A few weeks ago, Pumpkin and I were out shopping and she tried to talk me into buying a bag of mini marshmallows for a project. But she didn’t actually have a project in mind. So I told her we first needed a plan, and then could get the marshmallows.
We came up with one, combined it with one of our holiday traditions, and expanded on it, to make a homemade Christmas village as part of our holiday décor this year.
- Sugar cones (need to be flat on top so you can display upside down as a tree)
- Icing (we bought pre-made in a squeeze bag with a frosting tip)
- Mini marshmallows
First, you’ll want to cut the marshmallows in half (this will help them stick to the tree, both because it’s less weight, and because the cut side will be sticky). Turn the cone upside down and frost around the bottom. Stick the first row of marshmallows on. Keep adding frosting and marshmallows as you work your way up to the top until the tree/cone is covered. You can do this randomly (as the girls did) or create a pattern (as I did).
We take the easy route with gingerbread houses and buy a kit from a local cookie store. In previous years, Peanut wasn’t old enough to do her own, so this was the first year we did two. (Honestly, next year we might need to get three because I like to do all the projects, too!) I set them up for the girls on cookie sheets, which were then set on top of some Splat Mats in an attempt to minimize the mess, and they decorated however they saw fit.
Every year, we bake sugar cookies for Santa. But we’ve never made gingerbread cookies, so we decided to give it a shot. We each chose two cookie cutters: I chose a tree and a cactus, so we could incorporate those into our village; Pumpkin selected Superman and a dinosaur; Peanut chose a horse and a dog bone. I also cut some triangle shapes to make stands for the trees and cacti.
Once the cookies cooled, the girls decorated them with the remaining store-bought icing and sprinkles. Peanut dumped so many sprinkles from the shakers on her plate with the first cookie, that I poured the contents from the plate into a bowl and gave her a spoon to add sprinkles to the remaining cookies. Pumpkin was slightly more responsible with her cookies.
After the girls went to bed, I made royal icing for my cookies and piped the decorations on. I had minimal success with the tree/cactus stands, but because the gingerbread rounds slightly when baked, they didn’t hold up perfectly. We ended up with one cactus and one tree in our village.
After everything set overnight, we set up our Christmas village in the dining room. It’s a fun addition to our holiday decorations and they love seeing their work on display!