At its core, Thanksgiving is a holiday about bounty—bountiful gratitude, bountiful family, and bountiful food. However, it can also be a stressful time, especially for parents who are hosting extended family. Parental stress often affects kids, and some may act out for attention; this can be compounded when the kids have time off from school.
Hiring a part-time nanny to guarantee the kids are occupied while you’re cooking or planning can help keep everyone’s stress levels low and ensure the holiday runs smoothly. As a professional nanny, he or she will be prepared with fun activities to do with the kids; however, you could also ask him/her to supervise seasonally appropriate activities of your choosing.
For example, one productive way to keep antsy kids entertained during the holiday season is to involve them in some easy cooking or craft activities. Crafts like handprint turkeys or this thankful turkey book are great ways to make sure the kids are thinking about the reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving and gratitude, but they tend to ignore one large facet of the Thanksgiving celebration: delicious, excessive amounts of food!
Although these treats can get a little messy and might look imperfect in the end, what kid-friendly dessert project doesn’t? We tested it on some of TNA’s favorite little ones, and they loved this activity! Plus, we all know kids especially love to eat treats they make themselves—so that’s one less thing to worry about when planning your Thanksgiving feast.
Chocolate-Covered Rice Krispie Treats
For the treats, you will need:
- 3 tbsp. butter
- 4 c. mini marshmallows
- 6 c. Rice Krispies
- Chocolate of your choice (we used dark)
- To make the Rice Krispie treats, melt the butter in either a saucepan on the stove or a microwave-safe bowl. Add mini marshmallows. If you’re using a microwave, heat for 1 minute, then stir. Continue heating at 1-minute intervals until marshmallows are melted.
- When butter/marshmallow combination is melted, add Rice Krispies immediately. Stir until well coated. Using buttered spatula or wax paper, evenly press the mixture into a 13×9 pan coated with cooking spray. Let cool, then cut into Thanksgiving-themed shapes (pilgrim hat, feather, cornucopia, etc.)
- When Rice Krispie treats have cooled, melt 16 oz. chocolate in saucepan or microwave-safe bowl. Dip treats into melted chocolate until they have a generous chocolate coating. It’s helpful to use a skewer of some kind (we used lollipop straws) to do this so the kids’ hands don’t get quite as messy. When treats are coated, place them on parchment paper and refrigerate until coating has hardened.
For the icing
- 1 c. powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- ½ tbsp. milk of choice (we used almond)
- Food coloring in various colors
- Mix powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk of choice.
- Add milk in slowly; the icing should be thick. This will make it easier to decorate with. If mixture is thin, add more powdered sugar. Separate icing into small ramekins and add food coloring to reach desired color.