Christmas belongs to everyone especially the children. Most of the memories that we treasure for a lifetime are created during childhood. Help your kids to make memorable moments with edible ornaments.
Edible Christmas ornaments are fun to make and even better to eat. One advantage of these ornaments is that there is less to pack away in containers once the holidays are over. These ornaments are biodegradable if the kids don’t get to them.
Edible Christmas Tree Garland
Usually we string tinsel and other items that can be harmful to pets and children if they are eaten. In the early days of Christmas among the settlers, foods like popcorn and nuts were used for garland. Little treats could be placed on the tree that the kids could eat later.
- Go back to the old ways and have the kids string a few strands of popcorn garland. Use their favorite popcorn flavors. You run the risk of more popcorn being eaten than strung but it is a chance you will have to take. Actually, stale popcorn is easier to string than freshly popped. Leave a bag or two of microwave popcorn sitting for a day or two and then begin decorating.
- Pretzels can be strung as well. You won’t need a needle for this stringing procedure. Pretzels can be placed at intervals between the pieces of popcorn.
- My favorite garland is one we made a few years ago. We took mini, individually wrapped candy bars and glued them to a long strand of thick yarn and used it as garland. The kids LOVED it… although our garland was pretty much decimated by Christmas morning!
Edible Tree Ornaments
- A popular tree ornament is candy canes. The red and white striped treats are a staple of Christmas. Now, they come in a variety of colors and flavors besides peppermint. Choose colors that complement your décor and color scheme for the Christmas tree. They come individually wrapped so the candy can be shared with everyone after Christmas is over. In fact, if you have a Christmas party, let each child take a souvenir from your tree home to their tree.
- Nuts can be glued together in the shape of a ball and hung like a Christmas bulb. Leave enough space to slip a piece of string or ribbon through the top and tie it to the tree branch. Since the shell is discarded anyway, a dab of Elmer’s glue won’t prevent eating them later.
- Pieces of hard candy or mini candy bars make great ornaments. Make sure the candy is individually wrapped and have your child glue it on an ornament they've made out of construction paper. Use a hole punch to punch a hole at the top of the ornament and add a loop of string or yarn.
Carefully choose which decorative edibles the kids can eat from the Christmas tree. For a fake tree, the branches are made of plastic and each ornament is safe for eating.
With live trees, determine if the tree has been sprayed with anything to prevent bug infestation. Any small bugs or remnants of sprays can render the food inedible after coming in contact with it. In that case, use some sort of ornament hanger to keep the edible ornaments away from the tree branches and needles.
Edible ornaments are fun to make. Shellac the ones the kids want to keep so they are preserved for more Christmas memories.
I just had to add the following ornament recipe even though it isn't edible (well, it is edible BEFORE painting them with acrylic!) – so don't get mad it me! I've done this with my kids and the ornaments just turn out so adorable and making them is a lot of fun!
Holiday Dough Ornaments (Not Edible!)
Here’s a recipe for making your very own Dough Ornaments. It’s simple, fast, and very expensive. More importantly, they are fun to make with family, and you will love the sight of them hanging from your Christmas tree!
For the dough mixture, you will need:
- 4 cups of flour
- 1 cup of water
- ½ cup of salt
- Food Coloring bottles (optional)
- Cookie Cutters (optional)
- 2 cups ground cinnamon (optional)
For decorating your ornaments:
- Acrylic paints and brushes
- Glitter, Stickers, Stamps, Etc.
- Clear protective paint sealant
Mix the dry ingredients together, and then add water. If you’d like, you can add food coloring to your dough mixture. You may want to mix up several batches of different-colored dough, or you can plan on decorating your ornaments later with acrylic paints.
If your dough mixture feels too sticky, add more flour. Knead the dough until it is smooth and stiff. Use a roller pin to flatten out the dough. Once the texture is smooth and consistent, use cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. You can also shape the dough into a design of your own.
If you used food coloring to create batches of different-colored dough, now’s the time to get creative. For example, if you’ve mixed up a small batch of red dough and another batch of regular-colored dough, you can create candy cane decorations. Simply create one batch of red colored dough, and leave aside a portion of regular dough. Then flatten out the dough and cut out two long strips from each batch. Intertwine the two strips to create candy cane decorations!
Once all the dough has been shaped, use the tip of a pen or straw to make a small hole at the top of each of your ornaments. Then place them on a baking sheet, and bake them in the oven at a low setting for about an hour.
After your ornaments have baked, remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. Once they are cool to touch, the fun part really begins. Pull out the paints, felt-tip markers, stickers, glitter, and anything else you can think of, and begin to decorate. Be creative.
When you’re finished decorating, let the paint dry for several hours, and then seal your work with a coat of clear protective sealant. When the ornaments have dried, string a ribbon through the top and tie into a knot. You can also use metal hangers. Hang your new creations from the Christmas tree and enjoy!