Pears make a good choice for these single-serving fruit crisps because their skins are so soft, your child won't even need to peel them. Plus, their sweet flavor combines nicely with the tangy cranberry sauce. This recipe teaches kids how to dice fresh fruit and how to blend butter-crumb topping with their fingertips.
Show your child how to grease four 1-cup ovenproof custard cups or crocks, smearing the butter with crumpled waxed paper to keep her hands clean. Place the cups on a baking sheet.
If your child is old enough to use a knife, have her dice the pears. Halve the pears first and then hollow out the cores with a spoon. Place the pears flat side down on a cutting board and dice them. Measure 3-1/2 cups of the diced pears into a mixing bowl. Enjoy any extra pieces as a snack. Tip: When dicing pears, show your child that it's importanat to keep her fingers away from the blade and to cut straight down, not on a slant.
Add the remaining filling ingredients to the bowl with the pears, mixing well. Divide the fruit measure evenly among the 4 custard cups or crocks.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Meanwhile, combine all of the topping ingredients except the milk in a large bowl. Have your child rub together the ingredients with her fingertips to create large buttery crumbs. Drizzle the milk over the mixture to moisten it, then divide the topping evenly among the cups, patting it down lightly.
Bake the crisps for 30 to 35 minutes or until they start to bubble and the topping is golden brown. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes before eating. Serves 4.