Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Recipes for Fun

I'll admit that I hesitate to let my kids get dirty. It is not always easy for me to let them be free and, well, child-like. So maybe it's my fault that Mattie freaks out if her hands have the slightest speck of dirt on them. I am possibly contributing to her OCD. But I also know that getting dirty is good for them. They have fun getting dirty. So I suck it up and let them get out the Play-Doh or the sidewalk chalk, or dig for worms in the yard. It makes me cringe inside, but I let them do it. 

Clorox knows that sometimes kids just need to get messy, so they have a new Recipes for Fun website, and they're sponsoring the Ultimate Mess Party Contest. You can visit the website to get inspiration to let your kids get messy in four different categories: Wacky Science, Arts and Crafts, Kiddie Cooking, and Creative Cooking. And while you're there register and enter to win $10,000 for the an Ultimate Mess Party, or lots of other great prizes like gift cards and coupons for free Clorox products.

Getting messy in the kitchen is always a good time for my kids. One super messy activity they love is making and decorating cut-out cookies. That might not sound very original, but they really make a huge sloppy ordeal out of it. They help with the rolling and cutting of the dough, and when the cookies come out of the oven they go to town! I make frosting out of powdered sugar and milk (I have no specific recipe for this, just pour some powdered sugar in a bowl and stir in milk, a tablespoon or so at a time, until the frosting is a consistency that is easily spreadable), and add food coloring, so that we end up several bowls of different colored frosting to choose from. Plastic knives and tooth picks are used to spread the frosting and add details. The tooth picks are good for creating a marbling effect. We also have a wide array of various sprinkles for the finishing touches. These are traditionally done during the Christmas holiday season, but when I was a kid we also made them at Easter time. So think pastel colors and bunny rabbit cookie cutters.

One other messy but fun Easter tradition we have is decorating Easter eggs. When I was a kid, I used to decorate eggs with my Grandpa, and he was quite particular about those eggs. So particular, in fact, that he actually did most of the decorating. This is a shame, because no one in my family quite knows exactly how he decorated the eggs - but they came out beautifully. I remember coffee cans, a strong vinegar odor, and drops of food coloring. The end result was vibrantly colored marbled eggs. Since I don't know his secret method, we typically just use store kits. Even though we go the simple and easy route, my kids look forward to egg decorating every year.

Whatever the messy project we're working on, I like to protect my table and make clean-up easier by laying down a vinyl tablecloth before the fun begins. I have one with an Easter print on it, to make things a little more festive.

Do you have any messy traditions in your family?

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox Clean-Up Recipes for Fun blogging program, for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on this program, click here and see the Terms link.

No comments: