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Beating the winter blahs with fun activities

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By Marian Wilde , GreatSchools Staff

Hot Chocolate in a Jar

When your child makes this gift, he'll be using math and writing skills to measure the hot chocolate, measure and cut a fabric scrap, and write a personal holiday message.

Materials needed:

  • Small glass jar (baby food size)
  • 1 serving of hot cocoa mix
  • About 1/4 cup of small marshmallows
  • 4-inch or larger fabric scrap (depending on the size of your jar)
  • 18" length of ribbon
  • Glue
  • Hershey Kiss candy
  • Small wrapped candy cane
  • Holiday card

Directions: Clean the jar and dry it well. Measure a one-cup serving of the hot cocoa mix into the jar. Fill the jar to the top with small marshmallows. Count them to see how many you used. Cut the fabric scrap into a circle. Center the fabric circle on top of the jar lid. Tie the ribbon around the edge. Glue the Hershey kiss on top of the fabric cover. Glue the candy cane to the side of the jar. Write a personal note and draw a candy cane or other holiday symbol on the card. Include simple directions like the following: "Here's a little gift to warm you up on a cold afternoon. Simply pour this jar of cocoa mix into a mug filled with 6 to 8 oz. of hot water. Top with marshmallows and drop in the Hershey Kiss. Stir with the candy cane and enjoy!

Comments from readers

"This is a wonderful article and I will share this with the staff at my school!"
"Very helpful ideas for our students with small pocketbooks. Great Schools is the best resource throughout the year!"
"Thanks so much... the ideas given were simply great. They also helped us think of similar crafts we could make for inexpensive presents this of all they are from the heart. The Christmas season is about giving and not just taking. "
"Thank you! The newsletter has some great ideas, and, even more importantly for me--its arrival is perfectly timed! "