Edible Art: 5 fabulous recipes for stress-free craft time

Cheryl Lovstrom, Community Learning Network

0 1 26 May 2016

One of the most popular activities in many Family Literacy programs is craft time. And everyone knows, the younger the crafter, the more likely the craft supplies are to end up in someone’s mouth. Family Literacy Facilitators and Coordinators alike need to be especially aware of poisons, choking hazards and allergies when planning a program, and still need to come up with ideas that are engaging and fun.

There are tons of ideas on the internet for safe, edible crafts, but who has time to hunt them all down?

Well, you’re in luck! Here, all in one place, are 5 easy recipes for a great crafting experience:

1. Easy, No-Cook Play dough http://www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/no -bake-play-dough/

What you need:

  • 1 large tarp or sheet of plastic
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 ½ Cups of salt
  • 4 Cups flour (not for groups with gluten sensitivities)
  • 2-4 TBS cooking oil (Canola works well)
  • 1 Cup water
  • Food colouring

Step 1: pour water into a large mixing bowl

Step 2: add food colouring to make a very bright mixture (flour will make it much paler in the end)

Step 3: add flour and salt to the water and stir to mix it up

Step 4: add the oil and mix a little more

Step 5: get those little fingers kneading the dough to make the final product (if the dough is crumbly, add a touch more oil to soften it)

NOTE: you’ll want to have a tarp under your working area to protect the floor, and remember to keep plenty of wipes nearby to clean up messy fingers. Mix the flour into the coloured liquid well so little hands don’t get stained. The original recipe calls for glitter to make the playdough sparkle, but it is not recommended for tiny tasters.

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamieanne/15685305950 


2. “Edible” Glue http://www.icanteachmychild.com/homemade-glue/

What you need:

  • ¾ Cup water
  • 2 TBS corn syrup
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2TBS corn starch
  • ¾ Cups cold water

Step 1: heat ¾ Cup of water, vinegar, and corn syrup in a small pot until boiling

Step 2: in a separate, small bowl, combine ¾ Cup water and corn starch and mix well

Step 3: add the corn starch mixture to the heated mixture and stir continuously until boiling. Continue to stir for exactly 1 minute

Step 4: remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes until it starts to thicken

Step 5: pour into a container and let sit overnight

NOTE: because it requires cooking, this is not recommended for use in group, but makes a good, “edible” glue for crafts. In a pinch, corn syrup on its own makes a good temporary glue (but it does melt when it warms up).

Photo credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:General_glue.jpg


“Edible” crafts and supplies are all well and good, but what if you could eat the whole thing? Here are some great craft/snack ideas to make you a hero with a whole, new group of fans:


3. Butterfly Snack Bags http://jugglingwithkids.com/2012/01/butterfly-snacks.html

What you need:

  • Snack foods (cereal, raisins, grapes, goldfish crackers, etc.)
  • Zipper lunch bags
  • Wooden clothes pins (or coloured plastic ones work, too)
  • Pipe cleaners (cut in 3’s – about 4” pieces)
  • Washable markers
  • Googly Eyes & glue (skip this step for groups with young children)

Step 1: colour your clothespin to make a bright butterfly body and draw eyes on the “clip” end

Step 2: fold a pipe cleaner to look like antennae and tuck it into the clothes pin “mouth”

Step 3: fill the baggie with your preferred snack, but leave room to pinch it in the middle

Step 4: zip up the baggie, pinch it in the middle, and clip it with the pipe cleaner

Step 5: eat your butterfly snack!

NOTE: if you use grapes, be sure to cut them in half length-wise to avoid a choking hazard. There are also a variety of gluten-free cereals available for children with sensitivities (chex, rice krispies, and cheerios, are all available in a gluten-free formula).

Photo credit: Cheryl Hollidge


4. Ants on a Log http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/recipes-for-kids/cooking-with-kids/reinvented--ants-on-a-log.html

What you need:

  • Celery sticks (cut in 4-5” pieces)
  • Cream cheese
  • Raisins, craisins, chocolate chips, etc.)

Step 1: fill the celery with the cream cheese

Step 2: press raisins, etc. into the cheese filling

Step 3: eat!

NOTE: Beware of allergies when doing this craft. Peanut butter is not recommended. For very young children, try banana in place of celery.

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ants_on_a_log


5. Banana Caterpillars http://www.babble.com/best-recipes/your-kids-will-go-banans-over-these-7-super-cute-snack-ideas/#Banana%20Caterpillar

What you will need:

  • Paper plates
  • Plastic knives
  • Banana
  • Pretzel sticks
  • Raisins
  • Cheerios, m & m’s, raisins, etc.
  • Snap peas

Step 1: with a plastic knife, slice the banana into “coins”

Step 2: line the coins up on a plate to form a caterpillar shape

Step 3: break pretzel sticks to make antennae and legs for your caterpillar

Step 4: line up raisins, etc. on the banana coins to make them colourful

Step 5: give your caterpillar eyes

Step 6: put snap peas at the bottom of the plate to make the “grass”

Step 7: munch away!

 Photo Credit: Cheryl Lovstrom


All Family Literacy programs require snack time as part of each session. Why not make it fun for everyone? Snacks can be theme based or seasonal, and the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Be sure to share your favourites in the comment section; we can’t wait to try them out!


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