Cereal is a staple for us in this household.
The kids and I eat it every morning, especially on school morning. Every morning minus the weekends when I go all out and make pancakes and French toast).
Cereal is also my husband’s go-to when he has to make dinner if I’m gone.
Cereal also comes in handy for crafts! We especially loved making the Fruity Cheerios Rainbow for St. Patrick’s Day.
And now… we’re making a fall tree craft out of cereal!
I’m also excited to be working with General Mills to share the news that Big G will be creating all their cereals without artificial flavoring and coloring from artificial sources. Did you see their big announcement back in June?
Already, more than 60% of General Mills cereals don’t have artificial flavoring and coloring from artificial sources and the goal is to have the rest of their cereals there by the end of 2017. Way to go Big G!
Back to our fall tree craft. I took suggestions from readers after making the apple tree craft and made the tree trunk and branches out of the kids’ hand prints. Hand prints aren’t something we’ve done a lot of, so the kids were super excited about this!
We just used washable brown paint to make the hand prints and tree trunk. Looking back, I could have made this fall tree even more edible by making a chocolate paint with cocoa and water.
Nevertheless, we had a brown tree trunk!
Be sure to paint their forearm too to make the trunk part, the hands are the branches.
And they were happy kids!
For this fall tree craft, the kids and I used Big G cereals that already do not contain any artificial flavoring, including Wheaties, Chex, Kix, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
As we were decorating the trees, I also set the boys up with a bowl of cereal to munch on for their snack. They were happy campers!
After the painted trunks dried, I gave the boys each a bottle of glue to attach their ‘leaves’ of cereal to their tree trunks.
I let them take charge of their own trees and make it how they wanted to.
This is something I live by, process over product.
It also helps empower the kids, giving them confidence through their creations. And they need this big time as school is about to start up again. I think its so important for kids to have confidence as they head into the school year.
Below I’ll give you even more ideas of how to empower the kids for back to school.
As the kids layered the leaves on, I added more glue to their pieces to make sure they stayed in place.
Henry and George could do this on their own, but Louis (he’s 2) needed the extra guidance to add more.
They’re definitely not perfect trees, but they are perfect to decorate for the fall season!
I just can’t wait for Trix and Fruity Cheerios to be in the line of cereals without artificial flavoring and coloring from artificial sources so we can add some touches of red and green for another amazing fall tree (or apple) craft!
My older kids were much more systematic with the placements of their cereal leaves. While my 2 year old toddler was crazy with them, and I kind of like that effect, so this may just be more of a toddler craft than anything!
I also joined in and did my own tree alongside them. The kids thought it was hilarious when I painted my own hand to make the tree trunk too!
Now, the fall trees live happily on the art display in my office for the fall season. If only my walls were red, it would be a perfect fall display.
This would be a fun craft to do after a breakfast of cereal before school some morning if you have extra time. But if you don’t have extra time, it could be time to empower the kids for your morning routine to get them out the door on time (and on their terms).
General Mills and I want to send your kids off to school, confident. And leaving you with a smile on your face (not frazzled and guilty of yelling).
Kid-Power Your Back to School Morning Routine
Get the kids involved in creating the morning routine.
Sit down with the kids and decide on a routine that works for everyone! Let them create their own written, or drawn out, schedule and display it for everyone to follow along!
There’s tons of ideas to display routines. Here’s a couple of my favorites:
A visual, magnetic chore chart from My Name is Snickerdoodle (just replace chores with your morning routine tasks).
Back to school morning routine list from I Heart Organizing
Pad extra time into your mornings.
Pad extra time for the kids to do things themselves. If it normally takes 45 minutes to get through your morning routine, add an additional 15-20 minutes to it. Giving them that extra time without rushing will give them lots of confidence to get it done.
Kids can prepare a lot the night before.
Do everything you can the night before. The kids can lay out clothes, help pack lunches, and go through their backpacks (and make sure homework is done).
Decide a dedicated spot to put everything.
Have a set place for everything. Kids will be able to find what they’re looking for easily (and put it back in place). Where will the backpacks be? Their shoes? Where can they find their breakfast items? Where will their clothes be laid out at?
Create a self-serve breakfast.
Create a self-serve breakfast for the kids. Put bowls, plates, silverware in a lower cupboard or drawer that they can reach. Place cereals in lower cupboards, the kids can even pour single portions into sealed small containers the night before to have ready in the morning (see prep the night before, above). Pour milk into small pitchers for the kids to pour themselves, or buy half gallons (or pints).
Need more inspiration? Not Consumed has a guide to make a DIY breakfast station.
Use a timer.
Make a goal, or a reward such as more media time, for when they get done on time, or even early! Older kids that know numbers can even have the power of setting the timer to get done on time. Ready, Set, Go!
One Rule: No distractions until you’re ready to go.
Eliminate media, and playing with toys, until the kids are ready to be leaving out the door.
The back to school transition…
Do you have tips to make this back to school transition as smooth as possible? How do you make sure you get out the door on time?