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iCreate: Jolly Cookie Jar
kids holiday kitchen 83

These one-of-a-kind, do-it-yourself layered glass cookie jars come with all the necessary dry ingredients already measured out! It’s a “just add butter, eggs, and vanilla” kind of gift, which will delight grown-ups and kids alike. Any favorite cookie recipe will do, however we chose a recipe with walnuts, dried cherries, and chocolate chips for a festive look and delicious taste!

1-quart wide-mouthed jar (with a lid) in glass or clear plastic
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 x 3-inch piece white cardstock
Hole punch
16 to 18 inches narrow ribbon or kitchen string

Add each ingredient into the jar in the order listed. After each addition, use a large spoon or a small fist to level and pack down each layer. Attach the lid.

On the white card stock, make a gift tag that includes the following instructions:
“For scrumptious holiday cookies in a flash, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Beat together 3 ounces (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1 egg in a large bowl or mixer. Add the contents of the jar and stir or mix until well blended. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy!”

Punch a hole in a corner of your gift tag, and thread your ribbon or kitchen string through. When the tag is centered in the middle of the ribbon, tie the ribbon around the jar’s neck, or secure it under the threads of the lid.

Makes 1 jar

Text copyright Jessica Strand 2007, photograph copyright James Baigrie 2007, used courtesy of Chronicle Books.

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The Holland Sisters Dream Big
December 16, 2013

All this month, we’ve been encouraging girls to Do It Yourself. But do you know who’s already got that D.I.Y. spirit in spades? The Holland sisters.

Piper (11), Devon (13) and Kylie (14) Holland are three rockin’ California sisters who have been playing music together since they were little. And now Devon has sung a beautiful album of lullabies called Invitation to Dream that the sisters just put out on their own record label, Painted Wolf Records.

Here’s what we really love about the Holland sisters: They are donating all the proceeds from their album to help build a healthy and green orphanage in Haiti, a country that still needs a lot of financial support after being devastated by the 2010 earthquake.

“We love to do community service and we love to play our music,” says Piper. “It is great to know that our music can help make a difference.”

The girls are asking for a $20 minimum donation for each CD, and hoping to raise $250,000 for Project Haiti’s important orphanage. Read on to learn more about these amazing sisters — and go their website to find out more!

Why were you interested in putting together a fundraising campaign for Haiti?
Kylie: I wanted to fundraise for Haiti because I feel that Haiti has dropped off the international radar and I believed that our project could help remind people that Haiti is still an issue and needs help.

Why did you decide to make an album of lullabies and bedtime music?
Devon: Because I love little kids, we decided that an album of lullabies made the most sense. We looked around to try and find songs that were all different and represented different types of music. We wanted to make something that children and adults would enjoy.

What’s next for Painted Wolf Records? Can kids with other charity ideas contact you?
Kylie: We want to be able to use Painted Wolf Records to support charitably-minded projects spearheaded by musically ambitious kids. We are testing the model with Devon’s album and if it works we can invite other kids to submit their proposals.

What advice would you give other girls who want to fundraise to help causes they care about?
Kylie: Try to attach your cause to a product that you make. It could be music or it could be t-shirts, jewelry, stuffed animals, bracelets, gifts, ornaments, anything. Some people will donate just for the sake of helping the cause, but you will get more people interested if they also get something in return to affirm their donation.

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iCreate: Participate in The Hour of Code
December 10, 2013

Do you know about The Hour of Code?

It is part of Computer Computer Science Education Week, “an annual program dedicated to inspiring K-12 students to take interest in computer science.” Each year, it is held during the week of computing superstar Admiral Grace Murray Hopper’s birthday.

Spearheaded by the folks at a non-profit called Code.org,  The Hour of Code is intended to get kids like you excited about learning more about computers, technology — and designing a great future for yourself. And  by becoming a computer scientist, you can help build a better world for everyone else, too!

There all kinds of fun ways to participate this year. Check out these great ideas for building games on your own computer or iPhone — and even check out some ideas for learning computer science basics without plugging in.

But don’t just take our word for why you should do it. Hear from President Obama about why should participate!

(Photo Credit: ilamont.com)

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