Kids seem naturally attracted to all things seaworthy, which is probably why they're fascinated with everything from the Jonah and the Whale tale to Sponge Bob SquarePants' latest antics. Whether you're running a day care centre, babysitting or hosting your children's friends, elevate snack time to new heights by inviting your charges to make their own clever sea creature snacks.
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Get in the Swim of Things
Turn cream cheese or cool whip into a creamy ocean by adding a few drops of blue food colouring. Give kids a slice of bread, rice cakes or graham crackers and pass around the cream cheese base and a bowl of multicoloured, fish-shaped crackers to decorate the snacks. Or, put blue-tinted whipped topping into bowls and let the kids add gummy sharks and banana and strawberry slices.
When is an Octopus Actually a Dog?
Serve up octopuses for a snack and let the kids add some personality. A hot dog that's been slit from the ends while leaving a head intact will curl up when it cooks. Cut eight slits into each dog and then fry, broil or boil the meat; you'll produce a gang of not-so-menacing sea creatures for little snackers. Ask kids to "finger paint" faces on their octopus with ketchup, mayo and mustard.
It's Cool to Make Octopops
Make octopops for a cool summer refresher. Pour blue juice or fruit punch into small paper cups; have kids arrange eight gummy worms around the rim and then pour in the juice so the worms are half submerged. Add a craft stick and freeze. When kids peel away the cups, each octopop will look menacing when those squiggly worm legs hang down and turn into tentacles.
J-E-L-L - Oh!
Make and refrigerate blue gelatin. Once it starts to set, ask kids to put sliced grapes, gummy sharks and gummy fish into their individual ocean dessert cups. Substitute pineapple sea creatures (by Dole) for the gummy candies if you want to cut back on sugar. Mark each dish with names so kids collect the right undersea snack once everything gels.
Welcome to Pasta Beach
Boil a box of pasta shells. Tint Alfredo sauce ocean blue with food colouring. Put the shells into snack-size bowls. Top with the blue sauce and invite kids to add coloured fish crackers to their snack. If pasta is too filling for an afternoon snack, turn kids loose making their own coral reefs of Cheetos glued together with squirts of cheese from a can. Add fish crackers to the reef. It's messy, but fun!
Krispy Marshmallow Sea Creatures
Make rice cereal and marshmallow monsters by preparing a recipe for rice cereal squares. However, instead of pressing the mix into a baking pan, give each child a cup of the mix to make a monster worthy of a prize. Prepare a bowl of blue-tinted whipped topping so kids can dip their monsters into the ocean before eating them. This snack recipe is sweet enough to transform snack time into giggle time, so put off naps if it's on the menu.
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