Turn some plain hot-dogs into an underwater adventure!
Step 1: Get Some "dogs" and Make Some Friends!
I used turkey franks for my underwater adventure. You can use any kind of hot dogs you want though. Admittedly, the kind that "plump when you cook 'em" work best. They look better when done, but really...any "dog" will do!
For the Octopus dogs, you need to cut the "dogs" in half. If the kiddos are helping, they can use a plastic knife! Hot dogs are soft and cut easily.
Once the hot dog is cut in half, carefully cut the octopus tentacles by cutting lengthwise up the "dog" to make 8 "legs". Doesn't look like much now, but once you cook him (or her) the tentacles will "open up" and curl on their own!
Step 2: Jelly Fish!
Now that we have the Octopus "dogs" prepared, let's make them some Jelly fish friends! For these guys, you'll need some pasta. Spaghetti and "spirally noodles", as my daughter likes to call them, work best.
Just cut the rounded ends off of a hot dog to use as the head/body of your jelly fish friends. They should be about an inch. The spaghetti noodles just stick right into the cut side of the hot dog pieces. Push the spaghetti in, almost to the top and then break it off at about 2-3 inches in length. Pierce as many in as you can. The more the better.
The spiral noodles sort of "screw" in, like opening a wine bottle (Moms, you know what I'm talking' about! Just pretend it's their bedtime and your opening that much needed bottle of Moscato before your bubble bath! lol) You won't be able to get as many in as with the spaghetti, but the effect is much more cute!
Plop them into their bubbly boiling bath with the Octopus buddies to cook.
Step 3: Leftover Fun
After you make the Jelly fish, you should have a small section of hot dog left. Cut it into small slices an "skewer" them with a few pieces of spaghetti or other pasta. Now, these don't necessarily look like sea creatures, but the kids love 'em and they make good, tasty use of these leftover bits!
Once they're sufficiently skewered, drop 'em in the pool with the rest of the kids! (Boil them with the other hot dog creations, don't actually put them in a swimming pool with your children! That's gross! lol)
Step 4: Put Your Octopus's Garden Together
Once all of your pasta is cooked and the Octopus buddies are ready, it's time for the fun part! Using your kid's favourite condiments, let them decorate! Add faces, and even some relish "seaweed" to the plate! This can be as elaborate, or as simple as you want! As long as the kids have fun, they'll think they are great!
We used mustard faces, and even some small pieces of Nori (dried seaweed) for the mouths. Relish makes a cute seaweed effect, but these guys even look cute swimming in a bowl of chicken broth! So let the kids have fun making and decorating their underwater friends!
Goldfish crackers also make a great addition to the party, we just didn't have any! lol
I hope you and your kids enjoy this fun little lunch time creation as much as my daughter and I did! Playing together in the kitchen isn't just fun, it's yummy too!