Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Advent Calendar

We have left it very late this year to make our Advent Calendar but it has been a tad chaotic around here lately. Neevah had a lot of fun today she was covered in white paint, was sticky from glue and managed to claim a number of pegs to play with but hanging the finished Calendar was her favourite part.

You will need
Coloured Card (roughly 6 A4 sheets)
Coloured Paper
White Paint
Small Envelopes x 24
Marker Pen

To Make
1 .Marble paint the coloured card - since you need so many sheets we all took turns
2 .Let Dry
3 .Cut the card so it is just a little larger than the envelopes
4 .Cut the coloured paper into small squares
5 .Number the squares of paper 1 - 25 with a marker pen
6 .Glue the number squares onto the marble painted card
7 .Glue the envelopes onto the back of the marble painted card number 1 to 24 - make sure the flap of the envelope is facing out so you can put small notes or presents inside
8 .Peg the card onto the ribbon
9 .It is ready to hang

I plan to fill the advent envelope each night after the kids are in bed. Some days they may get a small present/ lolly and other days the envelope will contain an activity ... not filling the envelope until the night before will give us greater flexibility to plan around other people and the weather. Once we have opened our envelope I will re hang it on the ribbon number side facing the wall so we know exactly how many days left until Christmas Day.

Of course it is not to late to make your own Advent Calendar it could be your first Advent activity.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Fun: Jingle Bell Dancing

Jingle Bells must be Neevahs favourite Christmas carol she has been singing it a lot lately possibly because they sing it at Kindy. Neevah also loves to dance as she sings so I made her a ribbon ring and attached 2 bells to the ribbon ..... she had a lot of fun this afternoon dancing and singing.

This festive ribbon ring was very easy to make ..... take a hoop .... tie on some Christmas coloured ribbon .... attach bells to the ribbon .... all done

Turn the Christmas Songs up loud ..... sing, dance and have fun

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

We Play - With Ice Cubes

Don't forget to stop by Childhood 101 We Play where you can find lots of other great play ideas....

We     Play

It is getting hot here so as a fun way to keep cool I made some large ice cubes in a muffin container for the kids to play with. I setup 2 ice cream containers and tongs for Neevah to play with transferring the ice cubes back and forth she enjoyed this activity a lot more than I thought she would.

It took concentration to use the tongs especially once the ice melted a little and got slippery

She practiced using the tongs with her right hand

And with her left hand

We also added ice cubes to the paddling pool which was fun for 5 mins before they melted

Playing was ice was great fun and I can see the kids asking to try it again in the near future.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Santa's Magic Key

What is a kid to do when you have no chimney for Santa to come down and Mum refuses to leave the window open? Make a Magic Santa Key of course. I have seen these for sale in the shops but why buy one when you can make your very own .... it may not last as long as a store brought version but a morning of fun each Christmas decorating a special Santa key outweighs that I think.

You will need
Card (something a bit sturdy would work best)
Coloured Card
Christmas Ribbon

To Make
1 .Cut out a key shape from card - I used this template for our key
2 .Paint the key
3 .While the paint is still wet sprinkle with glitter
4 .Shake off excess glitter
5 .Let Dry
6 .Repeat on reverse side
7 .From the coloured card make a tag and add the below poem to the tag - I haven't done this part yet as our printer is out of ink

We heard a legend. Is it true?
Of magic only you can do.
We'll leave out any plain old key,
and mark it "Santa" so you can see.

Your magic makes the key fit right,
so you can get inside that night.
Thank you Santa, here's our key.
The milk and cookies are on me!

8 .Attach the tag to the key with the Christmas Ribbon
9 .Put your key out for Santa on Christmas Eve

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Candy Cane Cookies

Candy Canes are a fantastic festive treat but when you can not possibly eat another one it is time to add them to your baking and make some Candy Cane Cookies. These yummy cookies would be great to leave out for Santa on Christmas Eve with a glass of milk (or any other of Santas preferred beverages) and a Thank You note. My kids love to help in the kitchen and to be quite honest I do not let them help me bake as often as I should but with all the fun things to bake for Christmas this was the prefect chance to let them help out a little more. Neevah loved crushing up the Candy Canes to go into the cookies, she did a superb job of cracking the egg for me and they both loved taste testing the finished product.

Would you like to make your own Candy Cane Cookies? try one of the following recipes
Planning with kids - Candy Cane Cookies
Coles - Candy Cane Chip Cookies
Spicy Icecream - Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies (Donna Hay Recipe)

I used the planning with kids recipe minus the choc chips.

Please don't think I have forgotten about the Reindeer I have a fun snack in store for them as well .....

Friday, November 19, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Glittery Gift Tags

We hardly ever use glitter as part of our craft activities and after today I remember why .... it goes everywhere, it sticks to everything and clean up is not the easiest but it was totally worth it. Neevah had so much fun working with the Glitter it was such a treat for her and she was extremely proud of her sparkly art work.

You will need
Coloured Card
Christmas Cookie Cutters
White Glue
Plastic Spoon (optional)

To Make
1 .Place a cookie cutter into the glue and then stamp it onto a piece of coloured card
2 .Sprinkle glitter over the glue - Neevah used a spoon with the glitter just for something a bit different
3 .Shake off the excess glitter
4 .Repeat until your child has had enough
5 .Let Dry
6 .Cut up into gift tags anyway you like - I cut irregular shapes some around individual stars/trees and others around groups
7 .Make a small hole in the gift card thread ribbon through the hole and knot tightly

Neevah loves stamping with cookie cutters so much so I ended up with 20 Christmas gift tags they will add a great personal touch to this years Christmas Gifts.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christmas Crafts: Handprint Mitten

Our very first Christmas Craft of the season .... although a mitten isn't the first thing I think of for an Australian Christmas this handprint craft turns out so cute and to me it just screams Santa. You could hang the handprint mitten on your Christmas Tree or it would make a great Gift Tag for grandparents and other cherished members of the family.

You will need
Red Card
White Paint
White Paper
Marker Pen

To Make
1 .Paint your childs hand white or if old enough they may enjoy doing this part themselves
2 .Press your childs hand on to the red card
3 .Let Dry
4 .With a pencil draw a mitten shape around the handprint
5 .Cut out the mitten shape
6 .From the white paper cut out a cuff for the mitten
7 .Glue the cuff onto the mitten
8 .Make a hole in the top of the mitten and thread through the ribbon and tightly tie
9 .On the back write your childs name and age/date
10 .Hang it on your Christmas Tree or Attach it to a present

If you are using the handprint mitten as an ornament on your Christmas Tree you may like to laminate it or you could try clear contact either option should make it more robust and likely to last many more Christmases to come.

Inspiration for this craft can be found here

We Play - Dinosaur Tracks

Don't forget to stop by Childhood 101 We Play where you can find lots of other great play ideas....

We     Play

Back in July we played Safari Animal Tracks it was so much fun I knew Neevah would love to try it again. Today we made paint tracks with toy Dinosaurs it was quite messy and just as much fun as last time. The Dinosaurs roared and chased each other around the paper to form an interesting piece of free art. I would recommend you use a washable paint for this activity so it comes off the toys easily and wearing play clothes would also be a good idea.

One little dinosaur stomping

Dinosaur tails make interesting prints

Two dinosaurs playing chasey

Roar! Roar! Roar!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Toilet Paper Roll Birds

I love using Toilet Paper Rolls for crafting they are so versatile making great insects, animals, people or string them together for garlands. The other reason I like using them as they are essentially a free craft supply that can be found in most houses. Today we use toilet paper rolls to make 2 cute birds.

You will need
Toilet Paper Rolls
Coloured Paper
Wiggly Eyes or White Paper to make eyes
Marker Pen

To Make
1 .Paint the toilet paper rolls - we found darker colours provided better coverage
2 .Let dry
3 .While waiting for the paint to dry from the coloured paper cut out wings, beaks and eyes if you are using white paper
4 . Glue on the wings
5 . Glue on the eyes
6 . Glue on the beak
7 . Time to play

Neevah showing her birds the tree

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Two Little Dickie Birds

Neevah is feeling a little bit better today so we were able to get crafty and pull out the paints. The Fish Puppets we made the other day have been a lot of fun to play so to add to our puppet collection we made some birds to go with one of our favourite short rhymes.

You will need
Thin Card
Wiggly Eyes or White Paper
Craft Sticks
Marker Pen

To Make
1 .Let your child paint the thin card any way the want - Neevah picked Yellow, Red, Brown and White for her paint colours which is very similar to the colours she used for the fish

2 .Let Dry
3 .With the painting side down draw 2 bird shapes on the back of the painting and then cut them out - If you need some help with bird shapes try googling bird template there are a few to pick from
4 .Glue on the eyes
5 .Glue on the craft sticks
6 .Now it is time to play

Two little dickie birds
Sitting on a wall
One named Peter
One Named Paul
Fly away Peter

Fly away Paul

Come back Peter

Come back Paul
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