Making Fruit Leather Together

Welcome to the July 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Family Creations
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared crafts, recipes, and philosophies of creativity. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


I finally made something that I pinned to my food board on Pinterest. Actually, in the last week, we have made three things from my “food” Pinterest board . . . and I’ve included Abbey and Joseph in the preparation and creation of all three of them.
Our craziest, most challenging creation of the three was making homemade fruit leather from strawberries. During the middle of the “cooking” process, I thought our creation was a total failure, but I’m glad that we stuck it out to the end, and didn’t give up hope – because the result was nothing short of scrumptious! 
Here is the set of instructions that we used to make our own fruit leather: Fresh Fruit Roll Ups
The two day process didn’t seem too “fruitful” as we only made 5 or 6 tiny little rolls of thin fruit leather, but darn it if it’s not tasty stuff, and I know that it’s good for me and for my silly bears’ little bellies, because we made it ourselves, and know exactly what went in. No weird preservatives or crazy nasty ingredients here! 
I haven’t done much creating with my kids for the past couple of months. I have been really busy exercising my mind with schoolwork for my online college classes, and occupying my hands and “free” time and creative energy sewing diapers, diapering accessories, and home decor things for my Silly Bear Handmade Shop and making an attempt at marketing my shop, too.
But when I pushed “pause” on my to-do list and used my creative energy to engage my children in a family project, the result was great. We cooperated together. I facilitated turn-taking and Abbey and Joe practiced sharing and following directions while we chopped, squeezed, stewed, pureed, poured, spread, and patiently “cooked” our very own fruit leather. We even sang together and giggled together and talked about lots of things while working together.

We might not make fruit leather again soon, but we’ll definitely do it again. 
And I’m putting the reminder to “press ‘pause’ and take time to create something with the kids’ “ near the top of my to-do list . . . hoping to remind myself that family projects aren’t usually the cleanest, or most perfect, or most productive activities. But they’re important. . . no. . . they’re vital to a healthy family dynamic.

Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:
(This list will be updated by afternoon July 10 with all the carnival links.)

  • Garden Soup — Bailey finds a way to help momma Katy (from Muse of a Daffodil) in the garden.
  • This One Time, I Tried To Make a Car — Ashley at Domestic Chaos tries once again to make something crafty from stuff around the house.
  • Pin-tastic creative ideas — Lucy at Dreaming Aloud shares how Pinterest is inspiring creativity in her family this summer.
  • Baby Hiccups In The Womb — Alinka at Baby Web shares one of the ways she bonds with her unborn baby.
  • Turtle Mosaics — Lyndsay at ourfeminist{play}school and her little family spend a quiet hour making a turtle mosaic inspired by the work of Melanie Mikecz.
  • Edible Art Plus 8 Art Supply Recipes — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama shares some natural, chemical-free art supply alternatives, which are gauranteed to be tons of fun for children or all ages. They taste great too!
  • A surprise art lesson — Tat at Mum in search has been taking art lessons from her 5-year-old son.
  • Memory Creation — Laura from Pug in the Kitchen talks about how her family aims to create as many memories as they can as a family.
  • A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words — Melissa at Momma Beer tries to replace cars with crafts.
  • My Creative Family: Sometimes Messy, Always Fun — Emily at S.A.H.M i AM embraces the messes that sometimes accompany creative play but admits you don’t always have to get dirty to have fun.
  • Fun Family Learning: Constellation Cave Tutorial — Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter gives step-by-step instructions for building a fun new twist on a cardboard box playhouse.
  • Cooking… Kind Of — ANonyMous at Radical Ramblings makes pizza with her daughter, hoping to inspire a love of cooking and encourage a bigger interest in food. As well as making mess and having lots of fun, of course!
  • Crockpot Refried BeansThat Mama Gretchen‘s family loves to experiment with new recipes, and today she’s sharing a kitchen success!
  • Creating Memories — Andrea at Tales of Goodness reflects on how the best creations can emerge from just letting kids be kids.
  • Making Beautiful Things … And Sometimes Just Average-Looking Ones — Tamara at Tea for Three looks for ways to add more craft and creativity into every day family life.
  • Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result!
  • Making Glasses from Children’s Art — Mandy at Living Peacefuly with Children used her children’s artwork to make some very special glasses for her husband for Father’s Day.
  • Preparing Family Meals Together — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now shares how she started the tradition of creating meals together with her children, which makes family gatherings more fun.
  • It’s a trap! — Lauren at Hobo Mama shares the innovative snares her son and husband have set for her.
  • How To Make The Most Of A Very Wet Summer — Luschka at Diary of a First Child shows us the first few weeks of the Summer Camp At Home project for keeping boredom at bay.
  • Creating with… well, what do we have? — If necessity is the mother of invention, Momma Jorje thinks perhaps boredom is (or at least can be) the mother of creativity. In a pinch, she got creative with a household item to entertain herself and her toddler.
  • Creating Joy! Felt Counting Fish and other Fun — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle started creating Felt Counting Fish and then fell down the rabbit hole of fun with a number of other games.
  • I Am Going! (A Code Name: Mama Homemade Theater Production of Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie book) — This might be the finest example of child and baby acting ever recorded. Enjoy this Mo Willems treasure via video from Dionna at Code Name: Mama.
  • DIY Summer Sleep Sack for Baby Tutorial — Shannon at GrowingSlower made an organic summer sleep sack for baby, and you can too with her easy tutorial.
  • Chalk It Up! — Amy at Anktangle recounts how an impulse buy has turned into a fun collaborative activity that she hopes will continue to foster creativity in the whole family.
  • The Family Garden — Excited that her son has been a big help in the garden this year, Ana at Pandamoly shares how her garden grows and offers up some secrets on how a toddler can be a great assistant in the garden.
  • Getting my craft on — In a guest post at Natural Parents Network, Jona at Life, Intertwined takes a trip down memory lane — and finds it in stitches.
  • Easy DIY Sandpit for Toddler Play — Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry shares her easy DIY toddler sandpit tutorial.
  • Building Without Nails — Laura at Laura’s Blog builds a swinging bar using just sticks and twine.
  • Family Talent Show — Erika at Cinco de Mommy holds an after-dinner family talent show.
  • Ar matey! Fun and Learning with Pirate Play. Positive Parenting Connection is sharing lots of really fun Pirate-themed learning activities for the whole family.


  1. Fruit leather has been on my list to try. I think it may just stay there a while longer. :) I do love doing things with my children. Today will be filled with letterboxing, followed by making and canning a large amount of jams and some cookies to eat today.

  2. Your point of pushing “pause” is such a welcome reminder.

    I also heard lately about creating your own fruit leather, and I’ve got to try it. Glad to hear it’s yummy!

    • The fruit leather comes out really yummy. With so much going on this summer, I have to have a good image to remind myself to stop worrying about things and just enjoy my kids before they grow up and I haven’t been “there” to notice and enjoy it!

  3. Isn’t that the truth that family creations are rarely clean!?! I’m thinking I should invest in a craft tarp :)

  4. I love that you involved the kids in a Pinterest-inspired project. Great memories – plus it helps balance family time with the strong lure of Pinterest :)

    • Yep – it killed two birds with one stone! I constantly feel overwhelmed by the amount of cool looking projects that I “pin” in hopes of actually doing. Doing some of them this past week was an awesome feeling!

  5. I know what you mean about finding time for activities like this – there are so many distractions. Glad you made time for this project. Oh – and really cool recipe.

    • Sometimes I regret committing myself to school, volunteer work, trying to start my own business, and mommying full-time . . . because I feel so stretched out. But I take a look at it all and realize that everything is very worth it. It’s just about balancing it out! And learning to press “pause”

  6. Yes – pressing pause is important for our kids *and* for us! And I’ve been curious about trying fruit leather too, I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  7. Looks like you and your little ones had a lot of fun with this project! The result looks great too! :) Congratulations!


  1. [...] Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result! [...]

  2. […] Making Fruit Leather Together — When Amy Willa at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work took some time to involve her children in the process of finally trying a fruit leather recipe stored on her Pinterest food board, she got more than just a scrumptious homemade snack as a result! […]

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