DIY Cookie Exchange!! Free Printables & Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

DIY Cookie Exchange!! Free Printables & Caramel Cookie Bar Recipe

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone we turn our attention to the winter holidays. That means lots of cooking, baking, cleaning, decorating, and shopping going on.  Whether you are celebrating Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukka, or other winter holiday you’re probably wondering how you’re going to fit in all the seasonal activities.

One way to reduce your seasonal cookie baking is to have a cookie exchange and swap baked goods with friends and relatives.  I usually love to host an exchange, it’s a great excuse for a girls day or night out! But in these days of social distancing and limited contact hosting an exchange may not be possible. But that doesn’t mean friends and relatives can’t share the holiday baking load with a drop off cookie exchange.  It may take a bit more planning, but at least you’ll only have to bake one type of cookie and still have a variety to enjoy or gift over the holidays.

There’s really not much to having a Drop Off Cookie Exchange, just a bit of coordinating and if you’re really creative you can have a Zoom baking party! You know set a date and time when everyone involved can get together virtually while they bake, it might be fun!

Here’s a few tips to help you plan your Virtual Baking Party and Drop Off cookie exchange!

1.  Decide who you want to “invite”.

You may want to keep the party small and intimate to keep it manageable.  It’s probably not the right time to throw a zoom party with 50 of your friends and their families.

2.  Set your date and time.

Send out virtual invitations with the date, time, link to join, and ask guests to RSVP and tell you the type of cookie they plan to bake.   Knowing what type of cookie each guest plans to make will ensure that you have a variety of cookies. You can also ask each person

Ideally cookie swap invitations should be sent out a month before, but if you haven’t already done so, you should schedule it as soon as possible so guests can plan to attend. Everyone is busy during the holidays, if your guests are able to attend weekday events it may be easier to have your Baking Party during the week, otherwise you can schedule a weekend day at least a week before the holiday.

Before your Virtual Baking Party you’ll have to tell guests how many people will be participating and ask them to bake at least a half dozen cookies per guest.  The cookies must be packed separately for each participant, in many cases Ziplock bags will work.  They don’t need fancy packages because each participant may want to repack them with other cookies for gift giving.

3. Decorate the Kitchen.

Or which ever room you plan to be in during the Zoom Party.  Decorating the area you plan to be in sets a festive mood.  You might even want to have some cider or eggnog to sip on while you bake and chat.  Wearing something festive like a holiday apron adds a nice touch too!

4.  Bake your cookies and join your friends in a Zoom party.

You can make them well in advance and store baked cookies in the freezer, this way you can just chat with friends during the zoom party.  Or you can prepare the cookie dough in advance and just bake them during the party.

Cookie bars freeze and pack well as do chocolate chip, peanut butter, oatmeal, sugar, and snickerdoodles.  For a list of cookies that freeze well check out this article from aboutfood.com.
To learn how to freeze cookies click here!

5.  The star of the show are the cookies and the main event is the exchange.

Decide how you’re going to work the exchange during the party.  Will each person deliver a pack of cookies to each participant or would you prefer to set up a central pick up point where everyone can drop off and pick up cookies?  Decide on the date and time for the actual exchange and remember to practice social distancing and wear your mask.  We all want a safe and healthy holiday season!

Free Cookie Exchange Printables from How to Nest for Less

Caramel cookie bars are an excellent choice for a cookie exchange.  They’re simple to make and are really yummy.  You can dress them up for the holidays by adding sprinkles or other candies for a festive look.

Caramel Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Melted Butter

2 Cups Brown Sugar, packed

2 Eggs

2 Cups Flour

2 Tsp. Vanilla

2 Tsp. Baking Powder

1/4 Tsp Salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees

Spary a 9×13 pan with cooking spray

Mix dry ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine Sugar and Butter.

Add in eggs and vanilla.

Add in dry ingredients.

Mix until dough is well combined.

Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Let cool and cut into bars.

 

Rustic Cabin Thanksgiving Party

Rustic Cabin Thanksgiving Party

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

I hope you all have a splendid day!

I just love the acorns made out of doughnut holes, pretzels & sprinkles. How cute are the cornucopias and teepee’s made out of sugar cones, too! The whole party is simply darling!
 
“This was a Thanksgiving Party focused on ideas for the Kids’ table and entertainment.”
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Fun Thanksgiving Activities For Kids

Fun Thanksgiving Activities For Kids

These fun Thanksgiving activities for kids include crafts for 2 year olds, preschoolers and elementary aged children, Thanksgiving sensory bins, crafts, coloring pages, turkey themed ideas and more.

Thanksgiving is a holiday that may not get as much attention from kids. It is getting together with family to eat but also much more. There is meaning behind the food filled holiday and can be a fantastic focus for activities. I have included some of my favorite activities that I have found that center around Thanksgiving, turkeys, the may flower and being thankful. These Thanksgiving activities include science, sensory, gross motor, math, crafts and literacy. All are activities that kids will enjoy doing this Thanksgiving season!

 

 

THANKSGIVING ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS

Whether you are looking for thanksgiving activities for toddlers, preschoolers, kindergarten students or elementary kids.. this post has you covered!

 

 

Thanksgiving Activities For toddlers

 

Kids will love to watch corn dance. This is a simple science experiment that requires only a few supplies and won’t make too much of a mess!

Corn on the cob is from a plant and can do some magical things with time. This corn experiment looks so much fun to explore and observe!

The Mayflower is an important aspect of Thanksgiving that may easily get forgotten. This is a fantastic experiment and activity that can help you teach kids all about the Mayflower and it’s significance!

Cranberries are often served for Thanksgiving dinner and used as decorations during the Thanksgiving season. What is the big deal? Follow this experiment plan and explore all about cranberries!

Thanksgiving sensory bins

If your kids love slime, this pumpkin slime is a perfect sensory activity for anytime during Fall. It’s ooey gooey feeling plus the addition of pumpkin seeds makes it look even more festive!

Playdough is a classic sensory activity and a perfect base for creating fun Thanksgiving books . It’s a perfect holiday inspired invitation to create!

Sensory bins are a fabulous way to encourage sensory exploration for kids. This Thanksgiving bin is so colorful and could be a fabulous invitation for kids!

thanksgiving games for preschoolers

I love this Thanksgiving craftivity for so many reasons. It includes crafting, recycled materials, can be given as a gift and helps kids think and write about what they are thankful for!

Another craftivity that I am obsessed with is this Sight Word Turkey. If your kids are working on sight words, this turkey activity is excellent. Kids will have practice writing the sight words as well as participating in a Thanksgiving craft.

Emergent readers get so excited when they can create something and actually read it. These printable Thanksgiving books are perfect for your emergent reader to create and read!

Holidays, like Thanksgiving, are the perfect time to do a themed alphabet activity. An alphabet puzzle like Thanksgiving books is fun for kids and the theme may encourage ones who don’t necessarily find super interest in learning the alphabet!

Thanksgiving Activities For kindergarten

Ten Frame Counting Cards are perfect for little ones. These cards can help with number recognition and counting while still having a fun Thanksgiving theme.

Counting has never been so fun or incredibly easy as with this Feed The Turkey game. Little ones, and even big kids, will have so much fun with this activity that takes literally take minutes to make!

Math turned game with this fun Thanksgiving printables. These games will encourage children to practice simple subtraction and addition in a fun and engaging way.

A simple math activity that can be done literally anywhere. This math activity can help toddlers and preschoolers with simple counting.

Thanksgiving Activities For Kids: Science, Sensory, Gross Motor, Literacy, Math and Crafts.

 

I totally enjoy when crafts that my kids can make can be used over and over for years to come, just as these Turkey Leaf Luminaries. These would also make excellent gifts!

Wearable crafts are so much fun. Kids will love to make and wear this Thanksgiving books and how sweetly cute it is!

A super cute fantastic experiment using materials you may have around your house. Kids can customize their own turkey feathers to match their personality!

This fantastic experiment is one of the coolest because it is also edible. This would be fun to decorate, give to friends or neighbors or just make to eat!

printable thanksgiving crafts

 

I love these printable thank you cards!

These adorable place mats are perfect for Thanksgiving dinner prep or an activity that can be done while dinner is being prepared.

Using pattern blocks is not only an excellent math activity but perfect for strengthening fine motor skills. These Thanksgiving themed printable pattern block mats are so fun!

Tracing words is one of the first steps to help kids learn letter recognition, formation and handwriting. Print these Thanksgiving Word and Picture Tracing and help your kids with their prewriting skills!

Most kids love spending time with I Spy games. This Thanksgiving I Spy printable is perfect for Thanksgiving day!

thanksgiving crafts for preschoolers

 

Getting kids moving can sometimes be a challenge but not with games like this so fun Thanksgiving Charades game. Kids will have fun, get moving and it’s a free printable. Triple win!

Yoga is a fantastic exercise that can be done with kids and parents. Thanksgiving Yoga Poses can help kids give thanks to nature while getting their bodies active.

Why do kids love going on ‘hunts’ so much? I am not sure but I know a ton of kids who would jump at the chance to Thanksgiving books !

Twister is such a fun game and so helpful for strengthening muscles, balance and more. This Thanksgiving books is perfect for Thanksgiving and really all of Fall!

Thanksgiving Activities For Kids: Science, Sensory, Gross Motor, Literacy, Math and Crafts.

 

I hope you enjoyed this round up of Thanksgiving Activities for kids! What are your favorite activities?

Spider Halloween Party for Kids

Spider Halloween Party for Kids

I put a spell on you... and now you must attend this spider halloween party! Download the free Hallween printables and set up a little party in minutes with these easy and fun ideas to host a Halloween party for kids.

Last year I collaborated with two local Minnesota party lovers, Sprinkles & Confetti and Legally Crafty to style a Kids Halloween play date and we’re back with more fun and easy Halloween ideas this year! 

We have a fun giveaway going on until October 5th, 2019. One lucky winner will win everything you need to throw this party at your own home! Keep reading for the details. 

Spider Halloween Party Theme

All my parties start with a general design direction and for this year we chose to stick to traditional colors of orange, black, and white. I love the pops of bright orange along the otherwise monochromatic color scheme. 

We thought spiders would be a fun theme and I was so excited when I found the cutest, silliest spider graphic. No scaries here for the littles. 

I set right to work creating a fun set of Halloween party printables and it’s your lucky day as I’m sharing them with you for free!

Free Halloween Printables

Spiders are easy decor pieces to implement around this time of year. You can find spiders everywhere! I found a ton of awesome ones in our color scheme at the Dollar Tree and these itty bitty totally realistic ones at Amazon.

My kids loved them all and I’m certain I will be finding these spiders all over my house for months to come! Eek! 

Halloween Party Treats

We set out a treats buffet on my large kitchen island because what’s Halloween without a little sugar! We kept it simple with some popcorn, cake, cookies, and halloween-themed chocolate covered pretzel rods.

Halloween Party Ideas

Throw in some m&ms on top of the popcorn for a festive sweet and savory mix. Don’t forget to serve it up in spiderweb bowl. Our little friend the skeleton sure was enjoying it! 

Spider Halloween Party cake and popcorn

Free halloween printable sign

For the cake, we went with a simple spiderweb design and added in some of the Amazon spiders to it. This is a grocery store bakery cake that we had custom made and it turned out amazing! There’s no need to spend a fortune on the treats. 

spider cake for Halloween

Custom sugar cookies are always delightful and these were no exception. The details on these are amazing — I love how Lisa recreated the favor tags on these cookies. and they were a huge hit with the kids (scroll for pics of my sweet guys enjoying their treats).

If you are local to the Minneapolis, Minnesota area you have to check out Cookies And More By Lisa

Halloween sugar cookies

kid enjoying Halloween sugar cookie

smiling child with Halloween sugar cookie

We put together the cutest Halloween Charcuterie board for our party with sweet and savory treats. Start with some cheese puff balls and Oreos, and then add in some gummy worms, white chocolate Reese’s, gummy eyeballs, jelly beans, and candy corn. So yummy!

Halloween charcuterie board

You’ll want to serve your little ghouls something to wash it down. These orange drinks bring a pop of a color and the kids will get a kick out of drinking Spider Venom and Bat Brew.

I love how printables can dress up a simple drink and bring the theme into the food and beverage selections.

free halloween drink wraps

Halloween Kid’s Party Table

Set a party table for the kids to sit down and enjoy their treats. This table was a breeze to put together with Halloween party supplies from Sprinkles & Confetti. We started with a white tablecloth and a fun spider web table runner, a dollar spot find from years past. 

Halloween Party Table

Halloween party table ideas

You can use a manual balloon pump to blow up a few balloons for a fun centerpiece. We placed a sign and a couple of spiders to complete the look. 

Halloween table centerpieceHalloween table centerpiece and free printable sign

Each place setting had a custom placemat (which was actually created for a ladies night in but works perfect for the kids table too). A set of these can be printed at Staples for less than $5.

Add in some layered dinner and dessert plates, a drink cup, and a napkin. We tucked a handful of forks in a ghost mason jar that made it easy for the kids to grab one.

Halloween place setting

For a little extra decor, we inflated a huge Halloween balloon that floated in the corner. 

Spider Halloween party table

Spider Halloween Mantel Home Decor

We thought it would be fun to decorate another spot in my home and the great room leads right into the kitchen, which is the perfect spot to play and then enjoy some treats. 

The mantel is ready for halloween with a fun printable banner. I added a couple of tissue tassels to each side to give it a finished look. You can either buy these pre-made or make them yourself. 

Halloween mantel decoration

Legally Crafty created a fantastic DIY spider web, the focal point for our display. Add in some other Halloween decor items such as these Dollar Tree skulls on stands, pumpkins, and flowers in a vase and the look is complete.

Halloween spider web DIY

When it was time to say farewell, we sent our little boo crew home with some slime party favors. 

Free Halloween Printables - Kids Halloween Party Favors

Enter the Kids Halloween Giveaway

Ready for that giveaway? We want to make it easy for one lucky winner to be able to recreate this party.

One lucky winner will receive:  

  • Party Supplies for 12 from Sprinkles & Confetti
  • $25 Gift Card to Target (to buy treats or craft supplies)
  • Some select ready-to-go printables
  • 2 spider web craft kits
  • Supplies to make spider ice cubes
  • Spider slime favors
  • and a special prize from Bump Club and Beyond

But wait… everyone’s a winner with Free Printables, which you can download at the bottom of this post by filling out the form to receive these in your inbox. 

Free Printables: Spider Halloween Party for Kids

This printable set is so easy to use for your own Halloween party and I’m excited to share them with you for free.

All you need to do is sign up for my email list in the form below and you’ll receive these in your inbox. You’ll also gain access to all of the free printables on my site via the Printable Library. 

Free Halloween Printables - Kids Spider Party

Here’s what’s included in this Spider Halloween Party Set:

▶︎ 8×10″ Sign
▶︎ (4) 4×6″ Signs
▶︎ Straw Flags
▶︎ 2.5×2.5″ Favor Tags in two designs
▶︎ “Trick or Treat” Banner
▶︎ Bottle Wraps

 

Mother’s Day Crafts Kids Can Make – FREE Printable

Mother’s Day Crafts Kids Can Make – FREE Printable

 Mother's Day Crafts

Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this year it’s Sunday, May 10th.  If you usually take mom out for brunch, lunch, or dinner I doubt it’s going to be the same this year.  Most of us are still quarantined, whether self imposed or mandated.  But really with the COVID-19 virus still running rampant and without a cure or vaccine in sight do you really want to risk mom’s health, and yours, by dining out?

So instead of going out how about giving mom a gift instead? And what better gift to give mom than something made lovingly for her. Here are some really unique ideas that kids can make with just a bit of help from dad, aunties, or older siblings.  Moms can make them too for grandmas, friends, and aunties!

And if  you’re like me and don’t really want to go out to shop for supplies there are some ideas here that you won’t need to.  I’m sure you have some of the supplies right at home, you’ve probably been using them to keep the kids occupied these last couple of months in quarantine.  If not, then just get creative and improvise! So go ahead, have fun and get the whole family involved!

 Mother's Day Crafts

This is one of my favorite gifts, my grandson Devon made it for me a few years ago.

His mom, my daughter, helped him make the hand print tree and write the poem.  She then had it framed and Devon presented it to me on Mother’s Day.  It proudly hangs in our family room.
 Mother's Day CraftsHere’s the poem, feel free to use it for your projects.

For FREE printable click here

 

 

 Mother's Day Crafts

This cute idea from Her Split Ends recycles baby food jars.

Learn how to make it here!

Give mom some of these yummy strawberry bath salts by Crafts Unleashed. And Cute Gifts for new moms.

Learn how to make it here!

 Mother's Day CraftsThe Keylor Family made this lovely framed silhouette.

Learn how here!

 

 

 

 

 

 Mother's Day Crafts

Cover terracotta flower posts with fabric.

Learn how from Shelterness.

 

 

 

 

 Mother's Day Crafts

Kids will love making these Chevron Stripe painted kitchen towels by B-Inspired Mama.

Click here to learn how.

 

 

 

Mother's Day CraftsLearn how to make this Mason Jar Picture Frame Vase from Home Stories A to Z click here!

 

 

 

 

Mother's Day Crafts

This cute planter recycles tuna cans decorated with clothespins.

Learn how to make it from Family Chic click here!

 

 

 

Mother's Day Crafts

A Boy His Sister make these super cute photo flower pots.

Learn how here!

 

 

 

 

 

Mother's Day Crafts

I love this idea of taking a picture in a frame, my daughter did this with her kids last fall!

This pic was done by Moose Photography, professional photographers and posted by Cool Mom Picks  But you can DIY it!
You’ll need the same frame in 3-4 sizes depending on how many generations you want to include.  Take a photo of the smallest member, the baby, frame that.  Take a photo of the next, mom, holding the framed picture of the baby, frame that.
Continue with each generation, grandma, great-grandma, etc.
Be sure the pictures are all taken using the same background.

 

Mother's Day CraftsThis is too cute!

This idea came from Tips from a Typical Mom.
Just take photos of your child in 5 different poses, each pose holding a letter to spell “Mommy”.  Mat and from the photos.  Easy peasy!  Great gift for Moms and Grandmas!

 

 

 

 

Mother's Day Crafts

These photo flowers in a card stand are adorable and easy to make.

Learn how from Better Homes and Gardens.

 

 

Mother's Day CraftsHere’s a unique way to use a picture frame from Making the World Cuter.

Not only is it cute, it will help organize mom’s bathroom or dresser.  Learn how to make it click here!

 

 

 

Mother's Day CraftsAny grandma would love this family tree by Homemade by Jill.

Learn how to make it click here!

 

 

 

Mother's Day CraftsEven young kids can make these hand dotted tumblers by Pop Sugar.

Learn how click here!

 

 

Mother's Day CraftsPhoto coaster also from Pop Sugar.

Learn how to make them click here!

Mother's Day CraftsKids will love to make these fizzy bath bombs and moms will love soaking in them!

Learn how to make them from Playdough to Plato.

Mother's Day CraftsSalt dough heart footprints by Roaming Rosie on Hub Pages are a cute idea.  Kids can help mix they dough!

Click here for instructions.

 

 

For more Mother’s Day craft ideas follow my boards on Pinterest.


Crafts & Supplies at joann.com!

15 Cheap Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

15 Cheap Thanksgiving Crafts for Kids

Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, that means the kids will be out of school for the very long weekend.  Keep them busy making fun inexpensive Thanksgiving crafts while you’re busy in the the kitchen preparing that delicious Thanksgiving Day meal.   You can also set a kids’ Thanksgiving table for your little guests and keep them entertained making their own craft projects to take home.

Many of these kid’s crafts are made using things you have at home or inexpensive supplies you can pick up at any discount or dollar store.  Recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls, paper plates, baby food jars, and bottle caps for these crafts.

Paper Roll Turkey from Arstsy-Farsty Mama is a great way to recycle toilet paper and paper towel rolls.

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

These Turkey Glitter Globes from ilovetocreate.com uses empty baby food jars.

Instructions here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

This Pilgrim Hat crayon holder by The Moody Fashionista would look great on the Kids’ Thanksgiving table.  Make one for each place setting and add a blank rectangular piece of brown Kraft paper.  Kids can make their own placemat!

Instructions here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Take a tip from Martha Stewart.  Kraft paper placemats on the children’s Thanksgiving table will keep your little guests entertained.  Add the Pilgrim Hat crayon holder and you’ve got a cute and practical table setting.  Kids can take home their crayons and palcemats as party favors!

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

Take a break from making turkeys and make a Paper Pumpkin from All Kids Network.  It uses toilet paper rolls, constructions paper, and tape.

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

I love this idea from Alittletipsy.com!  Handprint trees!  My grandson made me one for mother’s day using different colors.  My daughter added a poem and had it framed.  It proudly hangs in my family room!

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

A variation on the handprint trees are handprint turkeys!  This craft from Terrific Pre-school Years makes a turkey placemat.

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

More Turkeys!  Make a turkey hand puppet using a paper bag.  Great craft from Learn Create Love.

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

Another puppet craft from Crafty Morning recycles plastic water bottles.  This craft takes a bit more time as it needs time to dry.

Instructions here!  [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

 

Paper plate turkey from I Heart Crafty Things.  Easy, Fun, and Cheap!

Instructions here![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

Thanksgiving head gear!  Love these Pilgrim Hats from MPMK.  Grandparents can help kids make this!

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

 

Take the head gear one step up and make this Turkey Pilgrim headband by BigKLittleG. [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

Done with Turkeys?  How about this Native American Headdress by Ankle Biter Art.  Your little Pocahontas will live it!

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

 

 

Or forget Pilgrims and turkeys all together and make this Harvest Crown by Dana-Made-It.

Instructions here! [spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]

 

Gum drop turkey by Celeste Rockwood-Jones.  Yummy!

Instructions here!

For Easy Toddle Thanksgiving crafts click here!

For 12 FREE Thanksgiving printables click here!