I’ve always loved the Holidays, but I think perhaps it has become even more fun for me since having my son Archer almost three years ago. (It’s also hard to believe it’s been that long already!) I have a renewed love of the simple things about this time of year – being with family and friends, spending time in the kitchen making special treats, and giving gifts to the people I care about. I can’t wait to see his face light up this year when he sees the Christmas tree – because he’s really starting to see some of the wonder and magic that happens at this time of year. At least, that’s the feeling I want to create for him, and really not just at this time of year, but all the time. But it’s also this feeling that makes me want to give to those in need even more. I’ve always tried to donate my time, money or gifts to a variety of charitable initiatives over the years. But more than ever, I want all children to hopefully experience a little magic. That’s a huge task – I know – but I hope that if maybe I do my part, and others give too that it will all add up.
Soooo…. when I found there was a way that combines all the things I want to do this holiday season - having fun with my people, making (and of course, consuming) treats, and helping to give to those who are in need, I was IN. And you can be too! For the fifth year, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal and The Salvation Army are partnering on the Rice Krispies #TreatsForToys program to help ensure no child goes without a gift this holiday season. The best part? It involves making Rice Krispies Treats – so what’s not to love about that?
Here’s how it all works (this is for my Canadian friends, by the way!). Get creative and make a toy out of Rice Krispies Treats and whatever decoration you would like. As an extra challenge this year, if you’d like, try to make one with a moving part (for example, an arm or leg that moves or a head that turns). Snap a picture of it, and share a picture on TreatsforToys.ca or through social media using the #TreatsForToys hashtag. For every photo received before December 22, 2017, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies will donate $20 to The Salvation Army to buy a real toy for a child that might otherwise go without. So far, in the past four years, more than $130,000 has been donated for children across Canada – which is a pretty beautiful thing.
For my little guy, I decided we would create two of his favourite things. He’s always happy when he sees dogs when we are out for walks or at the park, and is always excitedly pointing out helicopters when he sees them in the sky. So – a puppy dog and a helicopter it is. It took a little planning, but was a lot of fun. We managed to create rotors that spin on the helicopter and a moving leg and a head that turns on the puppy. There are a bunch of ideas of toys you can build on the TreatsForToys.ca website, so be sure to check that out to get inspired.
What I love about this is that it’s a fun challenge to do together with family and friends. I’ll admit, at 2 ½, my husband and I did most of the building, but my son loved to be involved (even if he was tempted to eat a lot of the decorations. But then, so was I) It’s a good way to teach kids a lot of things – patience, planning, kitchen skills, and philanthropy. It’s never too early to learn the importance of giving. Or confidence in the kitchen, really. Because there is no actual baking involved, Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Treats are a great project for the whole family – as long as parents supervise anything on the stove and any handling of knives. Plus, you can go traditional with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies Original cereal, or go for the Vanilla, Holiday (for a burst of festive colour) or Brown Rice Gluten-Free versions, depending on your preferences. Then, of course, one of the best parts is that you get to eat delicious Rice Krispies Treats. It’s easy to love that idea, and it’s also incredibly easy to love the smile the toys we created put on my son’s face. And hopefully – our effort will help to put smiles on the faces of more children this Holiday season.
Note: This blog post was produced in partnership with Kellogg’s Rice Krispies. But all opinions, smiles and love of delicious treats are of course, my very own.