This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Post. Regardless of compensation, all opinions are 100% my own.
Since I was a little girl, string popcorn and cranberries to decorate the tree was a holiday tradition. Now my little ones like to add their own special touches by suggesting new ingredients to make our garland special. This year we’re writing holiday words, messages, and phrases using Alpha-Bits cereal.
Encouraging My Kids to Play with Their Food!
This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. We always make hot chocolate, along with our bowls of popcorn, and put in a holiday movie. Then, we start stringing and showing off our creations to each other. And, of course, while we create, we eat! We snack on popcorn and cereal! It’s such a frugal activity that is great for families and fun for everyone.
- Alpha-Bits Cereal
- Popped Popcorn (Plain, No Butter)
- Cranberries (Fresh)
- Embroidery Floss (Strong, but Not Too Thick)
- Needles (Fat with Rounded Ends)
Making Holiday Tree Strings is all about creativity. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Simply cut a long piece of string and thread your needle. To help kids, you can tie the thread onto the needle, but keep your knot small. Tie the end of your thread, then begin stringing on your ingredients. Once you’re done, remove your needle, tie the other end, and place it on your tree like garland.
What Are We Learning
- Spelling or ABC’s. Use the Alpha-Bits to spell Christmas words, message, and phrases on your string like “Merry Christmas”, “Jesus”, “Santa Claus”, and “Gifts”. For younger kids, you can simply create your ABC’s. Kids will have fun reading it and showing off their work throughout the season.
- Patterns. Create patterns with your ingredients. You can create patterns based on letters, colors, or the ingredients themselves.
- Counting. When creating patterns, count ingredients to make strings that include items likes 5 popcorns, 1 cranberry, 1 word, 1 cranberry, and 5 popcorns.
- Sorting. Sort ingredients by color, letter, or even broken ingredients that won’t string well.
- Coordination. Stringing ingredients takes a bit of hand-eye coordination, especially for little ones.
- Teamwork. This activity is great for families. Working together to build your strings, makes it much more fun!
- Safety. It’s important to show kids the right way to handle a needle, even if it’s rounded and less likely to hurt them, along with scissor safety.
Tips & Ideas
- Long needles work best. For younger kids, you can use a larger, rounded-end needle so it won’t hurt if they poke themselves.
- When threading popcorn, stick the needle through the fat puffed part of the popcorn. It won’t easily go through the kernel pieces.
- Add other ingredients. Just make sure they won’t spoil on your tree throughout the season. Things you can include are:
- Classic pretzels (just put the string through one of the openings, don’t try to stick the needle through them or they’ll crumble.)
- Gum Drops or Jelly Beans
- Post Honeycomb Cereal, Mini-Cinnamon Churros, or Waffle Crisp
- Food Coloring (toss popcorn or cereal in food coloring to add color)