Discover the best festive recipes to keep kids busy this Christmas. Our easy projects include colourful biscuits, cupcakes and chocolate bark that are fun to decorate.
Getting the kids in the kitchen doesn't have to be all play; help them package up their creations as homemade Christmas gifts for family and friends, then you've got presents with the personal touch checked off your to-do list. Even if they don't have the perfect finish, granny will still be impressed.
Sweet Christmas treats
1. Polar bear peppermint creams
We've fallen head over heels for these polar bear peppermint creams and the good news is that they're super simple to make. Kids will love rolling the minty paste into balls and flattening it to make bear heads, then decorating the faces. Sure to make the lucky recipient smile!
2. Christmas tree crispy pops
Kids, marshmallows, icing sugar and sprinkles might sound like a sticky combination, but the mess is worth the reward. Kids are bound to love putting these Christmas cones together. Once the tricky cooking and assembling bits have been done, stand back and let them decorate with abandon.
3. White chocolate unicorn bark
Tailor this edible gift to anyone's tastes by playing around with colours, toppings and sweets you know they'll love. Kids can get creative and the results are always magical.
4. Jolly marshmallow snowmen
Already made cotton wool snowmen? Up your game with this seriously cute recipe, which makes a lovely creative project for young children and is a big treat (whether they eat them or not). These jolly men also make lovely cake toppers or Christmas decorations. Happy crafting!
5. Hot chocolate stirrers
Our stunning hot chocolate stirrers are simply made in empty fromage frais pots. Let little hands get busy decorating with hundreds and thousands, mini fudge pieces, chocolate buttons or chopped-up peppermint candy canes. Or experiment with flavours like cardamom, candied peel and freeze-dried raspberries using another sophisticated stirrer recipe.
6. Giant jam tart
This giant jam tart makes the perfect dessert for a family party or even for the big day itself. Let little kids get busy cutting out the pastry topping with gingerbread cutters and they'll be proud to show off their handiwork to friends and family.
7. Candy cane lollipops
Wrap these pretty homemade sweets in cellophane and tie with a bow for a stocking filler that's sure to impress. With only three ingredients and minimal effort involved, they make a great last-minute gift that children will love to decorate.
8. Perky penguins
What could trump a perky chocolate penguin complete with frosted bobble hat? These charming little guys make a lovely Christmas project for kids, who can get as creative as they want with the accessories. This no-cook project is bound to keep older and younger children amused for hours.
9. Snow globe hot chocolate
Fill empty jam jars with all the ingredients for a luxury hot chocolate, paired with marshmallow snowmen. With extra treats like a cookie to dip, marshmallows to swirl, and a chocolate for afterwards, this is one edible gift that older children will love to give and receive.
10. Sweet snowballs
Let kids roll and coat these scrummy sweet snowballs. The smallest of hands can help squishing the mixture into balls. Just keep them from eating too many, then you'll have Christmas presents for family and friends. Add a bit of shimmering edible glitter into the mix and the kids will be in heaven. If the kids are still in a creative mood, let them loose with a few felt-tips on some homemade gift tags and your presents will be complete.
11. Sugar-dusted mince pie parcels
Fill your home with the aroma of cinnamon and spice without lots of hassle this Christmas. These super-simple mince pies don’t require the trouble of lining tins. They are also easy enough for small hands to pretty much go free-style once they’ve been shown the technique. Make the project even more magical by leaving a pie or two for Santa on Christmas Eve.
12. Reindeer & snowman chocolate bark
The kids will have a blast decorating this easy chocolate bark and it makes the perfect gift for friends and family. You only need a handful of ingredients, a bit of imagination and you're good to go!
Christmas biscuits and cookies
13. Rudolph shortbread
These melt-in-the-mouth shortbread triangles are easily transformed into something magical. Help decorate with Smarties or other sweets and wrap the creations in cellophane bags with pipe cleaner 'reindeer' antlers. If you've got under-10s, most steps can be done independently, except handling the oven and cutting out the shortbread. Over-10s can do everything by themselves if they want to, so you can relax with a cup of tea.
14. Spiced & iced Christmas trees
Everything tastes better when eaten off a stick, and these warm and spicy biscuits are no exception. Kids will enjoy stamping out Christmas tree shapes and sandwiching them together. Enjoy a biscuit warm from the oven with a cup of tea (it's Christmas after all), then sit back and watch the kids decorating their trees.
15. Melting snowman biscuits
Want something fun to do indoors yet don't want to create loads of mess? We think we have the perfect Christmas project. These biscuits might be sticky but no actual baking is required so there's minimum washing up. And the kids can get stuck straight into the best bit – the decorating. Everyone's a winner.
16. Edible name biscuits
Want to keep the children entertained without causing havoc in the kitchen? These edible name biscuits use ready-made cookies so they can get straight to the finishing. Help little ones ice the names of your guests on the biscuits and they can take pride in displaying their work on the Christmas table.
17. Orange & ginger stained glass biscuits
A brilliant way of getting into the Christmas spirit. These magical biscuits will transform in the oven from a heap of crushed sweets in the middle of some biscuit dough to beautiful stained glass decorations. They're almost too pretty to eat, but will certainly look fab on the Christmas tree. You can also bundle them up in some pretty packaging for a lovely homemade present.
18. Snowman biscuits
Who can resist these beautiful snowman biscuits? Not us. If your children would prefer a decorating project to a baking one, then you can freeze the biscuits in advance and bring them out for a cold winter's day activity.
19. Gingerbread bunting
If you want a neat finish, this hanging thread of festive biscuits requires a little work from parents – the fondant icing might be tricky for little hands to manage. But kids will love mixing, rolling, and cutting out the biscuits, and if you buy ready-to-use tubes of coloured icing, they can design their own patterns too.
20. Gingerbread people
It wouldn't be Christmas without the aroma of homemade gingerbread baking in the oven. Make decorating these adorable gingerbread people even easier (and less messy) with tubes of shop-bought icing and sweets.
21. Rudolph cupcakes
It's hard to resist Rudolph and when on top of a chocolate cupcake, even more so. Children between three and seven should be able to line the muffin tin, stir the mixture and spread the icing. Kids seven and upwards should be able to make the cakes with assistance but will still need help with the oven and hot tin. Of course, all children will love applying the final touches. Pop the decorative bits into bowls to give them freedom to work – and remember to leave some out for Santa as an extra special treat.
22. Reindeer cake pops
It's Rudolph again! These chocolate cake pops make the perfect afternoon project for older children who want to put their creative resources to good use. You will find it's amazing what you can do with some pretzels, icing and Smarties. They also make great homemade gifts for junior bakers to give to their friends.
23. Snowman cake
This charming snowman cake is almost too cute to eat, but the vanilla buttercream filling is too good to miss. Using ready-made fondant icing means that children can help roll the nose and eyes with very little help and they'll love mixing the cake batter and buttercream, too.
24. Christmas cupcakes
This easy-peasy cupcake recipe offers plenty of scope for creativity. From making the frosting to the white chocolate button snowmen and piped Christmas trees, lots of fun is guaranteed even if the results aren’t altogether perfect.
25. Christmas pudding Rice Krispie cakes
Everyone loves a chocolate Rice Krispie cake, but this recipe is three steps better. Children will love mixing up the rice puffs, chocolate, raisins and peanuts and that's without mentioning the decorating. These cute puddings will be adored by everyone, so be sure to make plenty.
Savoury kids recipes
26. Super sausage rolls
If you're in need of a savoury treat, then look no further. These moreish sausage rolls will not disappoint and are perfect for entertaining over the Christmas holidays. The recipe is simple enough for children to enjoy and there are just three easy steps.
27. Cheese stars
Let the kids show off their cooking skills and get into the festive spirit with these playful and easy, cheesy treats. They make great party food or a lovely homemade gift.
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Are you whipping up festive treats this Christmas? We'd love to see your homemade creations! Tag us @bbcgoodfood and use #bbcgoodfood and we'll share some of our favourites.