Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Catch up on Christmas stuff

I found this post that I had saved from last month and forgot to post it. I plan on making a book out of this blog one day and so I would like to have all the activities that we have done on here so that they can get into that book.

M&M is REALLY into puzzles lately and she is very good at them. The Dollar Tree and the $1 spot at Target are great places to find perfect-sized puzzles for 3-year-olds If I do the edges she can most likely do the inside all by herself. She just needs a little guidance once in a while.

We also made gingerbread cookies and decorated them. We had A LOT of fun decorating them and I loved to see the creations M&M came up with. (If you look hard enough you will find one that is very inappropriate.  My husband and I had a good laugh over that one.)


We made jingle bell bracelets and necklaces as well. These were a hit. Anything that makes noise is good to go with M&M. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thinking about the New Year

I stopped doing Tot School with M&M back in October and decided to just do holiday crafts and activities until the beginning of the year. I want to start up again on January 4th. This means that I need to be planning now so that I can be prepared. My problem last time was that I was trying to plan a week at a time every weekend. I've built up a stash of go to activities, and I have more I want to make and get supplies together for. I just need to organize them now and plan out which weeks I'm going to do what theme. I'll continue with the letter of the week because once I start something I can't stop halfway through. I'm took M&M out of the preschool she just had once a week and will use that money to get her in a dance class because I just think she would just LOVE that. She still goes to a preschool two mornings a week. I need to keep her in some sort of school until she goes to Kindergarten in two years so it's not such a shock to her to be away from home especially since where we live doesn't give us the option of going half day. It's an all day kindergarten.

I'm really excited to start up Tot School again! Since Bubba isn't sleeping as much during the day as he used to and he really likes to get into everything that we are doing now, we will probably end up doing Tot School during his naps. We'll also continue with holiday and seasonal arts and crafts.

Although most of this blog will center around activities for toddlers there will still be recipes, crafts and photography mixed in. I'm actually working on something right now, but I can't post about it until after Christmas. I'm just looking ahead because we will be out of town for Christmas and when we get back it will be the New Year and there will be new goals and resolutions to start up!


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

DIY Christmas Chimes

A few years ago my sister-in-law introduced us to Christmas chimes. We had a lot of fun with them trying to play the songs together. This past Christmas my dad made a set of chimes for each of us kids and our families. I've been so excited to use them this year.

What are they you ask? Well, I will try to explain them the best that I can. They are pipes cut to different lengths. When hit with a stick they make different keys. A picture may help at this point.
My dad has them labeled as to what key they will play. They are also labeled with a number.
Each sheet of music has the numbers on it that need to be played for the song. Make sense? I hope so. The picture below will probably help.

These are a lot of fun to do in a group even with young kids. You can either copy the songs and hand them out or I have seen them transferred onto one of those huge pads of paper that are used in classrooms. My dad even made the sticks with the red balls on the ends.

I have many Christmas songs to go with the chimes but there are also other songs as well. (See below)

Now, my mom sent the directions to me over e-mail, but I have never shared anything over the blog before and I don't know how to do it. Can anyone tell me what to do? I will update this post once I figure out how to do that. Then if there is enough interest I can see if my parents have a digital copy of the songs so that I can post those as well.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Our first advent activities

For our first advent activity M&M "wrote" a letter to Santa. Since she can't really read or write I gave her some old toy magazines for her to cut out pictures of things she wants. This was a great activity for her because she loves to use scissors. It was also great because she did it all by herself for a good amount of time! It was sweet because she cut out pictures not just for herself, but for mommy, daddy, and Bubba. She made sure Santa knew what we wanted too. After she cut them all out I gave her a gluestick to glue the pictures onto paper. She's not actually getting the things that she cut out, but I don't think she'll remember what she glued on, she just wants anything to do with princesses.

Our next activity were these swirled paint ornaments. M&M liked squeezing the paint into the bulb and then shaking them around. I really liked how these turned out. I might have to make some more of my own.

M&M loved doing these Santa handprints because I painted her hands and she said that it tickled. Anything that allows her to get messy is always a hit. Mmm, I guess I forgot to put mouths on them. I used acrylic paint for both of these crafts.

I need to go to the store to get more supplies for our activities for the next two weeks. I'm really excited about doing them, I hope M&M has fun doing them as well.


Our Advent plans

I am very lucky to have gotten a very cute advent calendar from my mother-in-law the first year we were married. In each pocket is a little ornament to hang on the tree.

I've added something new this year though. I made out a list of Christmas crafts that M&M and I can do each day (red words) and also a list of fun family activities we can do after daddy gets home from work (green words). One from each pile will go into a pocket with an ornament.

I don't have 25 of either of these lists because we are going to Grandma's house for Christmas. We'll have plenty to do when we get there!

In no particular order, our Christmas crafts:

1. "Write" letter to Santa
2. Handprint Santas
3. Paint swirled ornaments
4. Visit Santa at the mall (we'll see if M&M will actually sit on his lap this year)
5. Make gift bags
6. Cinnamon dough ornaments
7. Pipe cleaner/bead ornaments
8. Star ornament
9. Hands and feet reindeer
10. Foam craft kits
11 Craft stick Christmas tree
12. Stained glass Christmas tree
13. Jingle bell jewelry
14. Make cookies for neighbors
15. Decorate gingerbread cookies
16. Paper activities

Family activities:
1. Eat popcorn and drink hot chocolate
2. Make Christmas cards for family
3. Couples Christmas party (if we can find a babysitter)
4. Make graham cracker gingerbread houses
5. Tell Nativity Story
6. Walmart tree gift giving
7. Take gift bags around
8. Deliver cookies to neighbors
9. Family Game night
10. Go to Santa's village
11. Sing Christmas carols
12. Take drive to see Christmas lights
13. Read Christmas books
14. Play with Christmas chimes (more on this later, you don't want to miss it! I might actually have my own tutorial to share on how to make them.)



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