Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Placemats

Here's a fun little thing to keep the kids in the thanksgiving spirit while you're getting the food on the table. I made my own Thanksgiving place mats to help keep them busy while I'm busy too.
I just took some of our spangles and tossed them about, so she could count them later. I also had her make the thumb print turkey. I have a few plastic templates so I just traced one out for her. I laminated the entire thing and that way she can use a dry erase marker to dress the girl.

To make my work last longer I did a separate page for Christmas.
I put a simple word list on one side and counting by 10's on the other. Because we live so far from our cousins I put a little snowman for each cousin with their name. I just used my scrapbook circle cutter to make them. Also, Big Sister can make word families with the endings just under her name.

I put the pages back to back and laminated them for all season long fun!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sticker Fun

Here is one of our favorite paper creative activities. I found some of these Melissa and Doug stickers.
And some of these.
They have them in boy blue also.

I let the girls pick out a 'scene' from the pink sticker collection. They have zoo animals, pets, unicorns, fairies, tea parties, etc. They create their scene with the stickers and then add some little girl stickers from the fashion set of stickers. They get to dress up the little girls and we love all the options. There are fancy dresses, fairy costumes, beach attire, pajamas and more.

They finish their papers with their colored pencils to fill in any other details. Here are a few examples.
Here's Big Sister's Ballet picture.

Here is Munchkin's tea party with a fairy godmother on the top.

A great gift idea and lots of fun to play with!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Thankful Strips

So, Halloween is over and the season of Thanks abounds. Well, at least it's supposed to. To help us remember this each day I've come up with a little craft we work on. Our family has been writing on Thankful Strips for several years now. We start the day after Halloween and finish on Thanksgiving. Sounds like too much work, but it's really just a five minute discussion each night at the dinner table.

First of all I prepare the paper so that we only have to write on them each night. Just take construction paper, cut them into strips and presto- you have your Thankful Strips. We keep them in an empty Oatmeal container.
In the years past I'll cover the Oatmeal container with paper and let the kids decorate it. We haven't gotten that far yet this year.

Each night at dinner (maybe breakfast if time didn't allow for it) we'll ask the kids what they were thankful for that day. We be sure to record exactly what they say and the date. Try to get them to be specific. The older they are the more adjectives you should encourage them to use.

On Thanksgiving we pick a few completed Thankful strips and read them during the course of dinner. It helps us remember the blessings God has given us throughout the month.

The day after Thanksgiving we help the kids create a paper chain with all the strips and put the chain up in their room as the first Christmas decoration. That's why we use green and red paper. When we look at it throughout the month we remember all of God's goodness to our family. We now call it our Thankful Chain.

In years past when we only had one kid, or only one kid who talked, we mailed out strips to family and friends and asked them to complete some. Have them mail it back to you before Thanksgiving so you can add it to your special dinner!

Monday, November 7, 2011

1st Birthday Beach Party Part 2

We sat and made a list of all types of things we associate with the beach and tried to match food items to that. Here is what we came up with...
Swishy Fishies are Goldfish

Neptune's Garden is our veggie tray with dip.

Sand is vanilla pudding with crumbled graham crackers on top.

Jazzy Jellies are sweedish fish pushed into blue jello.

Here you can see our Fish Bowls. Just blue Jello again with Sweedish Fish pushed into slits we cut.
We also had SeaGull Wings which were chicken wings.

Here is our cupcake tower. The same 4 images were used on all the signs and these cupcake toppers.

And no 1st birthday would be complete without a smash cake for the birthday boy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

1st Birthday Beach Party Part 1

After spending a weekend at the beach as a family, Little Guy made it very clear to us that he loved spending time in the sand. When his first birthday rolled around we went with the sand thing and made a beach in the backyard.
We dumped many many bags of playground sand onto a large tarp. His birthday happens to be at the end of summer, so I got plenty of beach toys on the cheap to help the kids dig and fill and dump until their heart was content.

I thought about putting a kiddie pool up to simulate the ocean next to the sand, but was more afraid it would be mud next to the sand. I guess you could also do a sprinkler.

Instead of goodie bags we sent each kid home with a cute sand bucket and an assortment of toys inside it. We had these cute little tags we made on Adobe.

I'll show you the food from the party next time. It was so cute and I love how it all followed the beach theme.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Making Words

The other day when my kindergartener stayed home from school we did a few fun things together that I thought I would share with you.

We used a few of the words she is using in her classroom to create bead sentences.

I wrote on a sticky note the sentence we talked about and she strung the beads on to make it. These are the Melissa and Doug Wooden Stringing Beads that we have. I love them because they have a lot of letters and plenty of shapes. I can get several kids using this at the same time.