Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas 2 DO!

So, December is finally here & with a mix of a friend's idea, Pinterest, books, & my own lil' ideas I created an advent calendar for my lil' ladies filled with fun holiday crafts, baking fun, events, & other fun things to fill up the month! In addition to the calendar, I am wrapping 25 of our books (and some new ones) & each day they can pick 1 to unwrap & read together.

Well, I thought I would throw out a few of the ideas that I put in my calendar in case anyone wants to brighten up their December with the kiddos as well. (Extra pics at the bottom of the post, you know me! lol)

(In no particular order)
  1. Snow Days. If you check your local newspaper or online, there is usually some place around town that will bring snow to you if you live in a seasonally-challenged area like myself lol. So, why not have a snow day!
  2. Lights, lights, lights! Kids just love seeing Christmas lights. You can either take a drive around the neighborhood or there are some known houses around town that you can hunt down to go see. In Arizona there is the APS Light Parade (this weekend), Glendale Glitters, Zoolights,  Mesa Arizona Temple Gardens Christmas Lights, McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park, Winter Wonderland Arizona, Arizona Celebration of Lights, & a lot of cities have annual Christmas tree lighting ceremonies as well.
  3. Holiday Puzzle. Every year I remember doing this with my family while growing up. We bought a huge puzzle & every year we would put it back together. Obviously, when you have younger kids you might want to start out small & then work your way up to the more tricky stuff. Family building & super fun!
  4. Make your own wrapping paper. All you need is butcher paper, some paint, & various items your kiddos can use to stamp different shapes onto the paper (i.e. sponges, the bottom of water bottles, etc). I guess you could also use actual paint & stickers too!
  5. Gift Bowling. Wrap some boxes of various sizes up with wrapping paper, stack them, & then have your kiddos use a ball to try & knock them down like bowling pins-fun!
  6. Bell Dance. Buy lil' bells, tie them to string, then help your kiddo tie some around their ankles & wrists. Kids will feel so empowered when every time they walk around or dance they can make the bells ring. You can even turn on some Christmas music & get really crazy dancing around. A fun rhyme that you can also do with bells is called, "5 Little Bells".
  7. Put up the tree. This is always a great thing to do as a family & a simple activity to add to your calendar.
  8. Pine cone Christmas Tree. All you need are pine cones, green spray paint, tiny pom-pom balls, & a lil' tree topper. Pine cone Tree
  9. Ballets & Plays! The holiday season is a great time to go see shows. "The Nutcracker" is 1 of my personal favorites & often times they offer showings with the ballet in a shorter & less scary version for the lil' ones.
  10. RAK Day! Random acts of kindness should be things that we do all year long, but doing them during Christmas is exceptionally fun. Have your kiddos pick out someone they would like to bless like a neighbor, a kid they know, a teacher, or whatever. It is kind of fun to be "sneaky" about leaving someone cookies or a gift without looking for any type of gratitude or recognition in return.
  11. Pancake Snowman Breakfast. Check it out!
  12. A Mini Christmas Party! Putting together a simple party for your kids & friends while everyone is on break from school can be fun. All you need is a simple snack, an easy craft or cooking project, & then you are ready to go! Kids can play & mommies can talk.
  13. Baking Cookies. There are so many fun holiday cookie recipes you can make with your kids. Instead of getting all in depth with it this year, Aussie spotted some easy cut & bake "Hot Dog" cookies that she is SO excited to make for the holidays. There are also cute & simple snowman cupcakes I have seen on Pinterest. Doughnut Snowman Snowman Cupcake
  14. Cutting snowflakes. I am sure almost everyone has cut a snowflake growing up. Have your kids cut some out of white paper & then hang them up in your windows. You can even add some spray in snow that will really thrill them! You can also make pipe cleaner snowflakes with pipe cleaners & beads or Popsicle stick snowflakes with a lil' glue, white paint, & Popsicle sticks. 
  15. Door Snowman. This decoration is so simple, but soooo cool. Use a lil' construction paper & turn your front door into a snowman! Check it out Door Snowman
  16. Marshmallow Snowman. Just use large marshmallows, stick pretzels (arms), white frosting (it will act as glue), & tiny candies to assemble your own snowman!Marshmallow Snowman
  17. Mini Marshmallow Snowman. All you need is a piece of construction paper for the background, mini marshmallows to create the body, & various colors of puffy paint. mini marshmallow snowman
  18. Trash Bag Snowman. Super cute, check it out!
  19. Felt Christmas Tree. A tree your kids can easily design over & over. All you need is felt, tape (to stick the tree on the wall) & some puffy paint so you can decorate the ornaments & gifts. Felt tree
  20. Gingerbread House Decorating. You can use graham crackers, frosting, & lil' candies or keep it even more simple & buy a kit. Either way, such a fun thing to do with the kiddos! Using a small kid milk carton in the middle of a graham cracker house is an awesome stabilizer!
  21. Hot coco at sunrise or sunset. Just something simple you can all enjoy watching together while staying warm. Something we often take for granted & forget to stop & enjoy!
  22. Christmas carols. Who doesn't love all those Christmas songs? A fun thing to do as a family.
  23. Christmas shopping. It is a wonderful idea to get your kiddos involved in purchasing gifts for their siblings, relatives, & friends. It helps them focus on other & not just think about themselves & what they want.  have them write their own list, have a lil' input. You can even take them to the dollar store to select their own special small things for friends, their siblings stockings, or whatever.
  24. Send a postcard to a loved 1.
  25. Sugar Cone Christmas Trees. Check it out!
  26. Christmas math fun! Decorate a tree while learning to count
  27. Decorate a gingerbread man. Use felt to make a gingerbread man, glue some eyes on him, & cut out some accessories so your kids can decorate
  28. him again & again! Felt Gingerbread Man
  29. Christmas Light Color Math! Check it out!
  30. Hand print wreath & Christmas Tree Hand prints. Hand print wreath & Hand Print Tree
  31. Popsicle stick nativity. popsicle nativity scene
  32. Oh, Window Tree! Paint a tree on your sliding glass door & let kiddos decorate it. This is amazing & so creative.Window tree
  33. DIY Snowglobes. Using a mason jar or even a baby food jar you can create your own snow globe. DIY Snow Globe
  34. Make a birthday cake for JESUS! This is my ladies favorite. They love selecting the flavors, colors, & sprinkles. After baking, we read the story & then we get to sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus-the real reason for the season! I save this for Christmas Eve always!
  35. Camp under the Christmas tree!
  36. Kid-Sized Gingerbread House. Check it out!

Well, hopefully this gives you a few ideas while still letting you add in your own awesome ideas. Please, comment if you have something fun to add to the list!

Night all!

M&M Momma



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A Cute Christmas Idea 4 the Hubby!

While messing around on Pinterest last night, I came across 1 of the sweetest Christmas traditions I have seen in awhile that you can do for your hubby called, "The 12 Days of Christmas". Starting December 13th, you leave a surprise wrapped for your honey, 1 thing. Just a lil' something he likes that lets him know you were thinking about him. For "Super Daddy" this would probably be something like a can of raviolis, a guitar pick, or something like that. For the next day, you leave him another wrapped surprise with 2 of something inside, think of things that come in pairs (ex. Shoes, socks, slippers, etc). You continue this every day, increasing the amount of the item every time, until its Christmas! It doesn't have to be crazy expensive items, just lil' thoughtful things. You can do it & get a lil' creative. Its not corny, its being thoughtful & going that extra mile during a time where our relationships can sometimes get a lil' shadowed by the kiddos & others. I am definitely trying this surprise this year for "J" (So, if you know him then you better not tell!-lol), but I thought I should share with the other wifey's who might want to try it out too.

Idea Source: On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me


-M&M Momma

Making puppet turkeys

Cleaning up the glitter she spilled,
"Sorry, Momma. I got it!"

Checking out the new outlet mall

Watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade!

Thanksgiving breakfast.
They wanted us all to sit at the lil' table

Good times!

Making their "Always Something
to be Grateful For" craft.
A new tradition!
Craft Details

A special treat