Whether you’re from the United States, Canada, Italy, or Mexico, one thing is for sure…food is a BIG DEAL. Especially during the holidays.
Since we’re focusing on traditions this month at Gymboree Play & Music, our team thought it would be cool to curate a list of traditional holiday cookies and treats from families around the world.
And voila, here it is.
Italian Almond Pizzelle Cookies
If you love fun baking appliances, then you’ll love making these buttery, almond-flavored cookies. They get their unique waffle design from a pizzelle maker. They cook in roughly 5-10 minutes. You can try the recipe here.
Whipped Cream Krumkake from Norway
These sweet treats are surprisingly easy to make. This recipe gives simple and clear step-by-step instructions that will walk you through the process required to create these beautifully intricate waffle cookies at home.
Rosette’s from Norway
These traditional deep-fried favorites are crisp and delicious with a delicate, lacy look. These intricate crispy treats are as delicious as they are beautiful. This cookie is sure to delight your little one. Check out the recipe here.
Khrustyky from Ukraine
This crispy, dainty pastry dusted with confectioners’ sugar has an eggy flavor similar to cream puffs. You can use this recipe to create this treat for your family.
Mexican Cinnamon Cookies
This 5 ingredient delight is sweet, simple and easy to make. You can head over here for the full recipe.
We know it’s hard to come up with a costume that makes you feel your best while you’re braving morning sickness and cravings. So we created this list of 5 costumes to give you some creative ideas to consider if you’re still at a loss for what to wear this weekend.
Over the Moon for You!
This costume features your growing baby bump front and center against the backdrop of the galaxy. Bonus point if you can find an astronaut to walk alongside you.
This costume was spotted on Instagram via Babylist.
Something to Taco-Bout
Avocados and hot sauce are the perfect pairing for tasty tacos. This is a simple idea, and easy to recreate. More details below.
Believe it or not, that’s actually Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake hiding under these fabulous costumes inspired by Trolls. This cute option gives you the ability to completely conceal your bump if you want, and the loose fit will make it very easy it climb out of at the end of the night.
There is something about October that gives us extra permission to get exceptionally gooey, ooey, sticky, crafty, and glittery.
That said, we saw no problem with gathering some of the messiest, most colorful and awe-inspiring holiday crafts for your to try at home. As a disclaimer, some of these are more suited for parents to do alone and to use to decorate their homes instead, but others can done with children under a high level of supervision.
See which crafts topped our list below.
Cardboard Haunted House
This cute cardboard house is a take on what would be a traditional haunted house, except it’s toned down, there’s not a spook or a goblin in sight, and your children can use it through out the month of October for pre-tend play, or for creating stories should they have some small figurines laying around the house. This project might take a few hours, so we recommend calling a friend over to help you cut, glue and piece it together.
Although this was originally featured on the Parents website, we spotted it over at Project Kid. Check it out here.
Image Credit: Project Kid & Parents
Tissue Box Monsters
These cute tissue box monsters are a great way to repurpose old tissue boxes! Kids will love designing their own monster. And we love that every box can be unique! If you don’t have tissue boxes you can also do this with shoe boxes, you’ll just need to adapt the tutorial to cut out the mouth.
Black cats may be unlucky around Halloween, but what about a cat dish? This DIY black cat candy bowl, is exceptionally cute, and can be used as decor around your home, at your office, or even for a small Halloween party.
Aren’t they sweet? Like – literally, like cute on the outside, but filled with small candies and chocolate on the inside. All you’ll need is empty toilet paper rolls, tissue, colorful pipe cleaners, some decorations for the faces and candy of course. You can stuff them with sweets and pop them open on Halloween.
The best thing about this craft is that kids can let their imagination go wild with different materials, papers, strings and ribbon. You can even add eyes or scrap book materials to bring your monster to life. This project can be done all month, and children will love it each time. If you intend to use really small scraps for this, we encourage you to keep a watchful eye on kiddos under 5 while they create this.
Fill your house with monsters — the good kind, obviously — this Halloween by making these colorful creatures out of paper bags and cut-outs.
We spotted this tutorial on Good Housekeeping, but the original tutorial is here on the IHeartCraftyThings website.
Drip Painted Pumpkins
Drip painted pumpkins are an oldie but goodie, and we love it because no matter how old it gets, it’s also a great way to use all of those broken crayons that have been accumulating around your home all year. For this project you’ll need crayons, pumpkins, and a hair dryer, or an appliance that has a low setting for heat. This project is not recommended for small kids or youth, but may be more appropriate for a skilled teen (with supervision) or an adult.
This particular photo and tutorial was spotted at momdot.com. Check it out here.
Halloween Spooky Eyeball Slime
Kids love slime. They love to make it, feel it, and play with it year-round. But if there was an “appropriate” time to let them create this sticky solution, Halloween would be it.
This eyeball slime is Borax free, and is fairly easy to do.
Checkout the slime recipe from Good Housekeeping here.
Image credit: Good Housekeeping
Haunted Halloween Cookie House
What if we told you, that you could create a gingerbread house, but with a spooky twist? This two-story monster mansion is decorated with everything from candy corn to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. With it’s cocoa cookie walls and frosting details, this haunted house frightfully delicious.
Check out this sweet treat over at Woman’s Day here.
But if all the hubbub of the fall festivities leaves you and your little ones stressed, we suggest a good old fashioned holiday movie to pass the time.
We scoured the internet and came up with a list of 10 parent-approved Halloween movies for kids 7 and under.
See which movie titles made our list below.
Super Monsters Save Halloween
Preschool kids whose parents are the world’s most famous monsters try to master their special powers while preparing for kindergarten. Kids will love seeing the Super Monsters in action as they help spread the Halloween spirit around their neighborhood. And with a 24 minute runtime, this “movie” perfect to stream right before bedtime.
Dear Dracula is a family-friendly movie based on a graphic novel of the same name. It centers on a friendship between a shy boy and kindly Count Dracula, who fears he’s lost his touch when it comes to being scary and needs someone to remind him how it’s done.
Despite the title, the Wishbone family are far from happy. In an attempt to reconnect as a family, Mum and Emma plan a fun night out. However, her plan backfires when an evil witch curses them, and they’re all turned into Monsters.
Gabi and Spence, and the Spooky Dog, are the “Ghost Patrol“, Their Towns supernatural pest control, but they have never seen a real ghost. When they get a call to investigate the old Geist Manor, they are about to find the proof they are looking for – and a whole lot more.
Get ready for a spook-tacular good time with Curious George – in his first-ever Halloween movie. This fun-filled adventure is a bewitching treat for the whole family!
Stream this title on Hulu by clicking here. Or on Amazon here.
Image Credit: Amazon
Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie
It’s Lumpy‘s first Halloween with Winnie the Pooh, Roo, and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. The group discusses their plans for Halloween and for their first night of trick-or-treating. Until Tigger, warns his friends about the dreaded Gobloon that he spotted in the woods earlier, a monster that comes out every Halloween to search for somebody to catch and will turn them into “jaggedy lanterns” , but only if he catches them. Watch the movie to see how it ends.
Learn more about this movie and stream the title here.
Image Credit: Amazon
It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown
The classic film It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown follows Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the crew as they get ready for Halloween. As Lucy and her friends prepare their costumes for Violet’s Halloween party, Linus and Sally camp out in the pumpkin patch awaiting a visit from The Great Pumpkin.
With Halloween right around the corner, and seasonal festivities picking up steam across the country, the pressure is on to plan a perfect (and mostly healthy) holiday bash your kiddos will love. We searched the internet high and low for the trendiest fall snacks of 2020 and we created a list of our top 5.
See who made the list below, and check out the recipes on their blogs by clicking through the hyperlink in each description.
Mesmerizing Mango Halloween Platter
Aside from the noteworthy visual appeal of this platter, it actually packs a lot of Vitamins A & C. So whether you or your kid picks up the bat tortilla chips with mango salsa, or the apple monsters with mango, you’re sure to enjoy the sweet zing of the mangos that have been strategically incorporated throughout this platter. We spotted this on Foxes Love Lemons. Go check it out.
MONSTER RICE KRISPIES TREATS
We would be remiss if we crafted this list and left off good old fashioned rice crispy treats. And since these ones have a fun twist, we couldn’t leave them off our list. We spotted these over at Chelsea’s Messy Apron. She did a blog on different 3 ingredient Halloween treats and we loved this one the most. Head over to her blog to see this, and other recipes.
Whole Food Healthy Halloween Platter
We spotted this tray of treats over at Fork & Beans. We added this to the list because it gives parents more options. Obviously you can go candy crazy on Halloween (and no one would blame you), but liked this because they built a pretty platter with easy Halloween snack ideas that you can actually feel good about feeding to your family.
Harvest Chex Mix
This Harvest mix is the ultimate fall treat! Not only is it easy to make, but your little one can easily keep it in a cup in their stroller, or you can store it in a galloon zip lock bag while you’re out and about. This should take you no more than 15 minutes to make. We spotted this recipe over at the Made to be a Momma blog.
HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS
We spotted these delectable treats over at Garnish and Glaze. Chocolate Covered Pretzels are a longstanding holiday snack, but their creative spin on this ghoulish snack makes them irresistible to look at, and even harder to deny. Their recipe requires 17 ingredients that you can use to create bats, mummies, pumpkins, monsters, or all!
Treat your children to a new family tradition that is both fun and educational. Have kids create “thankful notes” by drawing a small picture of what they are thankful for. Older kids can use a word or two in addition to drawings.
It will be fun for kids to create their own little drawings and kids of all ages can participate! Have kids create a “Thankful Note” for 3 or 4 days in November.
Put all of the notes in a jar marked “Thankful Jar”, you can even have the kids decorate it.
On Thanksgiving Day pull the notes out of the jar and share with the whole family!
It’s one of our favorite times of the year…Halloween! And, with Halloween season comes spooky creatures, candy, and, of course, COSTUMES! Did you know there are tons of developmental benefits to letting your little one dress up in costumes and play? That’s right! When your little one puts on that pirate’s hat, they are transforming their world and pushing their minds to think outside the box!
There’s more going on under that pirate’s hat than you’d think! Read below to learn the many developmental benefits of pretend play and dressing up in costumes!
Dress-up engages your child’s brain and memory. Dramatic play requires kids to remember what they’ve seen or heard. They remember how their mother behaves when performing household chores when they are imitating her. Or they recall the details of a fairy tale they’ve heard before acting it out.
2. Vocabulary Building
Dress-up play builds vocabulary as a child decides what his or her character would say. It gives them a chance to expand their vocabularies with words and phrases that they might have heard in stories, but wouldn’t ordinarily use. Children may then begin to use these new words in conversations.
Who’s going to be the doctor? Who’s going to be the patient? Children must make decisions when they engage in dress-up play. They practice problem-solving problems when deciding on what costumes elements and props each character needs to act out a scenario.
When a child is engaged in role-play, it helps her see the world through another’s eyes which increases empathy – whether pretending to be a parent nurturing a baby, a doctor taking care of an injured patient, or a firefighter putting out a fire. Dramatic play helps children understand the role that helpers play in in our lives.
5. Emotional Development
Children are constantly confronted with scary situations that they don’t understand – whether witnessing an accident in real life, or seeing violent images on TV. Children process their fears through play, which helps them make sense of the world, and overcome their feelings of helplessness.
By allowing children to act out their fears through dress-up and role playing, we are helping their emotional development.
6. Motor Skills
Children develop fine motor skills by putting on dress-up clothes, whether buttoning a shirt, zipping up pants, or tying on a pirate’s bandana
They use their large motor skills when engaged in role-play, whether they are jumping like a superhero, running like a baseball player, or twirling like a ballerina.
7. Gender Exploration
When children choose costumes and characters to be, they are able to explore different gender identities and the behaviors of those characters.
While boys often want to be superheroes, firemen, or pirates, and girls often want to be fairies and princesses, it is normal and healthy for children to try on different gender roles as they learn about the world. A child should never be ridiculed for pretending to be a different gender.
Children are naturally imitative creatures. They learn about the world by imitating the lives of the adults and others around them. Through dress-up and dramatic role-play, children explore the lives of other people by imitating their actions, feelings and words.
Dress-up play encourages cooperation and taking turns. Children learn how to negotiate as they agree on stories and rules. They develop interest in others and learn how to give-and-take.
Children’s imaginations are limitless, and have not yet been hardened and constrained by the “realities” of the world. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, believed that imaginative play in early childhood is the key to creative thinking during the adult years.
When children engage in dress-up play, their imaginations are given free reign. There is no limit to who, where, or what they can be.
Don’t forget to reserve your spot at one of our Gymboween parties this month! Dress up your little one for a spooktacular good time! Click here to find a location near you.
There are a million ways to express love for your little one, whether it’s physical affection, quality time, words of affirmation, active listening…you name it. Any acts of love are supporting your child’s early development and have a huge effect on how they decide to take on life!
“L” is for LET your little one(s) know they can take risks! When children know they are loved and safe, they build confidence and are more comfortable testing their limits and taking risks. it helps them build the confidence to take risks and try new things.
“O” is for being ON their side! Children need fans! Your love and support lets them know that somebody is always on their side in life. Having someone cheering them on makes them excited to improve and learn new things.
“V” is for showing they are VALUABLE! It’s great to show love and encouragement after your little one reaches a new milestone, but it’s also important to relay that your love is because of WHO they are and not only based on WHAT they’ve done.
“E” is for EVEN when they make mistakes! Kids actually learn MORE when they fail then when they succeed. So, encourage them to keep on trying and reassure them that failure is OK! If they know they are allowed to fail, they will push themselves to try new things!
Show your little one(s) how much you love them at Gymboree Play & Music!
Wrapping up the year always sparks some internal reflection. We took a look back on moments and milestones of the year and realized we accomplished A LOT! So, we took the liberty of doing a little math to help paint a beautiful picture of all things Gymboree Play & Music in 2018!
*All numbers are based off of data for North America Gymobree Play & Music locations