I’m fortunate to have several friends with toddlers who enjoy crafting. The daughter of an art teacher, I get a kick out of helping kids use their hands to create something original and full of pride. I remember how much fun it was to paint a ceramic in elementary school then proudly present the mottled heart box to dad for Father’s Day, and to get sticky fingers and glitter everywhere making glitter pinecones for holiday presents.
Using Pinterest as an inspiration and thinking about kid-friendliness, I rustled up the materials for DIY cinnamon ornaments. Crafting doesn’t have to be expensive, and simpler is better — (I mean, do you remember my failed DIY Tin Lantern?) So I figured it doesn’t get much easier than a two-ingredient recipe from McCormick for cinnamon ornaments.
Before you endeavor on this little baked craft adventure, a few tips to keep in mind:
- Toddlers like to eat things that look like cookie dough. Toddler review: “It tastes fpatsey.” Me: “Fartsy? It tastes like farts?!” Mother Translation: “He says it tastes spicy.” Ah.
- One batch made about 12 ornaments. The attention span of these lovely 3.5 year old kids was about one ornament per child. I got an extra 30 seconds if we drew the letter of their first name.
- These are not fix ‘n forget items. They bake for 2.5 hours.
- Use the plastic wrap as stated and roll the dough 1/3 to 1/2 inch thick. I made some too thin that they were brittle and snapped.
- The holes you make for stringing through ribbon will shrink. Use a big straw, or 2 holes next to each other.
- Unlike sugar cookies, if you put these on the cookie sheet with a crack in the dough, the crack will not fuse. Keep the dough wet-ish by adding more applesauce.
- Accustomed to decorating sugar cookies, I found the plain surfaces dull and attempted to add some decorations via toothpick drawings. You should pass on this. Plain is perfect.
- Find cookie cutters before you start. Unless you like circles from glasses in various shapes, in which case, make sure you have very clean edges.
For the record, these turned out mostly fine. Not awesome, and also not bad for a first attempt. All’s well that ends well. Definitely worth an easy $8 and some crafting. And I think my mom will like a homemade present from one of her little girls.