Saturday, January 4, 2014

Christmas Advent Calendar - Part Two

We had such a fun Christmas season this year! We kept busy with games, crafts, etc. each day leading up to Christmas. To see the first half of our advent activities, click here! And here is what we did during the second half of the month:

December 12: Christmas tree craft
December 13: Have a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" party
December 14: Visit [local park] for Christmas lighting, cocoa and carolers
December 15: Make bubble wrap Christmas trees
December 16: Drive around to look at Christmas lights
December 17: Play Christmas Actions Game
December 18: Bake cookies
December 19: Read The Night Tree and make bird seed ornaments
December 20: Decorate our own "Night Tree"
December 21: Make a paper plate wreath
December 22: Watch "The Polar Express" movie
December 23: Make paper bag reindeer
December 24: Make reindeer chow, and bake cookies for Santa

Christmas Tree Crafts

These were part of our Christmas tree unit. To view the full descriptions, click here!

How the Grinch Stole Christmas Party!

This was a wonderful theme! The kids had a blast. Click here to see the full party!

Pin the Heart on the Grinch Game

Grinch Slime

Christmas Actions Game

I came across these cute action cards from Oopsey Daisy, and I wanted to make a fuller game out of them. So I created my own game board in Photoshop Elements.

First, Honey Pot rolled a die, and then she drew a card from the pile. She needed to complete the action described, then she could move her pom pom that many spaces. Her first card said, "Spread your branches like a Christmas Tree." So here she is doing that.

Here she is after drawing the card that said, "Run like the gingerbread man."

Little M&M played with us too! Here are the both of them "prancing like a reindeer."

What an incredibly fun game! Honey Pot requested this a few times during the rest of the Christmas season. We'll save this for next year!

Night Tree and Bird Seed Ornaments

One book that we read last year really stuck with us, called Night Tree, by Eve Bunting. In it, a family has a tradition where they decorate a tree in the woods with bird seed ornaments, popcorn garlands, fruits, etc. so that the wildlife may enjoy a Christmas feast.

We love the idea! Since our kids are still young, we decided to just start with bird seed ornaments. Here is how they came out:

We followed the first recipe from this site, and allowed them to set overnight. Then we hung them on the branches of a tree nearby for the birds. I can't wait to go further someday with all the decorations mentioned in the book!

Paper Plate Wreath

This was a fun craft for Honey Pot! First she tore of bits of green crepe paper.

Then she painted glue onto a paper plate...

...and stuck them on!

Once she was happy with how it looked, we crumpled up red crepe paper for the berries. She counted how many berries we made in all before gluing them on.

Then I stole a small red ribbon from our Christmas tree (we had tons, anyway) and tied it onto the bottom. I love how this came out!

Paper Bag Reindeer

I found this image on Pinterest a while ago from Spoonful, but the link doesn't follow through to the craft. So here is my inspiration:

First, we traced Honey Pot's hands for antlers. Then she glued on all of his facial features. We used a red pom pom for the nose so we could make Rudolph!

Then we used tacky glue to adhere a few bells!


Once it had all dried, she was eager to play with it! These are always such a hit. Do you remember Honey Pot's frog puppet?

As a matter of fact, Little M&M enjoyed playing with this puppet too. So much so, that it is now nose-less, ripped and crumpled. I see paper bag puppets in his future!

Reindeer Chow and Cookies for Santa

On Christmas Eve this year we started a new tradition. In addition to leaving cookies out for the big guy, we sprinkled some reindeer chow out on the lawn as well. First, Honey Pot and her little cousin mixed together some oats with red and green sugar crystals. (The original idea that I found here uses glitter, but we wanted something more environmentally friendly, so we omitted it.)

When they had mixed everything together, everyone bundled up and went outside to spread it around the front lawn. They really seemed to enjoy this!

And Honey Pot and her Pops whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies to leave out for Santa!


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