Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gingerbread Trees


Well this week is the last week before Christmas break and we are having our classroom Christmas party. I love to do fun Bingo games, make Christmas cards for parents,  and decorate upside-down sugar cones to make a little tree scene on a paper plate. They are much easier to do than gingerbread houses out of graham crackers. The kids are more successful and they are easier for younger kids to do. I love to see the finished products too. They are colorful and delicious! and...there are no tears when somebody's roof falls off! Yeah, and they are just as pretty as you can see!

More candy on the plate than on the tree....

First you will need:
1. Sugar Cones (the pointy waffle type kind)
2. White icing tubs from the grocery store & some green food coloring
3. small, heavy paper plates and some plastic or regular knives for spreading
4. candies such as M&Ms, mini and regular, gumdrops, smarties, lemonheads, chocolate chips, star shapes,
    tiny runts, marshmallows, red hots, mike and ike,  ANY kind of tiny candy really!
5. Optional, tiny candy canes and tiny gingerbread men crackers/cookies from the box
6. Licorice whips (the red, peel apart kind).

Post of my parents donated 1 item or a bag of candy...

Mix 5 drops of food coloring into the vanilla icing tubs and spread a walnut sized blob on each plate. Then you can place the cones upside down like a tree on the blob of icing to "glue" them to a plate. One of the other teachers glue guns them to the plate, but then what if they want to eat them later...YUK!

Then  ice the trees rather heavily with green icing until no sugar cone shows through. Put a good, thick layer on or the candy won't have "glue" to adhere to. Kids as young as 3 can do this, trust me, it is easy. Younger kids can have mom spread and then they decorate. 

Got these from the dollar store a few years back...

I use a few of those veggie and dip sectioned off platters in plastic and fill each section with a different kind of candy. That way kids at tables can all share 1 platter and have lots of variety. If you don't have one of those just use muffin tins (the 6 muffin kind) and fill those up. Or else just use small bowls to separate your candies.  Every year I get a different variety. This year somebody brought white chocolate chips. They looked real cute next to the skittles and red hots. :)
This year we got marshmallow snowmen instead of licorice peel aparts...CUTE!

The kids get creative and add the candy however they want to on their Christmas trees! Some kids like to put a gumdrop on a blob of icing on the plate and add a tiny candy cane pushed into the gumdrop. Add a gingerbread man cookie to the plate or make a path of marshmallows or M&Ms around the tree. Lasty they can add those licorice pull aparts to put a garland of red around their tree. Anything goes. 

All Wrapped UP!

When they are all done and have eaten half of the candy in the chip and dip containers put the plates inside a gallon size zip-lock baggie to go home. In case somebody's drops theirs on the floor it will be protected on the bus ride or car ride home. They are cute left out as table decorations in the kitchen or on a shelf for Christmas. They always turn out lookin great!

Little Works of ART!

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