We've been having fun doing lots of different activities and crafts together this Christmas . . . thanks in part to all the great ideas I've been pinning on pinterest.
One of those ideas was how to make Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments. I pinned the directions and recipe for making them from this website: Completely Delicious:
Don't those cinnamon ornaments in her picture look beautiful and Christmas-y. So I got the ingredients (cinnamon and applesauce) at the grocery and waited for the day to make these with the Ferrell boys.
Waited . . . and waited . . . and waited . . . Finally I gave up waiting for the perfect time and decided to do it last night. I usually don't do messy projects with the boys when Dave is home, but he's been so sick this past week and hasn't been released by the doctor to go back to work so if I was going to get these ornaments made before Christmas, I knew I was just going to have to do it and hope the mess wouldn't make Dave nuts!
The entire recipe can be found at Completely Delicious. I mixed together 1 cup of Applesauce and 1 1/4 cup of cinnamon in my mixer.
The cinnamon dough was a little sticky but it formed a ball in my bowl so I thought it was ready to use.
I knew that one batch of the dough wouldn't be enough for my boys so I mixed up a second batch of dough. This second batch required more cinnamon than the first batch did. Go figure?
While I was at Dollar General a couple of weeks ago, I spotted some red and green plastic rolling pins and some little mesh bags of cookie cutters. They were pretty cheap . . . $1.50 for the rolling pins and $1 for the cookie cutters . . . so I got 3 of each for my boys. I figured that we would do some baking during this Christmas season and if each boy had his own rolling pin and cookie cutters, then any baking I tried to include them in would be infinitely better!
The boys had a great time. I couldn't get over how well they behaved toward each other.
The boys had just gotten out of the bathtub when I surprised them with this craft project. That's why they have crazy hair. :D
Shane got a little out of control with the cinnamon. With this type of dough, you used cinnamon to keep the dough from sticking while you roll it out -- not flour.
I sat at the table and just watched them work on the dough . . . rolling it out . . .
They were so careful and particular about cutting out the shapes with the cookie cutters.
Even Shane was patient and careful cutting out the dough . . . look at all that cinnamon!
They were quiet and cooperative with each other while they were making the ornaments. I sat at the table amazed at how well they were behaving.
After a while, I pulled out my alphabet cookie cutters for them to use.
I love this picture of Shane . . . carefully getting one of his ornaments up . . .
The boys had a great time. Dave didn't get crazy because of the mess either. I think he could see how much fun the boys were having and also how nice they were behaving.
When the boys had used up all the cinnamon dough, we put the ornaments in the 200 degree preheated oven for a couple of hours. Here are Zach and Shane's ornaments:
Here are Alex's ornaments:
And the biggest surprise of the evening . . . I found Zach cleaning up the mess for me! He's sweeping off the cinnamon and crumbs into a dustpan in this picture. I was shocked! I stepped outside to tell Dave something and this is what I found:
Okay . . . now for the truth about these ornaments . . . they smell great . . . they are really cute if you are going for that homemade country Christmas look (which I am) . . . but I wouldn't recommend them for crafting with children. The salt dough is better for children to work with than this cinnamon dough. Cinnamon makes a grosser mess in my opinion. I threw the dishcloths away that I used to clean this mess up. Also the cinnamon smell was intense with all the cinnamon in the air (created by Shane and Alex constantly sprinkling the cinnamon on the dough). It was almost stifling! I think these ornaments are better made by an adult. But I think they should definitely be made! I can't wait to see the finished product! Just a little cautious words of wisdom about doing this with children. :)
This afternoon I plan to let the boys decorate the ornaments with glue and glitter. :) If that doesn't make Dave crazy -- nothing will!
Check back to see the finished ornaments made by . . .
the Ferrell boys and me!