December 23, 2015

Holiday crafts with Austrian au pair Lisa Baptist

3 minutes
Cultural exchange

Austrian au pair Lisa Baptist loves to do crafts with her two-year-old host child Jackson (alongside her younger twin host babies). And because her host dad is Jewish and her host mom is Christian, Lisa did crafts relating to both Hanukkah and Christmas this season. See below for her instructions and photos for handprint menorah and reindeer cards, dough ornaments and her favorite holiday cookies from home: vanille kipferl and linzer augen. There’s still time to squeeze more activities into your holidays, so have fun!
Handprint menorah and reindeer cards
Since we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas, I really wanted to make special cards for the whole family. It had to be an easy activity since Jackson is only two. These handprint cards are perfect to do with toddlers.

Paint the palms and fingers of your host child with white paint (to represent the candles) and dip their fingertips in yellow paint (for the flames). Then press their hands on the paper making sure that the thumb prints overlap (the menorah only has 9 candles). The Hanukkah card is ready!
For footprint reindeers, paint the sole of your host child’s foot with brown paing and press it on a sheet of paper. Let it dry and then dip their index finger in white paint and make two eyes. Of course the reindeer needs a red nose like Rudolf! Simply use a red finger dab. Last but not least draw the antlers and the eyes with black pencil. Now your Christmas card is ready!
Austrian cookies (vanille kipferl and linzer augen)
My host child Jackson and I also baked some typical Austrian cookies, and we really had a tons of fun! Here are the recipes and some pictures.
Ingredients for vanille kipferl:

Instructions for vanille kipferl:
Mix everything together besides powder sugar and the vanilla sugar and let the dough rest in the fridge. Make small half moons out of the dough and bake the cookies for 10 minutes at 338°F. Afterwards turn them in powdered sugar and vanilla sugar while they are hot. Now they are ready to eat!
Ingredients for linzer augen:

Instructions for vanille kipferl:
Mix all the ingredients together and let the dough rest in the fridge for an hour. Roll it out and cut out cookies. Bake them for 10 minutes at 356°F. Put two pieces together as coating with maramlade. Then put all put powdered sugar on and enjoy the cookies!
Dough ornaments
Last but not least, I made some Christmas ornaments with my host kids because my host mum loves them and collects them. Also, because it’s the first christmas for the twins, I really wanted to do this. This is also really easy to do. Mix together 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt and ½ cup water. Roll it out and have your host kids press down with their hands and feet. Then, paint them to look like reindeers and Santa Claus. Add their names and the date, too, if you want!
Thanks to Lisa for sharing her craft ideas with us for the holiday season. If you have a craft to share with us, tell us about it!