This simple recipe is the almost mess-free activity you and the kids need this Christmas.

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Cookie baking season is the best time to get the kids in the kitchen. Scooping dough onto a baking sheet, rolling and cutting out festive shapes, or simply slicing from a log of prepared cookie dough—each step offers something sweet and intriguing to a kid's imagination (and we haven't even mentioned the decorating).

While gingerbread men or tree shaped sugar cookies are fun to decorate with different icings and sprinkles, sometimes these edible crafts are a huge potential for mess and take significant amounts of time—from cutting and baking to icing and drying. But for younger kids or kids who are still developing the tactile skills to pipe a smiley face on a gingerbread man, we have just the sugar cookie for you. Rather than making a dough that requires a rolling pin and special holiday cookie cutters, these cookie bites come together a bit easier. Made from dough shaped into two long cylindrical logs, kids can help roll the dough in sprinkles before you slice and bake. The result? Perfectly round miniature cookies with a speckled, crunchy edge.

Slice-and-Bake Sugar Cookie Bites
Credit: Greg DuPree; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Audrey Davis

To ensure easy involvement from your little ones, we recommend that you measure out all of the ingredients before making the dough. That way they can participate in combining ingredients without the concerns that come with a toddler holding a measuring cup. However, if you have kids with more stable hands, measuring the ingredients together can be a nice math lesson. Secondly, we recommend placing the sprinkles that will coat the outside of each log in a long shallow dish with raised edges, like a 9- x- 13-inch baking dish, instead of a rimmed baking sheet. This makes it easy to roll the log around while providing an additional barrier for any threat of sprinkles spilling across your counter. Another trick to help the sprinkles stick to the dough is to lightly brush the log with egg wash before rolling in the sprinkles, helping adhere the decorative sugars to the dough in an even and unbroken pattern. This recipe is a festive, delicious, and almost mess-free activity for the kids—what more can you ask for from a holiday treat?