Children and grandchildren will soon be on school holidays and growing increasingly excited about the arrival of Father Christmas (not to mention his sleigh-load of presents!).
If you’re looking for last-minute inspiration, be sure to read seven must-have toys to buy your children or grandchildren this Christmas and then return here for help keeping little ones calm and entertained in the run-up to the big day.
Baking is a great way to get children thinking about the food they eat and learning new skills, all while having fun.
Here’s your rundown of eight festive sweet and savoury treats that you can make with them this Christmas.
Gingerbread is a winter baking staple, and these stained-glass biscuits are a simple but exciting twist on a festive classic.
Featured on BBC Good Food, these vegan biscuits use a simple-to-follow gingerbread recipe that takes around 40 minutes to prepare, with five minutes of cooking time for a total of 30 biscuits.
They can be cut to any shape you like – snowflakes, or Christmas stars – but symmetrical designs work best. Boiled sweets, melted in the middle of your biscuits, create the beautiful stained-glass effect.
Add a smaller hole before and after baking to make hanging Christmas tree decorations that will look stunning with fairy lights behind them.
These highly calorific festive treats probably shouldn’t be consumed in large quantities, but it is Christmas, and they are great fun to make!
This recipe from Taste of Home uses Reese’s mini white peanut butter cups for the reindeer’s snout, peanut butter M&Ms for the nose, and miniature pretzels for antlers.
The simple, and easy to follow recipe will make up to five dozen cookies.
3. Igloo Cake
This recipe from Tesco Real Foods uses a simple chocolate sponge to form a basic igloo shape. Decorate it with a blue buttercream frosting and white fondant icing to create a spectacular-looking winter-inspired cake.
Kids will love decorating the outside with ice block shapes that can be dusted with icing for an extra chilly, snow-topped finish. Then simply sit back and enjoy, ideally sat by a roaring fire.
These simple yet effective Christmas tree chocolate sponges are decorated with green icing and Smarties. Use lollipop sticks to make them into “pops” and enjoy.
Preparation should keep kids occupied for around an hour and within 90 minutes the treats will be fully-decorated and ready to eat.
This BBC Good Food recipe makes eight Christmas tree pops.
If the abundance of food colouring and messy decoration becomes too stressful, try these elegant white chocolate peppermint biscuits from a recipe published by Country Living.
The simple process will take about an hour and 10 minutes and produce 30 biscuits, all topped with a crushed peppermint garnish, perfect for after dinner.
If you’re on the verge of sugar overload, why not try this classic dessert, inspired by the March sisters of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.
In terms of keeping your children or grandchildren entertained, this is one to return to throughout the day, rather than a quick-fire bake.
With a total time for preparation and baking of almost nine hours, some patience will be required but the result is a sophisticated and airy fruit and nut trifle from the 19th century, reimagined for Christmas 2021.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies and this recipe from Cooking with my Kids is perfect for getting your kids into the kitchen this December.
Within just an hour, you’ll have 24 mince pies to enjoy with family and friends.
Better still, the recipe features pictures of each stage so your child can follow along on a laptop or tablet and be sure they’re creating the perfect batch.
This pavlova recipe from She Wears Many Hats features a simple pavlova wreath recipe as well as tricks and tips to help you make the perfect pudding.
The delicate meringue and minimalist decoration might mean this is one to approach with older children, but with patience and just a touch of finesse, you and your grandchild will have a perfect festive wreath after five or six hours, including around four hours of cooling time.
Decorate the top with sugared cranberries, fresh mint leaves, and a sprinkle of icing sugar for a beautiful, clean finish.