YOU WILL NEED: plain white cotton napkins, colored fabric markers
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As I put my children's gifts under the tree last night I couldn't help but feel a little empty knowing there are parents who will not be able to share in this joyous occasion. As I end the 25 Days of Winter Activities I wanted to share an activity we did on Thanksgiving but seems perfect as we reflect on those we love and what we cherish. This would be a great New Years Eve activity for the whole family.
YOU WILL NEED: plain white cotton napkins, colored fabric markers
Cover a table with newspaper or butcher paper and lay out a variety of fabric markers. Give each person a white napkin. Talk to your children about what it means to be thankful. Each child should draw a picture of one thing they are thankful for. Label their pictures. "I'm thankful for my home". Each year add a new thing you are thankful for. What a great way to reflect on what is important!
Friday, December 14, 2012 will forever be part of our lives. The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School that stole the lives of children and teachers also stole a piece of each of our hearts. Not an hour has past since that day that I have not had those little souls on my mind. I made a promise to myself on that day that I would never forget the emotions I am currently feeling and would use sadness and fear to better myself and continue to learn and grow especially as a mom, wife and educator.
I know all of us wish there was more we could do to help those directly effected by the Sandy Hook tragedy. One of my favorites blogs, MADE, wrote a post on a number of simple ways to help. We can't change what happened and we can't take away the pain these families will endure, but we can show that we care. We can show that each child and teacher lost too early affected our lives. We can show we will not forget.
One way to help is to make paper hearts and shower these little ones with love. Any colors, glittery or plain, just make sure not to write words. You can mail your hearts by 1/12 to:
One of my happiest childhood memories of the holidays is caroling with friends and family and opening our home's door to cheerful Christmas songs. I haven't caroled in 25 years, but after seeing it in books and on television my son was eager to sing for all! We spent the past week practicing our songs and shaking our bells. We settled on three songs "We Wish You a Merry Christmas", "Jingle Bells" and "Frosty the Snowman". The kids were so excited when I announced this morning that we were going caroling at Grandma and Grampa's house. Honestly, I haven't seen anyone carol in years so I thought we would set my kids up for success and head over to visit my parents. We put on our Santa hats, packed up our bells and a thermos of hot chocolate and were on our way!
I recently saw a recipe for extra large gingerbread people that were the cutest things! While I plan on making them for the gingerbread party we are having next week with my family I thought it would be fun to do a twist on this idea and make jumbo snowman.
YOU WILL NEED: sugar cookie recipe (mine is here), flour, rolling pin, parchment paper, cookie tray, buttercream frosting, candies for decorating (jellybeans, chocolate candies, yogurt pretzels, licorice sticks, etc. This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.
The smell of gingerbread baking in the oven is one of those quintessential holiday scents. Baking this delicious gingerbread and spending an afternoon decorating houses with brightly colored candies. While my girls napped my son and I had a perfect day enjoying laughs, sticky fingers and a few nibbles of sweets. I hope these gingerbread houses bring joy to your home too!
YOU WILL NEED: gingerbread cookie recipe and royal icing recipe (find mine here), various candy decorations (licorice, jelly beans, chocolate candies, miniature candy canes, etc.), rolling pin, parchment paper, cookie tray This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Click on the images below to purchase.
Every year when I visit my parents' house for the holidays one of the first things I do is look at the ornaments on their Christmas tree. The tree is a place of memories from my childhood. Ornaments made by me and my three brothers that instantly take me back to simple times. All of us sitting at a table together talking, painting and simply being a family. As a mom I am eager to fill my own tree with memories. Here is an easy recipe to share with your family.
YOU WILL NEED: 2 C flour, 1 C salt, 1 C lukewarm water, cookie cutters, rolling pin, cookie tray, parchment paper This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please click on the images below to purchase.
Mix together the three ingredients. Roll out on a floured surface. Create shapes using cookie cutters.
One of my Christmas memories as a child is making stained glass cookies with my mom and then hanging them on our Christmas tree. Stained glass cookies look beautiful on a tree or hanging in a window, and, of course, they make a delicious treat.
YOU WILL NEED: favorite sugar cookie dough (you can find mine here), crushed hard candies (I used a variety of YummyEarth Organic Lollipops), parchment paper, large cookie cutter (I used the circular top of a martini glass), smaller cookie cutter (I used a christmas tree), rolling pin, cookie tray This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please click on the images below to purchase.
With all the indoor craft activities we are doing lately it was time to head outside! Scavenger hunts are one of my go to activity choices no matter what time of year it is. They are cheap fun and the perfect way to get your whole family running around breathing in the fresh air.
YOU WILL NEED: paper, pen, individual bags
Create a scavenger hunt list for each child with a list of natural items found outside. Add pictures to each corresponding word to aid pre-reading skills.
Help your children read the scavenger list items one at a time and then search for each item. When a child finds an item on the list he can put it in his bag. Continue until all items are found.
One of the best parts of living in New England during Winter is the magic that happens when the snow falls in a forest. The snowflakes cling to the pine needles and branches creating a glistening wonderland that takes my breath away ever time I walk through a tunnel of bending snow-covered branches. Today we're bringing some of that winter magic inside. Begin by taking a walk with your children to collect sticks and branches.
In addition to the branches YOU WILL NEED: glue, brushes, glitter, rectangle or square pieces of styrofoam.
Being a stay at home mom (read: minus one salary) I try to find creative ways to save money. One of the ways I consistently save while still creating fun art opportunities for my kids is through reusuable materials. Wrapping paper scraps, small pieces of ribbon and old cards are perfect materials for a holiday collage.
YOU WILL NEED: wrapping paper scraps, ribbons, bows, cards, etc., glue bottles, paper plates
Cut a hole in the middle of each paper plate.
Cut the wrapping paper and the ribbon into small pieces. Arrange on a paper plate.