Oreo Ghost Cookies

Need a quick and easy kid-friendly Halloween treat?  These Oreo ghost cookie ghost snacks will fit the bill for preschool parties, school-aged parties, or a play date. Any Halloween party would be a little sweeter with these easy ghost cookies!

Oreo ghost cookie snack treats. These would be great for preschool or school parties and Kid-friendly Halloween parties.


Ghost Cookie Halloween Treats

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I started with a package of Oreo cookies.  Twist the tops off.  Eat them.
 
Of course.



Grab a handful of M&MS minis.  Sort out the brown ones.  Eat the rest.


I mean, mom needs a little sugar too.  To keep up with the kids. Right??!

Next is the fun part:  Assembling the ghost cuties.  I used a vegetable slicer to make a wavy bottom to the ghosts.  Press the vegie slicer onto the white cookie cream and curve it a bit.  Scrape the cookie cream off of the black cookie.  
 
Eat it.
 
Notice a theme?

Press the m&ms onto the ghost faces.  I only slightly pressed the candies and they stayed in place.  If you are going to be transporting these cookies to a party, you might want to use a bit of icing to keep them in place.  Use a large straw to press out a mouth from the cookies.  Your ghosts are done!


Let us know if you make these cookies for a fun Halloween event.  

Crockpot Slow Cooker Meal Ideas Busy Families

This time of year, it’s about schedules.  School schedules, evening activities, weekend family time, homework, and busyness!  We pulled together a few must-make recipes from The Wonderful Wednesday blog hop that all use the slow cooker! Crock pot cooking is the way to go this time of year when the weather cools and comfort food sounds so good.  Pull out these ingredients in the morning before the kids get up, throw dinner together in the crock pot and go about your day.  Dinner is done!


Slow Cooker ideas for Busy families:

Slow Cooker meal ideas for busy families.  Throw everything in the crockpot before the kids get up and dinner is done!

Crockpot Beef Shepherds Pie from Sidetracked Sarah
Slow Cooker Sausage and Pumpkin Chili from Thrifty NW Mom
Crockpot Apple Crisp from More Than a Mom of Three
Slow Cooker Spicy Egg Casserole from Homemaking Hacks
Slow Cooker Chili Dogs from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage 
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches from Recipes for Our Daily Bread

Bear Puppets We’re Going On A Bear Hunt

We're going on a bear hunt craft

Preschool Book Club is back with another great book and activity.  This time, we’re exploring Michael Rosen’s “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”.  This book is SO much fun.  The detailed directions, the descriptive adventures, and the catchy phrases make it a hit with Toddlers and Preschoolers.  My crew can recite this book from heart after reading it over and over again.





What better way to celebrate a fun book than a cute snack??!  We made bear hunt puppets to go along with the exploring family in the book.  These edible puppets will make the story telling fun (and tasty)!

We're Going On a Bear Hunt book and snack idea for kids, this is perfect for Preschool!




 
We're Going on a Bear Hunt snack activity
 

 


We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Edible Puppets

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We're Going on a Bear Hunt snack activity

Making these bear puppet snacks is so easy.


teddy bear cookies 
pretzel dipping sticks 
peanut butter (although you could use any type of butter or even icing)

Start by putting a dab of peanut butter (or other butter) on the end of the pretzel stick.

Try not to eat it.

Stick the teddy bear grahams onto the peanut butter.  Done.  


Easy cuteness.



Show the kids how the bear goes over, under, around, and through as you read the book.  This is a great way to talk about spatial relationships while you discuss the family and bear’s journey through tall grass, mud, water, and forest.

Of course Baby Girl must do as big brother does.



We had fun making the bear puppets climb, jump, run, spin.  Even though it wasn’t exactly like the book…Little Guy had his bear doing ninja skills.


Of course.

We added a bowl of popcorn for a bit more snack time.  The popcorn became snow that the bears had to run through.
 

 



We enjoyed our bear puppet snacks.  The Preschool Book club will be back in two weeks with another great book for kids.  You can see all of the other books we’ve done here:

Back to School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

Have a picky eater? These back to school lunch ideas for picky eaters have you covered so kids can eat a healthy lunch so they can learn. Let’s explore some of the best ways to support kids with picky palates.

Back to School Lunch Ideas for Picky Eaters

Back to School means it’s time to start thinking about packing lunches.  The same old peanut butter and jelly gets old.  Old for the kids to open in the lunchroom every day and old for mama to make day after day!  We’ve started to think about healthy lunch choices for our little students so that they are eating a rainbow of foods in the cafeteria.  There are tons of links out there with super cute, themed lunches.  And that’s fine.  They are beyond adorable and will make the kids smile.  But sometimes, a mom wants to get the kids out the door and know that they have a healthy and nourishing meal for lunch.  We’ve got some easy options that you may not have thought of.

Send the kids back to school with a lunchbox full of healthy foods.

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Healthy Lunch Ideas for Back to School

Pack items from this list to replace the same old sandwich, apple, chips lunch that the kids get tired of day after day:

hummus
cucumber slices
berries (blue, red, black)
peanut butter (or butter substitute) and honey wraps
cheese cubes
sliced bananas tossed in a graham cracker/wheat germ combo
sliced raw veggies (peppers, carrots, celery, radishes)
sandwiches cut with a cookie cutter (Be creative if you like.  A pumpkin shaped sandwich works in May, too!)
pasta leftovers
slider sandwiches using mini rolls
applesauce
nuts (only if approved by your child’s school allergy policies)
half a banana (keep the peel on)
edamame
lunch meat/cheese wraps
frozen peas
mini bagels
lettuce wrap
cheese sticks
air popped popcorn
dried fruit
soup in a thermos
Smoothies (freeze the thermos the night before, pour smoothie into the thermos in the morning)
ham and cheese skewered onto popsicle sticks
banana and cream cheese sandwich (or wrap)
mini pizzas made on English muffins (keep warm in a thermos)
grape tomatoes
raisins
dried cranberries
cubed melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew)
olives
granola and yogurt
hard boiled egg
sliced kiwi
dry cereal
sliced avocado
cucumber slices and mustard on a whole wheat pita
leftover turkey or chicken (kept in a thermos) or cold with cheese slices
corn on the cob (heated and stored in a thermos)
shredded carrots
“ants on a log” (peanut butter and raisins on celery sticks)
homemade chicken nuggets with barbeque sauce or ranch to dip
cereal bars or homemade granola bars
sandwich made with waffles instead of bread
cottage cheese with fruit
greek yogurt with fruit

What are healthy lunch ideas for back to school? This link has a bunch of tips!

Tips and Tools for Healthy Lunches for Kids:

Sometimes, a child just needs a unique presentation to encourage healthy eating and trying new foods.  We wanted to check out different tools for packing school lunches.  If you’ve got all of those healthy foods, you have to keep them arranged and edible!

Kids will love a lunch packed with these fun items.

How great are these ideas for school lunches (or stay at home lunches!):

Use fun skewers for fruits, veggies, and even meats and cheeses.
 These (Amazon affiliate links) plastic skewers would be a great (and adorable) way to arrange a lunch box variety of veggies, fruits, or even meats and cheeses.  Note- These would be great for older kids.  Use caution when sending skewers (even the plastic variety) off to school with a young child.
Staying at home for lunch?  Throw together a version of this fun dinosaur lunch from Snackpicks.
A fun plate like this food face plate set could be a great way to encourage picky eaters to try new foods.
Sick of sandwiches?  Use a muffin with all the fixin’s like Keeley McGuire.
A couple of these sectioned plastic containers make it easy to divide foods into compartments and snap a lid into place.  Throw it all in a lunch box and you’re set.

Pack veggies and dip like this lunch from Wendolonia.
 I love this Bento lunch box container.  It’s such an easy way to separate lunch items into sections and keep everything cool and ready for lunch.  The dip container is perfect for yogurt, hummus, or dressing.

Circus Preschool Toddler Theme Summer Camp at Home

We’re joining up with the awesome bloggers in the All Things Kids community to bring your creative and fun ideas to get your summer off to a great start.  So, the kids are out of school and ready for some fun.  The running around in the sprinkler and riding bikes are perfect to start off a summer of freedom.  But, what happens when the first “I’m bored” starts?  We’ve got you covered on ideas to keep the kids moving, learning, and creating this summer.  Each of us All Things Kids bloggers are bringing you ideas for themed activities.  These would be perfect too in place of a summer camp or vacation bible school and just do an at-home summer camp with the kids.  Why not invite a few friends over and start your own backyard summer camp for the kids? 

Backyard Summer Camp

It’s that simple to create a neighborhood summer camp!  Pull up the ideas from the all things kids bloggers and you’ve got 7 weeks of themes covered for a summer of camp fun.  We’ve found the best crafts, activities, snacks, and more all based on each week’s theme.  I’m ready for a backyard summer!
Check out all of the summer camp ideas: RobotsBugs  Around the World , Animals, Ocean and Beach, Nature, and today’s post by us…Circus!

We’re scouring the net for the best and most creative ways to make your own Circus themed Summer Camp for preschoolers and toddlers.  We’ve got circus crafts, circus snacks, circus fine motor and gross motor activities to get the summer off to great start. 


Circus Theme Crafts

The kids will love a few circus crafts.  These lion, tiger, and monkey masks (Danya Banya) will keep the kids occupied and pretending. Or try this elephant mask craft (East Coast Mommy) for more pretend play.  For more circus animal crafts, try this activity from Inspired Treehouse.  

Kids will love making a craft a day at your backyard camp.  Make this elephant mask (Mamas Like Me) and they can wear it throughout the week. Children can work on so many important developmental areas while developing their scissor skills.  If painting is more your thing, this lion craft (Sassy Dealz) is a super cute circus animal to make.   Need a few more crafts to keep the kids busy with your circus theme?  I love these circus clown costumes (KangarooBoo blog) made with party hats and paper plates.

We loved making our circus tent craft.  This trapeze artist craft (Boy Mama Teacher Mama) is equally cute! A handprint zoo (House of Burke) would be a great memento to remember your week of circus fun.


Circus Theme Snacks

A backyard summer camp or themed learning unit definitely needs snacks to keep little ones going and energy levels high.  Here’s a few circus themed ideas for snack time:
  • Goldfish in a bag (You won goldfish!)
  • animal crackers
  • popcorn
  • Sandwiches cut into fun circus shapes with circus cookie cutters (and then reuse those cookie cutters for stamp art painting later in the week!)


  • A
    dd these things to a little peanut butter (or other nut butter) for some protein.


Circus Theme Gross Motor Backyard Activities

I know a few little ones who would LOVE this water gun game (Driven By Décor).  Use a few ping pong balls and a squirt gun for an easy (and summer-ific) carnival game. Inspired Treehouse put together put together three gross motor circus activities.  A ball toss game would be easy to set up with a few bins and some bean bags or balls. 


Circus Theme Sensory Activities

The kids (and moms) will get a kick out of a fun circus sensory activity.  How cool is this popcorn painting activity (Mess for Less)? We put together a few fun ideas for circus sensory bins in our circus party essentials post

 


Circus Theme Learning

Any circus unit or backyard camp needs circus books!  These are some of our favorites.

Button snack for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

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We are so excited to join a few other fabulous bloggers in a series based on preschool books.  Today’s book is one of our absolute favorites and one that we know by heart…and recite a ton!  Little Guy is a huge fan of Pete the Cat books so when I showed him what we would be doing with these button snacks, he was VERY excited! 
We don’t actually own any Pete the Cat books, but check them out from the library ALL the time.  We checked out Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
and made a fun snack to eat while we read the book (and did a little math, too!)
Kids will love these button snacks for Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons snack

Cooking with Kids. Button Snacks

I started with a piece of whole wheat bread, a spice lid for cutting, and a straw.  The spice lid was the perfect size to stamp out buttons from the piece of bread, but you could use any size circle lid or cookie cutter.  Little Guy was totally into this cooking with kids activity.  He smashed the lid down on the bread and loved popping it out.

Once the circles were cut from the bread, I used the straw to poke homes into the circles.  Voila!  Buttons were made.  To make the holes, just press the straw strait down onto the circle and twist a little.  The hole will form easily.  This is another completely fun part for the kids to do…poking that straw into the bread is very fun…Little Guy had a blast!

I was able to get four buttons from each slice of bread.  They were looking pretty cute as is, but I wanted to make little sandwiches.

A little peanut butter and the button snacks were done.

These peanut butter button sandwiches are cute and easy to make snack for kids.

Now that is what I call four groovy buttons!

We read the book together and ate the button snacks.  As each button popped off in the story, Little Guy ate one of the snacks. 

Literally, popping the button sandwiches into his mouth.

We did the math along with the story.  He was so excited to figure out the subtraction with the button snack counters.

Kids will love to eat these button sandwiches.

How cute are these little sandwiches?

This was such a fun way to read and learn…and snack!

Button Snack based on the book Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons

Be sure to check out the other blogs to see how they are playing along with Pete the Cat!

Mama. Papa. Bubba. Pete the Cat sewing activity
Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails Pete the Cat Counting Activity

We recently started a new board on Pinterest all about BOOKS for KIDS and the activities that can go along with the book.  Stop by and follow along for fun books you can add to your library queue!  We’re having a blast pinning over there!

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Granola Recipe with Super Food Ingredients

This mama has been on a granola kick recently.  We shared a picture on our Instagram feed not too long ago about a yummy pregnancy craving involving granola, peanut butter, and apples.  When the granola ran out, there was nothing to do but make a batch from scratch!
This granola recipe has some major super food ingredients and is one of the many batches I’ve been experimenting with.  I wanted to share this recipe because it is SO good, and the kids have been gobbling it up.  Every mom wants Healthy snacks for kids and this one hits the mark! They’ve even choosing it over all of the boxed cereals we’ve got for breakfast choices.
Granola recipe with super foods

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This granola recipe includes super foods like almonds.
Almonds!  These little buggers were chopped up and one of the super foods in this recipe.  
I went with ingredients we had on hand.  The cool thing about granola recipes is that you can adjust so many ingredients based on what you’ve got handy or individual tastes, and you get totally different (YUMMY) results.
Kids will want to eat this granol recipe before it's even done!

There was some stealing happening.

Very healthy granola recipe you can make at home
Spread 2 cups of uncooked Oats (another super food!) on a large cookie sheet.  Mix in 3/4 cup almonds, 1/2 cup cranberries (super food!), 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa (super food!), 2 tablespoons. dark brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Ground Cinnamon,  and 1/2 teaspoons. Ground Nutmeg.
This granola recipe has healthy ingredients like bran and flax seed.
Now for the super super food part…I added 1/2 cup ground flax seed (super food!) and 1/2 cup wheat germ (super food!) to the mix.  How pretty does this look?  The flax seed will give your granola a nutty taste, but it’s not overpowering and goes well with the almonds. 
Toss all of these super foods together and drizzle 3 teaspoons of vanilla, 2 teaspoons of olive oil (super food!), and 1/2 cup honey (…super food on some lists, although not the link I shared above…).  Mix it all up and throw into the pre-heated oven set at 250 degrees F for 45 min.  Keep an eye on your granola and stir it all up at least 3 times.  Watch it towards the end of the 45 minutes. 

Easy homemade granola recipe

Yumminess.  Try not to eat it while it’s still hot.  Let the goodness sit on the cookie sheet until cooled and then scoop it up with a spatula into a container.

The kids gobbled up this banana-peanut butter-granola snack! 
We’ve been loving our granola over Greek yogurt, with apples and peanut butter, and with milk as cereal.  I love all of the healthy foods that the kids are getting with this snack/breakfast. 
What other alternatives can you think of to add or substitute to your granola recipe?
We’ve also done some of these substitutes and are definitely going to try some others:
raisins
chopped walnuts
without quinoa
without brown sugar
coconut oil
maple syrup
agave syrup
puffed rice
sunflower seeds
chopped pecans
peanut butter
chocolate chips
white chocolate chips
dark chocolate chips
dried fruit
Looking for more kid-friendly foods?  Stop by and follow along on our

Follow Sugar Aunts’ board Food for Kids on Pinterest.

Valentine’s Day Snacks for Kids

We love to create fun snacks and foods for the kids.  It’s so much fun to make healthy foods look fun for holidays.  Valentine’s Day is coming up this week and we’ve got some non-candy snacks to share.  Get ready to create in the kitchen, because the kids are going to gobble up these Valentine’s Day snacks!   
 

 

 

 

 

Valentine’s Day Snacks for Kids 

Kids gobble up this Valentine's Day granola parfait snack!

 

 

 
This granola recipe is AWESOME!  We’ll be sharing soon, so stop back and see how we made this super-food granola.  Can’t. stop. eating it.  And the kids are loving it too.  I made this pretty little parfait for the kids and I to share one day.  It’s got our super-food granola, vanilla Greek yogurt, and sliced strawberries.  This is the perfect Valentine’s Day healthy dessert, breakfast, or yummy snack to hold off the sweet intake on this candy-driven holiday!  Put it in a wine glass, and it’s just right for your romantic dinner dessert.
 
Granola is the best healthy snack for kids.

 

 

 
Seriously. SO good!
 
My kids love grape tomatoes! The perfect healthy Valentine's Day snack!

 

 

 
My kids looooove grape tomatoes.  We could (and have) gone through a whole pack of them in a day.  A quick slice with a knife and you’ve got hearts.  The kids cheered when they say these.  And then gobbled them all up!
 
A cheese and pepperoni plate for Valentine's Day.
 Kids love cheese, pepperoni, and crackers at snack time.  These hearts were made with a heart shaped cookie cutter.  Hint: stack a few slices of cheese or pepperoni and then cut your hearts.  Quicker is better when the little ones are running around and starving 😉

 

Heart shaped cheese and pepperoni make the perfect non-candy Valentine's day treat for kids.
 
We hope these snack ideas will give you a few fun ideas for this Valentine’s Day.  Make it simple, meaningful, and fun. 
 
 

Colleen Beck, OTR/L is an occupational therapist with 20+ years experience, graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 2000. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. As the creator, author, and owner of the website and its social media channels, Colleen strives to empower those serving kids of all levels and needs. Want to collaborate? Send an email to contact@theottoolbox.com.