Following a recipe and working in the kitchen making cinnamon ornaments is a fun and easy way to practice both early literacy and math skills. Even very small children can help measure and stir ingredients and knead, roll and cut dough. Hang them on your Christmas tree or in your kitchen to keep the room smelling wonderful throughout the winter season.
- ¾ cup applesauce
- 1 4oz bottle of cinnamon
- drinking straw
- colorful ribbon
- paint markers (optional)
- Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. Children can use hands for this. Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.
- Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally.)
- Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate with opaque paint markers, found in arts and crafts stores, if desired. This recipe makes 12-15 ornaments.
Have older children poke whole cloves into the surface of an orange to make an old fashioned pomander ball. Tie a ribbon around the orange to hang it up to dry. Hang in a closet to keep your clothes smelling fresh.
–Anjie G. at KDL’s Walker branch
This article originally appeared in our Early Lit Bits eNewsletter. Read the most recent issue online or sign up to receive this monthly update highlighting early literacy tips and resources for parents and caregivers.
Posted by: Ali