kids and healthy too!
- How about a healthy fruit turkey for the table?
- One of our favorites for your leftover turkey that is sure to delight kids and adults alike - Turkey nuggets!
Activities & Crafts:
- Have your kids color their own Thanksgiving placements with these Thanksgiving printable pages! Disney also has some cute printable Thanksgiving pages here.
- How about having some family fun with Thanksgiving BINGO!
- A mosaic cornucopia will add a great splash of color to your Thanksgiving decor and show off your child’s artistic talent!
- These adorable place cards will definitely bring smiles to your Thanksgiving table.
- Need to work up to a dessert appetite after your big meal? Try one of these fun family Thanksgiving games!
No matter if you have 2 or 20 people at your table, your Thanksgiving can be memorable. We especially love the tradition of going around the table and each person saying one thing they are grateful for from the past year. What Thanksgiving traditions do you have to share?
We all remember the “hand turkey” that we made in school. This is a simple craft that is great to decorate your house with for Thanksgiving and we have given it a “new look” and have dubbed it the Hand Turkey Remix – gobble gobble.
All your child has to do is trace his hand on a piece of paper and color it in. (Smaller children may need you to trace their hands for them.)
- The thumb becomes the turkey’s head.
- Cut out a little yellow triangle for the turkey’s beak and glue it to the thumb.
- Add a little dot on the thumb for turkey’s eye
- Cut out little yellow feet and glue to the bottom of turkey (what is the bottom of the palm of the hand)
- The fun comes in when you decorate the turkey feathers (the other fingers) with creative texture. You can make texture with a variety of things around your house.
A few ideas for creative texture:
- Fruit Loops
- M & M’s
- Reese’s Pieces
- Colored Pasta
- Small Leaves
- Crayons, Markers or Non-Toxic Paint
Hand Turkey Remix Contest
We know that your child is a budding da Vinici and you want to show off their turkey art. We are having a contest to win a $20.00 gift certificate to your local grocery store to help a little with your Thanksgiving dinner!
All you have to do is post your child’s Hand Turkey Remix in our Magical Moments photo album and leave a comment on our blog of which turkey is your child’s creation (so we can contact you if you are the winner). The contest will end next Friday, November 19th at noon CST.
At Kolcraft we believe in working hard and playing hard so last Friday we celebrated Halloween Kolcraft style. Each department decorated and had yummy treats. From 11-1 everyone trick or treated at each others departments. We had a lot of fun interacting with each other and enjoyed some pretty amazing treats from homemade candy apples to chocolate and beyond!
We captured some photos to share with you!
We even had our very own scene from the Wizard of Oz!
Everyone received a special Kolcraft Trick or Treat bag (eco-friendly ones at that!)
Of course we had a Trick or Treat fashion statement…
Even our president, Tom Koltun, joined the fun!
We hope you all had a fun Halloween. We sure did. Now it’s back to creating great baby products for you.
Who says trick or treating is only for candy? At Kolcraft we are hosting a trick or treat for baby products on our website! By following the clues and “hunting” through our website for the Halloween icon embedded into a product image (be sure to look at all the images) you will find your way to winning one of the following baby products in fashionable Fierce orange!
How it works:
- Read the clues in this blog post
- Search for the icons on our website
- When you find the icons, send us an email at BabyMatters@kolcraft.com with the links where you found the icons
- You will automatically be entered to win one of our hauntingly fashionable baby products!
- Contest ends on Friday, October 29th at midnight CST
- You receive one entry for each icon you find. Winner will be chosen by random.org