Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours.
We hope you have a blessed day!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stained Glass Candle Holders

M saw me making some Christmas presents and told me she wanted to make a present for her godmother. We went through several ideas and she finally settled on making a "stained glass" candle holder. She simply glued tissue paper to the outside of a recycled glass jar. It looks great when the tea candle inside is lit, and she feels great to have made a gift all by herself.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Faux Gingerbread Houses

I had purchased one of those pre-made kits to make gingerbread houses with the other day. Unfortunately, when we opened it at home the house was completely crumbled. The kids wanted to make houses then, not wait for me to make gingerbread, so we made faux-gingerbread houses using graham crackers instead.

They were just as much fun to decorate as the real thing, and still edible!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Visit to Santa

We have a tradition where each child gets their photo taken with Santa for their first Christmas. This weekend it was Baby B's turn.

He didn't cry, but he didn't want to sit down, either.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Crafty Countdown Continued

We have continued with our plans to do one craft each day leading up to Christmas. Some of our recent projects include paper bag reindeer:

sock snowmen:

handprint wreaths (this idea is courtesy of No Time for Flashcards):

and papercup penguins.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reindeer Cupcakes

I saw this idea in Family Fun magazine and of course had to duplicate it.

I served these at J's Destination Imagination meeting and they were a hit!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Christmas Tree Patterns

I found this activity on KidsSoup, and M is loving it.

There are cards which have pictures of a Christmas tree decorated in different ways. I laminated a blank tree and then the various ornaments and cut them out. M then makes a tree to match the card.
One of the nice things about this is that there are a lot of cards so it doesn't get boring. You could make your own version using clip art very easily.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Crafty Countdown Days 2-4

I am behind in posting, but we have been keeping up with our plan to do one craft each day to count down to Christmas. Here is a quick recap of what we have done the last few days.

M made the oraments for our Jesse Tree (we use the tree itself as the symbol for day one). We made bread dough ornaments, and then I printed the symbols onto paper. They were colored and then M glued them onto the oraments. She coated them on both sides with white glue thinned with water to keep the bread dough from getting soft. They won't last past this holiday season, but she is really enjoying putting on the ornaments she made.

She and J helped make Sugared Cranberries one day. These are so tasty!

M wanted to "glue a tree", so she glued cereal onto a construction paper tree.

This week we will be doing a lot of angel and gingerbread crafts.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crafty Countdown: Frosty the Snowman

Last year The Crafty Crow did a countdown to Christmas with 25 days of books and crafts. I thought this was a fun idea, and the crafts were beautiful, but many of them were too advanced for Miss M. This year I created my own list of book and crafts and we will be doing one each day until Christmas.

Today we read an old favorite, Frosty the Snowman, and painted plaster snowman ornaments I picked up at JoAnn's. J was home sick, so he participated with us.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Advent Prayer Chain

This year, in addition to our usual advent calendar, J is doing an advent prayer chain.
The simple paper chain has enough links for each day until Christmas. Inside each is a small act of grace he is to perform that day. They are all appropriate for his age (11). They include things like "I will make room in my heart for others. I will try to show special love for someone who seems unhappy or lonely." or "I will not complain today even if I must do things I don't want to do."

Another way to do this would be to have a scripture reading inside each link.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Thanksgiving Crafts

The kids have been working hard at making Thanksgiving crafts lately. Their favorite was this Indian Corn project.

To make it you glue a paper towel tube inside a paper bag and then peel several strips down like you'd shuck corn. Next you glue packing peanuts into the opening to represent corn kernels and then paint with reds, oranges and browns for Indian Corn.

The kids were surprised to find that the packing peanuts shrunk after they were painted, so we got a mini science lesson in as well. We will be using these as part of our table centerpiece on Thanksgiving day.

Another favorite was the handprint turkeys.

Anything involving hand paintingis a favorite at our house. Even Baby B got to participate in this one.

I had planned on the kids gluing feathers on to some turkey body shapes I had cut out, but they decided being real-life turkeys was more fun. (J did this too, he just refused to let me take his picture.)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Love At First Bite

Baby B is almost six months old and in our house that's time to start solid foods.

To say he enjoyed it would be an understatement.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Native American Drum

We are studying North America in Geography, and with Thanksgiving around the corner it's been a good time to talk about Native Americans. Today we did a craft I remember from my childhood: the oatmeal box drum.

M used dot markers to decorate it and we covered the top with a crumpled paper bag to resemble leather.

Simple and fun are my favorite kind of crafts.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Turkey Sandwich

J goes to a local public school and takes a packed lunch from home every day. I try to liven his lunches up every once in a while by including something different for lunch, adding a note, or cutting his cheese into seasonal shapes. This week I made him a turkey sandwich. It didn't quite fit in his container so the feathers and legs got mushed by lunchtime, but he was happy with it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pom-Pom Finger Puppets

M wanted to make puppets the other day so we made some finger puppets using foam and pompoms - two things I always have on hand. The foam finger sleeves worked better than I thought they would. I let M glue this with school glue, but I would recommend using a hot glue gun if you want them to last more than a day or two.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

stART: Black Crow, Black Crow

This morning M asked me if she could "glue something today". Since we haven't done many craft projects lately I came up with a quick project to go along with a book we recently got from the library - Black Crow, Black Crow by Ginger Foglesong Guy. This is a cute story about a Mother Crow tending her baby crow.

M was very careful in placing her pieces for the Mama Crow (I helped her with the feet), but then told me she didn't want to do the nest or baby crow because it was "perfect" just like it was. That's how a lot of our craft projects go lately!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Where In The World Postcard Swap

The kids and I participated in the Where in the World postcard swap hosted by Jo over at A Bit of This and a Bit of That. We participated in three different swap groups and received postcards from all over the world: Singapore, Japan, Wales, France, and Cape Verde just to name a few.

We looked the countries up on our Atlas to locate them, and read about the countries in our Children Just Like Me book. For now, they are posted in our dining room but they will eventually make it into our continent boxes. This was a lot of fun, and I hope we can do something similar again soon.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

My mother is a very talented seamstress and always makes the kids' Halloween costumes. This year they are a princess (M wasn't wearing her cone hat in this photo), a knight and a horse.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Paper Bag Pumpkin

Sometimes when I plan a craft M has her own ideas on how to use the supplies. I wanted her to paint a paper bag orange and green to make a pumpkin with a stem. Instead, she used the green to draw a face on her bag.

I love it when kids really own a project by making it their way.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Treats

I have been trying to come up with activities that M can do in the kitchen fairly independently. Today she made chocolate and sprinkle covered pretzels. I melted the chocolate for her her, but once it cooled slightly she was able to dip the pretzels and sprinkle them with sprinkles all by herself. She also used the leftover chocolate to cover some bananas which we froze for a treat this afternoon - banana ghosts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tot School: Even More Pumpkins

Tot School
(M is 38 months old)

We worked on more pumpkins this week - mainly focusing on math. I printed out a pumpkin grid sheet, and we used marshmallow pumpkin candies as counters to play a dice game. M really enjoyed this and we focused on counting up to twenty all week.

We weighed our pumpkins, measured how tall they were, and measured their circumference. Then I found this cute pumpkin measuring activity from Chalk Talk. Everyone colored pumpkins, and then I cut them out and taped them on the wall and we measured how many pumpkins tall everyone is!

M made a candy corn craft using foam and buttons. I wanted her to match the buttons to the color stripe on the candy corn, but her artistic vision was a little different!

Baby B is cutting his first tooth, so in addition to being held he spent most of the week like this!