Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring into Passover and Easter with your children

Spring has always been a fun time in our home. It's a time of celebrating the new and remembering the traditions of our families.

photo credit: martha stewart dot com

This adorable candy decoration is perfect for your families Easter holiday celebration.

Tools and Materials

• One 12-inch round Styrofoam wreath form
• Five 6-inch round Styrofoam wreath forms
• 28-inch dowel, 1/2-inch diameter
• Sharpened pencil
• 1/2-inch-wide green ribbon, seam binding and twill tape
• Glue
• Flathead pins
• Floral pins
• About 25 Marshmallow Peeps of one color for flower center
• About 60 Marshmallow Peeps of one color for flower petals
• Royal Icing
• Toothpicks
• Clear vessel filled with jelly beans or other candy


1. Using a sharpened pencil, bore a hole through one side of a 12-inch round Styrofoam wreath form.

2. Insert a 28-inch dowel, piercing through to the opposite side.

3. Wrap the Styrofoam wreath form and dowel in green ribbon, securing every few inches with a dab of glue.

4. Attach a 1/2-inch-wide piece of ribbon around the outer rim of a 6-inch Styrofoam "petal" form and secure with a flathead pin. Repeat to make five petal bases.

5. Secure petals to 12-inch Styrofoam base with 2 floral pins each, creating a flower shape.

6. Decorate petals with Marshmallow Peeps, using a combination of royal icing and toothpicks to secure.

7. "Plant" finished flower creation in a clear vessel filled with candy.

photo credit: Dylan's Candy Bar

Colorful Tower of Peeps

You can't have Easter without Peeps! This colorful tower of everyone's favorite marshmallow candy is perfect for sharing on Easter morning. You can make your own or hop over to Dylan's Candy Bar and order one for your favorite little bunny!

photo credit: family fun magazine

This bee won’t sting

Tools and Materials:

• eggs
• newsprint
• egg dye
• paper towels
• birthday candles or crayons
• red and black acrylic or tempera paint
• brushes
• white tissue
• glue


1. Blow the Egg: Wash and dry the raw egg. Cover your table with newsprint and set out bowls, pushpins, and paper towels. Shake the egg to break the yolk. Next, pierce the top and bottom with a pushpin, making the hole on the wider end a bit larger. Position the egg over the bowl and blow through the small hole, allowing the inside of the egg to seep into the bowl. Set the empty egg, with the large hole down, in an egg carton to dry. Be sure children wash their hands after handling raw egg.

2. Degg-orate the Egg: Let the kids paint half of the egg, stand it atop a bottle cap to dry (use a hair dryer to speed things up), then paint the other half. Centering the face on either hole, paint on features with contrasting colors. Paint your bee bright yellow, then paint on a red smile, black eyes, and black stripes. Glue on white tissue paper wings.

3. Take Flight: Tape a long length of fishing line to the end of an unfolded paper clip. Starting at the small hole, thread the line through the decorated egg and out the large hole. To keep your flying critter upright, tape the fishing line just above the hole in the critter's back. Hang it from the ceiling or an egg tree.

photo credit: family fun

Jelly Bean Carrots: I used to make these every spring for my girls and our company, I know your children will love them!

Tools and Materials:

• Orange jelly beans
• Scissors
• Green tissue paper
• Twist ties


1. Fill an icing bag with orange jelly beans, leaving at least 3 inches unfilled at the top.

2. Cut out two 8-inch squares of green tissue paper and lay one atop the other. Pick up the squares from the center and give them a little twist so you have a cone-shaped carrot top.

3. Place the tissue, twisted end down, into the bag. Gather the bag at the top of the jelly beans and secure with a twist tie.

photo credit: a taste of home

Italian Easter Bread


• 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2/3 cup warm milk (120° to 130°)
• 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 7 eggs
• 1/2 cup chopped mixed candied fruit
• 1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
• 1/2 teaspoon aniseed
• Canola oil


1. In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. Add milk and butter; beat 2minutes on medium. Add 2 eggs and 1/2 cup flour; beat 2 minutes on high. Stir in fruit, nuts and aniseed; mix well. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

2. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl; turn once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. If desired, dye remaining eggs (leave them uncooked); lightly rub with oil. Punch dough down. Divide in half; roll each piece into a 24-in. rope. Loosely twist ropes and tuck eggs into openings. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan; cool on a wire rack. Yield: 1 bread.

photo credit: Martha Stewart

The Tastiest Matzo House for your Seder table

Tools and Materials

• 6-by-6-by-6-inch cube cardboard box
• Scissors or utility knife
• Tape
• Matzo
• Melted chocolate
• Kosher foods for decoration


1. Begin by folding the cardboard box into the form of a house: trim 2 of the top flaps into triangles and tape the 2 uncut flaps onto it along the cut angles to create a support for the pitched roof.

2. Squeeze melted chocolate onto form. Tip: Keep melted chocolate liquefied by resting a container of it in warm water.

3. Attach pieces of matzo to chocolate-covered house form.

4. Decorate the matzo house with kosher food items of your choice, using the melted chocolate to attach the decorations to the house.

photo credit: kaboose dot com

Child Designed Passover Seder Place Mat

Tools and Materials:

• White poster board or craft foam, big enough for a place mat
• Construction paper: green, white, brown, red
• White paper
• Pencil
• Markers: yellow, orange, red and blue
• Black thin tipped marker
• Clear self-adhesive paper (recommended: Con-Tact paper)
• Scissors
• White craft glue


1. You will need something round to trace to create the Seder plate. Trace it with a pencil in the center of the place mat.

2. Use a smaller cylindrical item (can, cup, etc) to trace circles for each place on the Seder plate. One in the center, and five going around the center circle.

3. Cut the Seder items from the construction paper. Use brown to cut out a chicken leg (shank bone), white and green for the horseradish (bitter herb), green for the romaine lettuce (bitter vegetable), green for the parsley (green vegetable), red and white for apple and nut salad (charoset) and use plain white paper for the egg(roasted egg).

4. Trace the penciled circles with black marker.

5. Glue the construction paper food items to the plate, horseradish in the center, chicken leg in the upper right, then clockwise from there the charoset, lettuce, parsley and egg.

6. Draw an outline around the plate. Decorate the inside of this outline with yellow and orange markers.

7. Decorate the other circles by dotting around their outlines with orange marker.

8. Use a red marker to write the word “Passover” on the left side of the placemat and the blue marker to write “Pesach” (the Jewish term for the Passover festival) on the right side.

9. Cover both sides of the place mat with clear adhesive paper.

The Seder Plate Background:

The Seder plate is a plate of specific foods that tell the story of the Israelites suffering and deliverance. On your plate, which is in the centre of the table you will need:

1. Haroseth – a mixture of chopped nuts, wine, cinnamon and apples to represent the mortar that the Israelites used to make bricks in slavery in Egypt.

2. Parsley (dipped in salt water) – Symbolizing spring but dipped in salt water to remember the tears shed in slavery.
3. Roasted egg – another symbol of spring

4. Shank Bone – The lamb was offered as a sacrifice and then eaten on the night of Passover before the Israelites left Egypt.

5. Bitter herbs – Horseradish to reflect the bitterness of slavery

At the table there are also 4 glasses of wine . 4 of the glasses are shared by all at different stages in the meal. Each cup also represents an aspect of the walk from Slavery to Freedom:

1st cup – Freedom
2nd cup – Deliverance
3rd cup – Redemption
4th cup – Release
5th cup – Elijah’s cup – set side for the prophet Elijah

photo credit: family fun

Matzo Haystacks


1. Coconut-Almond Haystacks: Melt the chocolate chips according to the directions on the package, and stir until smooth.

2. Combine the crushed matzos, the coconut, and the almonds in a large mixing bowl. Pour the melted chocolate over the dry mixture and stir until all of the pieces are coated.

3. Use a teaspoon to dollop haystacks onto a sheet of parchment or waxed paper, or into paper muffin cups. Allow the treats to cool (about 10 minutes). Makes about 60 pieces.

4. Variations:

Dried Fruit Haystacks: Follow the recipe above but reduce the amount of chocolate chips to 2 cups and substitute 1 cup of dried fruit for the coconut and almonds. We used a mix of chopped apricots and sweetened cranberries.

Enjoy your families holidays! What kinds of crafts to you do with your children for Easter or Passover?
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  1. That peeps flower is just adorable!! Would you believe that the stores were completely out of peeps this year when I went to get Easter basket goodies for the kiddos?!

    Just stopping by on this gorgeous day to show you some comment luv...

    Tree (aka Mother of Pearl)

    P.S. I would love to invite you to join our new community network for moms...Mommies Faves Mom Bloggers Network. Hope to see you there soon!

  2. Hi!
    Following you back! You have a great blog...I'll be anxious to read all of it!

  3. Wow, love the peep cake! It is adorable!

  4. Those are all such great ideas! I wish I would have seen this post before the holidays. I will have it for next year though:) Thanks

  5. Very cool! I am printing out those ideas to use next year. (But that first one is A LOT of peeps)


Thank you very much for stopping by today! Comments are welcome and appreciated. But please, please be kind. :)