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How to get crafty at snack time

A TUTORIAL ON HOW TO REALLY PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD !
It is Thursday and time for a tutorial, and I am Joshua the Dad of Dad’s Wooden Toys. I could talk about woodworking and tools that you are unlikely to have in your home. But instead I would like to teach you something simple that has brought me a lot of joy since I was a little boy. This craft has now become a favorite activity of my own kids. With this craft you stand a good chance of having everything you need already in your kitchen.
Some of the fondest memories can be surprisingly easy to make. I still remember how excited I would get over 20 years ago when my mom would announce that we were going to have ants on a log. Perhaps many of you are familiar with the traditional recipe which is just celery, peanut butter, and raisins. My mom who always had more than her fair share of creativity didn’t just make “ants on a log” we had “ants on a car” ,or “ants on a dragster”. Now that I am a dad I have added “ants on a plane”.
Here is what we will need:
  • Celery
  • Raisins (for passengers)
  • Peanut butter (to hold the passengers in place and for protein)
  • Carrots (preferably full size)
  • wooden tooth picks. (or uncooked spaghetti)
  • knife
  • Scissors

For the simplest of vehicles all we need is to add 4 wheels to the celery “frame”. Wheels of course are made by cutting cross sections of your carrot. Take a tooth pick and run it through the first carrot then through the celery and out the other side where the second wheel is put on. Then using the scissors cut off any part of the toothpick that sticks out beyond the wheel. repeat this for the back wheels. I like to put an extra small wheel on the top as a steering wheel. Viola, you have an edible car! It recently occurred to me that if you wanted the creation to be total edible you could use raw spaghetti instead of the tooth picks however since the spaghetti is more fragile you may still want a tooth pick around to make the initial hole in the hard carrot and celery, you could then hopefully get the spaghetti into the carrot without it breaking.

Now that we all know we could make an easy car that is sure to be a hit with the kids, we can begin to add some pizzaz. Give your creativity a chance to really shine. With a few extra raisins your car turns into a bus. Cut a carrot length wise into a board and and with a toothpick in each corner to suspend it you now have a roof for your car. There are so many possibilities. The plane is made much the same way. We start with the celery stick and cut a couple of carrots into slices length wise. Find two that can be trimmed to the same size and then round the ends . These are our wings. We will need a few more flat carrot boards for the tail wings, and some skinny long slices for the propeller. Remember that the wing slices must be thick enough to receive the toothpick. You will be sticking the tooth pick into the flat end of the carrot wing deep enough to stay put, then trim the toothpick short enough that it won’t stick out the far side of the celery which is the body of the plane, and stick it in, repeat for the other wing. I put my propellers onto another carrot coin and one toothpick stabbed through them all sticks the propellers to the front of the plane. The wheels for the plane are not difficult but they are probably the most challenging part of this simple creation. After sticking a wheel on each end of an appropriately sized toothpick to create what looks like a dumbbell, stick two more toothpicks into the wheels each pointing up and inward almost completing a triangle. Those two upper points then push into the bottom of the plane and you have attached the wheels . There you have it an edible aircraft. Add peanut butter and raisins to suit.I guarantee the kids will enjoy it. I do suggest that you take a picture or two of your creation especially if you decide to get elaborate since in the end all the evidence will be eaten!! If your kids are older than mine, perhaps they would enjoy it if you just cut the materials for them and then let them build their own custom machines. I should give fair warning to those of you who enjoy crafts not be surprised if you get a little carried away. There is so much that can be done with other veggies and fruit like radishes, and apples to increase your possibilities. Radishes make great wheels or a small slice of the side of a round radish makes a neat red hubcap for a carrot wheel. Go have fun playing with your food! If you get inspired and do this with your kids or on your own, we would love to see a link to the happy kids and creative vehicles in the comments section.

  • jademondin

    now this is cool. what a great inspiration. thank you for sharing!!

  • Polar Bear Creations

    Great post!Thanks for the great pictures too. :0)
    When I had my daycare we made a lot of snacks like that . It keeps kids interested in the foods they eat and they love helping to create.
    :0)

  • mrsbeccijo

    What great fun! I love the use of veggies. We have done the car before but the airplane will now be on our radar! LOL

    Beccijo
    http://www.beccijo.com
    http://www.theenchantedcupboard.etsy.com
    http://www.theenchantedcupboard.1000markets.com
    http://thereluctantcitydweller.blogspot.com

  • FairiesNest

    Now THAT is some fun food!

  • germandolls

    Dad, that is a very inspiring post I must show to my kids. I had an idea: Why not expand on the vegetables. Maybe include some bellpepper pieces to bring more color in. Maybe the red bellpepper could be used for landing lights on the airplane or breaklights on speedster…LOL

    The picture are really great too!

  • Lexi

    Wow, I never would have thought of this! Thanks for sharing! :)
    SugarandSpice4baby.blogspot.com

  • dragonflyducky

    wow! Such cute ideas!

  • Banana Bottoms

    Love it, that's great :)
    http://www.bananabottoms.etsy.com

  • Dayanara

    It awsome the stuff you remember the most as a kid. it doesnt have to cost much. Reminds me of the tomatoe butterflies my dad put on our salads when we were little.

  • Treehugginmom26

    This is such a wonderful piece. Thanks for sharing…how fun!

  • Mark

    That is such a great idea. I also like the design sensibilities. You must be a toymaker.

    http://woodtoyshop.etsy.com
    http://woodtoyshop.com

  • dadswoodentoys

    I am still hoping someone will leave a link to pictures of their own veggie creations here in the comments.

    And thanks to all those who posted so far.

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