How to Make an Easy Winter Sensory Bottle

This winter sensory bottle is perfect for the Frozen 2 fan in your life. A winter sensory bottle is an ideal way to calm an overstimulated child.

What is a Sensory Bottle?

Sensory play helps with brain development and emotional and cognitive growth in young children. Sensory bottles are a great way to incorporate this type of healthy play into your child’s life.

Long sealable water bottles with rounded edges make the best sensory bottle containers. 

By filling the bottle with water or glue and adding sparkly elements and objects, sensory bottles are an easy craft to do for kids or if you’re feeling adventurous, with them.

Small items like beads, pom poms, sequins or mini erasers work well. 

How to Make an Easy Winter Sensory Bottle 

I like to take a minimalist approach to things, especially when it comes to kids’ crafts. What I love about this easy winter sensory bottle is that you don’t need thirty items to create it.

Just a few elements and it comes together quickly and looks simple and elegant. Sometimes less truly is more when crafting.

 

Materials Needed for Sensory Winter Bottle 

1 (16 oz.) plastic storage/sensory bottle (available at Michaels or similar but smaller here: 

2 to 3 (6 ounce) bottles Elmer’s Glue in clear  

About 1 cup of warm water

About 1 tablespoon glitter or confetti (if desired)

Toys (if desired)

For this project, we used:

Instructions to make Sensory Bottles 

Empty one bottle of glue into the bottle. 

Fill the empty glue bottle about half full with warm water (about ¼ cup) and seal with the lid. Shake well to combine the remaining glue with the water. Pour into jar with glue and shake or stir to combine.

If you are adding glitter or toys, add part of the glitter and toys into the glue mixture.

Seal the jar and shake well. If the glitter or confetti does not move easily, add more warm water. If the glitter or confetti moves to quickly, add additional glue. Continuing adding in layers with the glitter and toys until you achieve your desired effect.

When the contents of the bottle move according to your preference, seal the bottle and glue the lid closed to avoid spills.

If desired, cover the lid with duct tape or additional decorations.

 

Sensory bottles or calm down jars work well when you need to redirect a child. They’re also easy and fun to make as a DIY craft with kids. Preparing the items ahead of time on a tray to allow for fine-motor skills practice.  

Kids will enjoy making these DIY Winter Sensory Bottles for themselves or to give as a gift to a younger sibling, friend or relative. 

This winter-themed calm down jars would be a great addition to a fun Frozen 2 themed birthday party. Elsa and Anna fans will enjoy making these winter sensory bottles as a fun party activity. They also make a cute party favor. 

Consider these Frozen 2 printable coloring pages and activities paired with these Princess Anna Mickey Ears cupcakes for a Disney party that is sure to please! 

 

 

 

Free Disney Frozen Printable Coloring Pages and Activities

These free Disney Frozen Printables including a set of coloring and activity pages. They’re sure to keep little hands that busy for a few minutes while you try to get something done around the house. 

They’re also a great activity for the kids while waiting for your Princess Anna Mickey Ears Cupcakes to bake!

Frozen 2 Printable Maze Activity

 

Frozen 2 Printable Coloring Pages 

Are you’re looking for winter-themed ideas for a Frozen birthday party craft or favor? Try these easy DIY winter sensory bottles!

 

 

 

 

Crunchwrap Supreme Taco Bell Copycat with Vegan Options

These DIY Taco Bell style Crunchwraps are a great variation for Taco Tuesday! Its versatility makes for a great dinner option when your family has varied tastes and food preferences. My adult kids introduced me to Crunchwraps several months ago.

 

For years though, I’ve always cringed whenever I have handed over my hard-earned money for a taco-style meal somewhere. I always think about the money I’m spending and how I could easily recreate the item at home, with fresh ingredients and customize it to my own tastes.

What I love about tacos or Tex-Mex dinners is that they’re 100% customizable and I can lay out ingredients on the kitchen island and let everyone create (and cook) their own masterpiece.

 

 

One of my daughters is a vegan, so I’ll include vegan ‘cheese’ spreads and plant-based proteins or tofu.

Sometimes I’ll cook ground turkey (we don’t eat beef often at all). Other times I opt for shredded and seasoned chicken breast. These Taco Bell style Crunchwraps are easy to assemble, younger kids will enjoy this activity. 

 

 

Well, unless said younger kid is picky like mine is; I just give him some of the protein in a bowl, let him break a tostada and use it to scoop up his meat and/or beans.

Sometimes you just gotta do what ya gotta do! Because it comes together so easily, this is a perfect busy-night meal. I hope you’ll enjoy this super-easy Crunchwrap dinner idea! 

DIY Taco Bell Style Crunchwrap

DIY Taco Bell Style Crunchwrap

Ingredients

  • 1 lb browned ground turkey/beef/vegan option flavored with 1 packet taco seasoning
  • Burrito Sized Flour Tortillas
  • Cheese dip (can use vegan:
  • Tostada Shells
  • Sour Cream (vegan options like:
  • shredded lettuce
  • diced tomato
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • salsa and/or taco sauce
  • black beans (optional)
  • vegetarian refried beans (optional)

Instructions

Much like tacos, these Crunchwraps are so versatile; you can customize them to your family's tastes and dietary preferences.

Lay out the burrito sized flour tortillas.


Take one scoop of cheese dip and spread in in the center of the flour tortilla. For a vegan option, we used vegetarian refried beans for this step. You could also use a vegan cheese dip.

Place a tostada shell on top of the cheese dip.

Add protein - can customize to make vegetarian, vegan, etc.. A good plant-based option is No-Evil Chorizo or Gardein Crumbles. We also added black beans to the protein layer.

Sprinkle cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes on top of the protein. Vegan shreds from Follow Your Heart are our favorite!

Add a scoop of sour cream & salsa. I used salsa verde for this step because it's amazing. You could also incorporate vegan sour cream or leave that out. We also enjoy spicy foods, so everyone added a drizzle of chipotle sauce (the ones from a can) to theirs.

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To fold crunch wrap, start with the bottom of the tortilla and fold the edge up to the center of the fillings. Keep doing that, folding as tight as possible, as you work your way around the tortilla.

Place on skillet and heat on medium heat. Cook for 2min each side or until golden brown.
Serve & enjoy!!!

 

 

Challah French Toast

If you happen to have leftover Challah, try this French Toast recipe for your next lazy weekend breakfast. 

Challah French Toast For a Lazy Weekend Breakfast 

My youngest is a very picky eater, so I often make French Toast for him to ensure he gets some much-needed protein from the eggs.

This French Toast Challah is a great recipe to try to use up leftover Challah. Though, if I’m being 100% honest, we’ve never had ‘leftover’ Challah or any other type of bread in our house.

When we lived in Massachusetts, the Panera Bread near us made Challah every Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, here in South Carolina that isn’t the case.

I’ve been on a search for a great bakery here in Charleston so I can grab some Challah every once in a while. I try to grab two loaves whenever I see it in a local grocery store bakery and use one to make this Challah French Toast. 

Challah French Toast

Challah French Toast

Ingredients

  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large loaf challah
  • Unsalted butter, for frying
  • Vegetable oil, if desired for frying

Instructions

,

Slice the challah into ¾ inch to 1 ½ inch slices, depending on how thick you want the toast to be. Be aware, a thicker toast will increase the cooking time slightly.

In a shallow baking dish (like a pie plate), beat the eggs with the milk, cinnamon, honey, vanilla, and salt until well blended. 

Place two slices of challah into the egg mixture and allow to soak for up to two minutes, turning over once to coat both sides.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter (and oil if desired) and heat until the butter has melted.

Add two challah slices to the skillet at a time and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until golden brown on the second side, about 2 minutes longer. 

Repeat with the remaining challah. Keep completed french toast in a warm oven (200 degrees) on a parchment-lined baking sheet, if desired.)

Serve hot with maple syrup, powdered sugar, and/or preserves.

Notes

Using both vegetable oil and butter for frying keeps the smoking point down, protects the butter from browning, and yields a more golden, crispy texture to the toast.

One of these days I’m going to have a marathon weekend baking session and bake all of the bread. When I do, I will definitely try my hand at homemade Challah. In the meantime, storebought will have to do and this Challah French Toast recipe is a new family staple.

Vegan Princess Anna Mickey Ears Cupcakes Disney Frozen

These Vegan Princess Anna Cupcakes will put you in a Disney Frozen state of mind. If I’m being completely honest here, I was never fully on-board with Frozen when it came out in 2013.

Print out some of the Disney Frozen printable coloring pages and activities and so the kids have something to do while the cupcakes are baking and fondant is hardening. Or, for a fun craft or party favor, try these easy DIY Winter Sensory Bottles

Vegan Princess Anna Mickey Ears Cupcakes 

I was intentionally tried not to pay attention to all of the online references, videos and countless “Let it Go” performances and parodies across social media.

It wasn’t until a few years later that I finally watched Frozen. Now that I’ve seen both Frozen and the 21-minute featurette, Olaf’s Frozen Adventure, I’m looking forward to Frozen 2 on Thanksgiving.

Unfortunately, my family has decided they’re not fans of our short-lived Disney Thanksgiving Day movie, so we likely won’t see it in theaters. 

Easy Fun and Vegan Princess Anna Cupcakes to Make with the Kids 

I’m thinking of making these Vegan Princess Cupcakes for Thanksgiving to help myself feel better about not seeing Frozen 2 in theaters. What I love about this recipe is that, if you opt for vegan fondant, this is a 100% vegan cupcake recipe!

 

Decorating the fondant Mickey Ears could be a fun activity to do with the kids, from cutting out fondant circles, mixing food coloring into the frosting and painting the design on the fondant, it’s a pretty kid-friendly recipe.

Princess Anna Mickey Ears Cupcakes

Princess Anna Mickey Ears Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • Supplies
  • Cupcakes
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • Decoration
  • 1 Can (3 cups) of Your Favorite Vanilla Frosting
  • Light Blue Food Coloring
  • Red Food Coloring
  • Black Food Coloring
  • Purple Food Coloring
  • Dark Blue Sprinkles
  • Purple Sprinkles
  • Rose Decorating Tip & Piping Bag
  • Black Fondant
  • Gold Edible Glitter (luster dust)
  • Parchment Paper
  • Paintbrush
  • 2-inch Circle Cookie Cutter

Instructions

To make the cupcakes, preheat oven to 350-degrees.

Mix dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Mix wet ingredients together in a medium bowl.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in 1/3 cup increments and mix until smooth.

Fill muffin cups almost full as this recipe does not rise a significant amount.

Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from heat and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Frost immediately or freeze until ready to use.

Once you’ve made your cupcakes, set them aside to cool completely. 

To make Mickey's ears, roll out the black fondant to about ⅛-inch thick on a sheet of parchment paper. You definitely want it to be thick, in this case, because you need it to stand up. 

Cut out 2 rounds of black fondant for every cupcake. Do not try to transfer the rounds, rather pull the excess fondant away from the ears. That way you don’t mess up the shape.

Set these aside for a minimum of two hours to dry out. If you can leave them overnight, that’s even better.

To make your blue icing, combine blue food coloring (about 5-10 drops will do) with your icing and stir.

To decorate the Mickey Ears, I used a bit of the blue icing, painted on, to make the top of Anna’s dress in a “V” shape. 

Then I combined about ⅛ teaspoon of water with about 1 teaspoon of edible glitter and painted the ears with swirls like Anna’s dress bodice.

Then I combined ½ teaspoon of icing with 2 drops of red, 1 drop of black and 1 drop of purple food coloring to make the little purple jewels on Anna’s dress.

Set the ears aside to let the icing crust over.

Using your largest decorating tip, cut a hole into the top of the cupcakes and fill with a small amount of dark blue sprinkles for a fun surprise.

Replace the top of the holes in the cupcake.

Ice each of your cupcakes with about half of the icing you would normally use. Then add purple sprinkles on top.

Tuck two ears into each cupcake on each side. Immediately place the cupcakes in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes to set the icing and help hold the ears up.

Once the icing has set, finish icing each cupcake and add a few more sprinkles.

Elsa and Anna have been delighting kids and adults for 6 years now and I don’t anticipate the adoration waning any time soon. 

If you decide to make these cupcakes, leave a comment below and let me know how it went. Or, if you have opinions on Frozen 2, let me know, I’d love to hear them!