I have been enjoying every second of my time with he kids while they are on spring break from school. It is so making me look forward to summer vacation, projects, and playing all day! I am also reminded that busy kids are happy kids. For that reason we have been doing all sorts of projects together to keep their little hands and minds busy so they don’t have time to cause trouble. This was a fun Easter activity that the kids had a great time with. We made candy bird houses for our Peeps, and now have some beautiful little bird houses to display through Easter! Graham crackers turned bird houses are a sweet way to make a peep house that the kids can decorate any old way they want. Of course, covering it with candy is an obvious choice. Not only would this be a great activity to do before Easter, but a great way to use up uneaten candy after the Easter holiday.
If you remember back to Christmas time, I showed you a simple way to make gingerbread Christmas trees using ice cream cones. My kids had SO much fun doing that project that I decided an Easter version might be in store this year. We had a couple packages of homeless Peeps in the cupboard and I figured that it was time to give them homes that were as sweet and colorful as they were. This was a really fun project that our whole family did together, and was really a hit with the kids. I picked up a few supplies from the grocery store and we were creating houses in no time.
Here is what we used to make 4 peep houses:
1 box graham crackers
4 paper plates
1 bag coconut (mixed with a little green food coloring)
1 small bag Jelly Beans
pastel after dinner mints
assorted sugar sprinkles (I make this by adding a drop of food coloring to regular sugar)
2 packages of bird shaped peeps
2 tubs of prepackaged frosting (one white and one pink – cherry flavored) separated into small dishes with different colors added
As always, I separated the kids stuff out so they were each on a different side of the table. I have found that that is the easiest way to make any project with the kids easier and more fun. They each get the same supplies so their are no arguments, and I separated everything with cupcake liners to keep it all from ending up in one big pile. I also added different colors to the food coloring so they kids had lots of colors to choose from.
Let me just be clear on the graham cracker house! These are not edible once they are put together. I learned a little trick from my kid’s preschool teachers when it comes to gingerbread building. I literally hot glued the houses together and then glued them right to the plate. This makes sure that the house is sturdy enough to hold up to a kid’s not-so-delicate frosting technique! You are totally welcome to try this the old fashioned way, but my kids are just not that patient or careful. Had I made the houses a day ahead and let them dry really well, they might have been okay, but I am fairly certain my daughter would have crushed her house during the decorating process anyway! So – do it however you want to, but these bird houses are glued together for durability and NOT EDIBLE, but they are fun to decorate.
No worries for my kids though. The project was a complete success and there was not one complaint about not being able to eat the graham cracker house. Probably because they ate their fill of candy and frosting while decorating. In fact they got into the house decorating so much, that I don’t think they were even thinking about it.
They were able to frost away until their houses were completely covered in whatever colors they wanted. The only thing they needed a little help with was frosting the inside of the houses. I tried to make the frosting colors pretty pastels – so the Peeps had an appropriate Easter colored house for the holidays.
Then came the candy decorations and the sugar sprinkles. The kids got a little crazy and covered every inch of their houses with frosting, sugar, and candy, just like I expected they would. Their houses turned out so darling, and they could not wait to put the Peeps in upon completion of their new houses! They are a Marshmallow Peeps dream house.
It was a great activity to do as a family, and building the new houses for the Peeps gave us a chance to talk about new beginnings and the importance of Easter in a way that the kids could understand. We added crosses to the sides of the houses at the end as a reminder that Easter is really not about the candy and the goodies, but an important time for families to be together and celebrate. All in all this was just a great activity for the kids and for us too. A nice quiet afternoon project to give us a chance to slow down and spend some time together. I think our Peeps are pretty thrilled with their new digs too!
Happy Easter to you all and I hope that you holiday is filled with sweet memories, family, and maybe a little candy too!