Freedom to have fun at the dinner table

Sooooo, I promised my kids we’d do a 4th of July craft. Then I thought about the mess of paint, glue, glitter and wasted materials (I LOVE the Dollar Store as much as anyone but I just couldn’t do it this time) and I also thought about how much we definitely DON’T need anymore temporary masterpieces floating around our house. So I decided to get crafty myself with a craft that won’t end up in the trash but will actually get used (or rather, eaten).

So tonight we each decorated our own red, white and blue waffles. That’s right, waffles for dinner. (If you aren’t on the breakfast-for-dinner train at least a couple times a month, I highly recommend it.) We had sliced strawberries for red, blueberries for blue and sliced bananas for white. You could also use raspberries, blackberries and, if you’re really fun, whipped cream.

I knew my kids would enjoy it but what I didn’t realize was it would be a great activity for more than a few reasons:  

Creative:  This was a great chance for our kids to be creative. We had flags, fireworks and Star Wars (kind of patriotic?) waffles. File under “Things I’ll Do Next Time”:  Come up with little awards for each person, like “Most Patriotic Waffle,” “Silliest Waffle” and “Best Masterpiece Waffle.”

Motor Skills:  Scooping fruit on a spoon and balancing it to get it to your plate took some concentration. Our 3-year-old went from shaky to a pro before we finished. Very few blueberries were lost in action.

Fun:  The kids were happy and excited about doing something different, they shared, helped each other out, laughed and actually stayed at the dinner table for a record amount of time.

Healthy:  My favorite part! The kids piled on the fruit high and had so much fun eating their masterpieces that they forgot to even ask for syrup. Pro Tip: Throw any leftover fruit into a blender with some yogurt, spinach and OJ to make smoothies for dessert!

 

Yep. Red, white and blue waffles. I do believe we found a new 4th of July tradition for our family — and I didn’t even have to sweep up the glitter. Ain’t this country great?