A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: Christmas2020

Christmas Lights and Cocoa

The traditions continue as we enjoyed our annual night of viewing Christmas lights while sipping on hot cocoa and munching popcorn. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to watch our children carry on our family traditions with their loved ones.  Of course, that is what traditions are, right?

A few changes were made to this year’s Christmas light adventure. Normally the kids would grumble about any changes made to our family traditions. However, we all enjoyed these fun additions, so we didn’t hear those usual complaints. It all began with a hot cocoa snack board. We have always enjoyed cocoa while driving around looking at the festive lights, but this year, everyone got to create their own cocoa masterpiece.

This is so much fun to create and, of course, there are no rules!  When assembling your snack board, keep in mind that some goodies will be for the hot cocoa and some will just be for snacking.   This being the first year, I had a lot of fun assembling the goodies, but my mind is already swirling with different ideas for the next occasion.

Ideas for Creating Cocoa Snack Board ~

The other good thing to remember is that this just doesn’t have to be a Christmas thing!  We drink cocoa as many times as we can throughout the winter months.  This leaves more opportunities to have fun with this chocolate-filled idea!  As mentioned earlier, the goodies are endless that can be included in your setup.  Here are some fun ideas:

  1. Candy canes or peppermint sticks
  2. Crushed peppermint candies
  3. Marshmallows – plain, flavored or festive shaped
  4. M & Ms
  5. Malt Balls
  6. White mini Kit Kats
  7. Chocolate nonpareils
  8. Gingerbread cookies
  9. Graham Crackers
  10. Caramel candies
  11. White chocolate pretzel rods
  12. White chocolate chips
  13. Various candy Kisses
  14. Biscotti
  15. White chocolate covered Oreos

It was so much fun watching the kids create their specialty cocoas.  Addi even discovered a new favorite…she couldn’t get enough of the chocolate nonpareils (also known as sno-caps).   We used the disposable soup bowls for each person to create their own snack mix.   Each bowl started with a little popcorn and then they filled them to their heart’s content.

Hot Chocolate Bombs ~

Have you seen this new and totally fun idea for hot cocoa???  This is definitely something I will add to the snack board for next year.  But why wait????  You can make these all winter long!  They have gone viral on Tik-Tok and everyone is raving about them.  They are available in stores to buy or you can make your own.  I have saved several posts for reference, but I especially like the post by Gluesticksblog.com.  She gives great ideas and tips and also references a video of them if you have not yet seen how they work.  How to Make Hot Chocolate Bombs by Gluesticksblog.com.

We will definitely be making our own soon and will share our results once we have done so.  However, I am starting preparations for them now and ordered the silicone chocolate mold so I am ready to go.    After reading many reviews and scouring for the best prices, these are the chocolate molds I ordered.  These are the chocolate molds I ordered for Hot Chocolate Bombs!  From my research, I have discovered you need to pay close attention to size.  I also saw where many of the chocolate mold companies weren’t so good on delivery!

Marshamallows are obviously an important ingredient as well.   The dehydrated marshmallows work best as they are small and easier to work with when making hot chocolate bombs.  If you do not plan ahead, these can be very hard to find in the stores *voice of experience here!!!  Here are some handy and fun links to help out with that…

Dehydrated Marshamallows in 1-Pound Sealable Bag

Mini Marshmallows With Snowflake Sprinkles & Chocolate Jimmies

Off To View the Lights ~

Everyone gathered their hot cocoa and snack bowl and loaded into the car for the next step.  Unfortunately, I believe this will be the last year that we will all be in the same vehicle.  Fortunately, that means our family is growing…❤!  Next year we will have to use 2 cars….but you can be sure that won’t stop this family tradition!  We drive through neighborhoods to enjoy the festive decorations.  To those people who decorate every year…thank you!  Some of the displays are the same as they were when our kids were youngsters.  How cool is that?

Carry Out and Puzzles ~

The final part of the evening is Chinese take-out at the end of our Christmas light viewing.  We call ahead and pick it up on our way back home.  Our little Addi already asks for this when we start choosing the date for this night.  Those traditions obviously make a difference even at a young age.  This just melts my heart!

The other new activity we added this year is doing a Christmas puzzle.  Not a large one, as we want to be able to finish it the same night.  My suggestion is to stick with 100 pieces or choose one that is a “family” style puzzle with three different sizes of pieces.  Have you seen these kind?  They are truly so much fun when you are puzzling with a variety of ages.

(Frosty the Snowman 100 piece puzzle)

Here are a couple options of the family time puzzles.  Our family has had one since the kids were young and we would do that same one every year.  Now there are even more options.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Family Time Puzzle  ~ The image Amazon includes here doesn’t show the different size pieces, but if you click on the link you will see that the Family Time puzzles have small, medium and large pieces for family puzzling.

Snoopy and Linus ice skating – Peanuts Family Time Puzzle ~ A super cute Family Time puzzle that also has small, medium and large pieces.

Christmas lights and cocoa has long been one of our kids’ favorite traditions of the many we try to do throughout the month of December.  I love watching our grown kids still juggle their schedules to make it all work.  Family time is oh so valuable and especially during this wonderful holiday of celebrating the birth of Christ!

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

 

 

Cooking Fun With Scooby

Encouraging kids to get involved in the kitchen is beneficial in SO many ways!   While it means extra patience and cleaning for parents, the numerous benefits are very worth it.  I happen to believe that the biggest perk is extra bonding time!  So, how do we go about encouraging the children to WANT to help us cook?  Well, it looks like we have another mystery on our hands…OR do we?   Finding really cool cookbooks should do the trick!  What kid wouldn’t enjoy cooking fun with Scooby?

Scooby Doo is one of those cartoon characters that transcends all ages.  Am I right?  I still enjoy sitting with the kids and watching Scooby and those meddling kids.  So what could be more fun than recreating some of those fun foods we see Scooby and the gang eat in the shows?  From Donut Demons to Shaggy & Scooby’s Jaw Stretcher Special, you are sure to satisfy even the most pickiest of eaters!

And it doesn’t stop at food items!  There are some fantastically fun drink ideas!  You may even be able to sneak a veggie in these blended delights without them even knowing.  If you dare, you can carry the mystery on by asking them to use their detective skills to figure out what the secret ingredient is!!!

Order your Scooby Doo cook book by Katrina Jorgensen here and get it in time for Christmas!

Jinkies, this may be the favorite gift of 2020.!!!

Taking Cooking Fun With Scooby a Step Further ~

This cookbook is truly awesome, but you can make it more “Scoob-ariffic!”   Why not create a gift basket of themed Cooking Fun with Scooby!  Here are some cooking gift ideas:

Other Scooby Doo Fun Recipes ~

Of course, there are tons of wonderful Scooby Doo recipes and fun ideas out there.  I have rounded up a few of them for you.  For example MyKidsTime.com has a super cute compilation of Scooby birthday party ideas.  You can use some of these for your basket gift as well.  They have a great recipe for dog-bone shaped cookies.  These would be fun to add in for Christmas cookie decorating too!  Scooby Doo free recipes and ideas from MyKidsTime.com

Betty Crocker shared some cooking fun with Scooby too.  Check out this fun recipe using candy and fruit snacks:   Scooby Doo Pops Recipe by Betty Crocker

Scooby-Doo Pops

Scooby Printables ~

Cooking in the kitchen may be all the excitement they can handle for one day.  However,  keep in mind that just because it wears us out does not mean it will wear them out!  If you happen to have one that runs like the energizer bunny, take some time to print out some fun games.  These will be sure to keep them busy while everyone is waiting to eat or to finish up the fun Scooby themed evening!

Print out this Scooby word search to use while waiting for the food to cook!

Print this fun Scooby coloring page by Michael’s Family

Find What’s Different in this fun Scooby printable by activities.websincloud.com

Scooby Doo 38

What’s next for Mystery Inc?  I don’t have an answer to that, but I am sure that whatever it is, the whole family will love it!  For now, put your oven mitts on and get started on your cooking fun with Scooby!

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