Taking over for Santa-- Holiday Baking, Crafting, and Learning

Today we were Santa's little helpers! We had a full day of baking, crafting, and learning; most of which wasn't really planned.

We made these  Copycat Kit Kat bars  and since we had an awful lot of the filling left and it reminded me so much of Christmas Crack we made some of that too (though I did not add the peanut butter)!

I was worried our Kit Kat bars were not going to come out right; our filling was much runnier than the one in the picture and filled the whole muffin tin so much so that the chocolate only covered the top.  We put everything in the fridge to cool for a bit and when we pulled them out later we all had a sample of both.

Evan lines the pan with Ritz crackers 
Ian and Alec took turns stirring the butter and sugars
Ian added the peanut butter/ chocolate topping
They're ready for the refrigerator 
The Christmas crack was excellent but as much as I liked the flavor of the Kit Kat bars I did think that next time we'd make the cracker/ fillings and cool those until they hardened and THEN melt the chocolate and peanut butter together to dunk the entire "bar" into so it's completely covered by chocolate.  They were definitely missing something with the chocolate only on the top.  But somehow I'm sure we'll suffer through it and eat them anyway.

Yummy Christmas Crack!  

We made some winter hat ornaments out of yarn and toilet paper tubes.  

They came out adorably.  I found instructions here.  The only thing that was unclear was how long to make the yarn.  I played around a bit and found that for our 1" hat brims a 14" piece of yarn was long enough to be strung through and still have a decent amount left at the top to make a good pompom.  We also discovered that thin yarn, though more work, came out looking better than chunky yarn.  But we loved them all anyway.

Aren't they cute?

We made lots of paper chains today too!  I was inspired by the movie Elf and all the decorative paper chains hanging everywhere.

Some we folded the paper back and forth and then cut out fun shapes like trees and snowmen.

Snowmen marching across the room 
Others we just made links and used the stapler to hold each link closed.  Ian wanted to make one long chain long enough to span the ceiling where our living room meets our dining room.  Needless to say he used up just about all the paper!  Alec then decided to make a chain that led from Ian's chain and criss-crossed across the room so we cut up even more paper.

festive paper strands everywhere 

Making his chain 

Hard at work 

 We read How Santa Got His Job and the boys all filled out a substitute Santa job application.

Filling out his job application 
The boys settled down to work on even more schoolwork after that.   Evan worked in his Star Wars math book and then colored in a snowflake worksheet on vowel sounds.  We talked about long and short vowels and half- way through the page talked about the pattern we saw.  All the short vowel sounds only had one vowel for each word while the long vowel sounds either had two vowels together or else they had a vowel/ consonant/ e.  We read another Elephant and Piggie book called Listen to My Trumpet!

coloring snowflakes according to vowel sounds 
The older boys read in their rooms for a bit and then worked on another add and color page.

Alec then went to his room to read while snuggled in bed and the other two boys pulled out trays, supplies, characters, trucks and more and began to play with some kitchen creations.

Evan and I made SNOW dough; we mixed hair conditioner and baking soda until we had a nice thick consistency that he could mold and play with.  We love how it stays cool/cold when playing with it much like snow.

Ian wanted something more grainy and sand like so we made our own Kinetic sand.   Ian just scooped up a bucket worth from the back yard.  We then added some cornstarch to the sand and mixed it up real well.  Then we added some soapy water and mixed it all around until we had a good play sand consistency that he liked.  I can't give exact amounts since I have no idea how much sand we started with.
testing the consistency 

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