With Easter just around the corner, candy and sweets are on every child’s mind.  Stores are packed with pre-made Easter baskets and aisles of yummy goodies.  However, rather than stocking up on the traditional Easter basket fodder, consider trying one or more homemade candy recipes with your children. These fun, easy DIY candies are something every child will love. These sweet, exciting recipes also allow your child some valuable hands-on skills and lessons for working in the kitchen.

Rainbow Gummy Worms

With only two main ingredients, these homemade gummy worms are a blast to make.  Although not necessarily traditional Easter candy, kids love these jiggly worms, especially if you serve them in mini “flower pots” of Oreo and chocolate pudding “dirt.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package Gelatin (any color or flavor)
  • 2/3 cup Water (or Juice)

Directions:

Prepare your jello according to the basic directions.  Using flexible plastic straws, bunch them together and secure with a rubber band.  Set them inside a narrow cup with the ends facing upright.  Carefully, help your child pour the jello mixture into the straws until each one is completely full. Allow your jello to cool and set until firm. After the jello hardens, place the straws on a cutting board.  Show your child how to press firmly and slowly on one end of the straw with the rolling-pin until each worm is forced out.

These colorful and jiggling gummy worms are the perfect springtime treat. Try a couple different jello flavors to create a whole jumble of colorful worms!

Stretchy Saltwater Taffy

This sweet, chewy candy has been a famous treat since the late 19th century. With so many colors and flavors, almost everyone has a favorite.  Creating this candy is a fun and memorable experience both you and your child will love.  It is a bit of a work-out for your arms though! It gives children awesome hand-and-eye motor skill practice.  For kids who love to move and work, it’s the perfect way to burn some energy while learning fun kitchen skills.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 1 Tsp. salt
  • 1/4 Tsp. Flavoring oil (Mint extract or another basic extract oil)
  • Food coloring (Pastel Easter colors)
  • 1 Cup light corn syrup
  • 3/4 Cup water

Directions:

Over medium heat, sift cornstarch and water together and combine with corn syrup, water, salt, and margarine. Heat until all your ingredients have dissolved together and bring to a boil for about 2 to 3 minutes. Continue cooking uncovered until your mixture comes to about 256 – 266 degrees F.  Add flavoring and several drops of food coloring. After mixing, pour mixture into a baking pan to cool. After the taffy is cool enough to touch, you and your child can team-up to begin stretching out your creations.  Start with small stretches and continue until your long”ropes” of taffy are well-stretched and shiny.  Cut into small chunks and wrap with wax paper.

These sweet and chewy candies are perfect for Easter basket and hiding in plastic eggs for Easter egg hunts.  Because this recipe makes so much, it’s the perfect way to create sweet gift baggies for your child’s friends and family.

Sparkly Rock Crystals

Combine a mini science lesson into a fun candy project with these shiny, eye-catching rock candies.  This project will take some time to create, but the end result is a sweet and beautiful reward. Kids are natural explorers and scientist; feed their curiosity with this science-based candy creation.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Cups of sugar
  • 1 Cup of water
  • Skewers/candy sticks
  • Jars or glass cups
  • Food coloring
  • Flavored oil extracts
  • Clothespins

Directions:

Mix equal parts of sugar and water in a 3:1 ratio and heat in a saucepan until the sugar is fully dissolved. Keep adding sugar until the water is somewhat cloudy; bring to a light boil. Remove your sugar-water mixture from the stove and allow it to cool.  Dip your candy stick skewers in the water and lightly roll in plain sugar and allow them to dry completely. Pour your sugar-water mixture into separate jars.  Allow your child to add several small drops of flavoring and food coloring in each one.  Place your candy sticks into the jars and secure them with a clothespin, so they stay straight.

Each day, your child can check in with their crystals’ progress. The first few days may be a bit slow, but by the third day, they should be able to see a noticeable clump of crystals forming.  Allow the crystals to grow for at least a week to create a pretty sizable crystal formation.

These candies are beautiful and tasty.  They make lovely Easter gifts and perfect ways to dress up an Easter basket.  For an extra science-lesson twist, show your child pictures of real cave crystal formations.  Explain that these crystal are made over time in a similar way.  This simple candy recipe is the perfect way to spark curiosity about science and nature.

Marshmallow Dippers

Marshmallows are by far one of the simplest and tastiest treats.  Everyone loves a good campfire s’more or mug-full of hot chocolate and marshmallows. Use this famous treat to unleash your child’s creativity this Easter.  This candy activity is great for lessons on color and decorations.

Ingredients:

  • Large marshmallows
  • Sprinkles (any size or color)
  • Assorted toppings (coconut shreds, mini chocolate chips, etc.)
  • Mini wood skewers (or large toothpicks)
  • Chocolate melting wafers and colored candy melts

Directions:

Carefully melt your chocolate and candy wafers either on a very low stove burner, stirring constantly.  As soon as the mixtures melt, remove from the heat immediately to prevent burning.  Give our child an assortment of sprinkles and other goodies.  Show them how to spear a marshmallow and dip in whatever melted mixture or topping they like. Set your marshmallows to cool on a wax-paper coated baking sheet or plate.

These pretty and tasty marshmallows are definitely eye-catching Easter goodies.  This yummy activity helps your child explore their color-matching and decoration skills.  By visualizing what colors and designs go best together, they build a foundation for future creativity.

Easter and Springtime are perfect times to explore some of the tasty candy and treat recipes.  Each of these recipes also allows you and your child to build great kitchen teamwork and practice.  This Easter, spend some time creating sweet, tasty memories with your child.

 

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