Along with eating, chatting, playing my parent's Wii, etc. I think we'll try to fit in a new game or two. I loved this idea from a comment from Allie on MartaWrites.
What fun things will help keep you and your little ones up tonight?
I love it.
Boxing Day, an English observance that encourages giving to the poor, is the perfect day to clean the closets and especially the playroom. We plan to give away some of our older toys, books, and games that are still in good condition. While we're cleaning out, I'll tell the kids how this day began.
The celebration of Boxing Day, which takes place on December 26 - the feast of St. Stephen, is a part of the holiday season unique to Great Britain. Traditionally, it is on this day that the alms box at every English church is opened and the contents are distributed to the poor. Also, this is the day that servants traditionally got the day off to celebrate with their families. It became traditional for working people to break open their tip boxes on this day. Boxing Day began in the mid-nineteenth century when the custom of tipping by rich persons to persons in service positions had apparently gotten out of hand. Children and others pretended to be in the trades and solicited tips. The custom was expanded to giving to anyone and everyone who had less money than you did, and soon the streets at Christmastime were full of aggressive soliciting of tips. To contain the nuisance "Boxing Day" was designated as the one day for giving to the less fortunate. (via www.the-north-pole.com)
My kids look forward to this activity every Christmas Eve. Try it...you may find yourself (and your kids) relaxed (gasp!) on one of the busiest days of the year.
Last night we decorated gingerbread houses with our neighbors. Some made their houses out of real gingerbread, some brought pre-made kits and most used graham crackers. We had green, red and white frosting all with decorating tips and all sorts of candies to choose from.
It is fun to see what creative things people come up with.
Encourage your children to count out their candies, sort them in colors, or create a pattern (red, white, red white).
Who would've thought that such an educational activity would involve candy and frosting.
Here are some of the candies we used:
Gingerbread originated in Europe many many years ago. It came in many different varieties - crispy, chewy, spicy, sweet, flat and fluffy. It was known as a delicacy and only the finest professionals made it. Throughout the years the value and purpose of gingerbread has changed and in America it has evolved into a Christmas tradition.
Today we are most familiar with gingerbread during Christmas time because of the gingerbread man and gingerbread houses.
Click here for a Gingerbread man coloring page.
information via homeschooled-kids.com
Along with decorating the tree, wrapping presents and caroling...Christmas time means Christmas movies. Every year when I pull out the Christmas movies I become all giddy inside! They have become such a fun part of celebrating the Christmas season. We love to decorate our tree followed by a movie.
Snuggle up with your children and enjoy one this weekend.
Here is my list of top 10 Christmas movies...for ALL ages.
With little non-calendar readers at our house, a Christmas chain to count down the days is absolutely necessary. Because everyone wants their fair chance to tear off the day's link, we have come up with this solution: A few days before December 1st, we go to the craft store where each of my children chooses his/her favorite Christmas scrapbook paper. We cut the papers into strips and then staple or tape the links together in a fair, alternating pattern. So, of course, whatever link is up on a given night is removed by the child who chose that paper. This system works beautifully for us because, I think, even the littlest can see that his turn will come with his own special paper.
Today I found a feather and took a moment to play with my 16 month old son. I realized there was a lot he could learn and a lot I could teach from just one feather.
In just about 15 minutes:
We learned about SOFT as I brushed the feather up and down his arm, and forehead, cheek and neck.
We learned about TICKLING as I let the feather tickle his nose and ears.
We learned that feathers come from BIRDS that say "tweet tweet", "quack quack" and "cockadoodle doo"
We also learned about BLOWING as we blew the feather in the air and watched it meander to the floor. His attempt was more of an "s" sound but he sure had fun trying to catch it.
He thought it was ALL pretty neat. And I was reminded just how important these small teaching moments are.
Picture via flickr.com
Thanksgiving is only a week away. Here are some VERY cute and easy favor ideas for the table I saw on a morning show. I remember making Thanksgiving favors when I was young and LOVING it. It is a great family tradition. I loved these ideas because they are kid friendly.
For a better idea of what they look like and how to make them view the video HERE.
Nothing is more fun during fall then making your own personal variation of a tree. A friend showed me a darling finger-painted tree from kaboose that my kids loved making. We also chose to add our own twist and glue on leaves from an inexpensive garland. Either way, the result is darling.
For detailed instructions for the finger-painted tree check here.