Friday, December 16, 2011

Advent ~ Weeks 2 & 3

Our weeks this December have really been focused on the Christmas spirit. As part of our advent calendar, we are doing a different holiday activity every day. We also added in plenty of other fun play, learning activities, baking and cooking :)

I finally made my own Play Dough and it turned out great. It is so easy to make that I plan on only making home-made play dough from now on. I added green food coloring and glitter to it to make it a little more Christmasy... 

 We made little snowman and reindeer bells... This was a little craft kit that I got from JoAnn's...

 We celebrated St. Nikolaus on December 6th. We cleaned out boots and put them in front of our door and St. Nikolaus was so kind to bring a little treat. Mandarin oranges, chocolate reindeers and a gift to share.

 On a different day, we decorated our gingerbread house. The kids absolutely LOVE this every year :)

 We made beeswax candles, which was also a big hit!

 We also made yummy granola, some of which we will give away as Christmas gifts...

 We made big Christmas stars to decorate our windows....

Tot School

Friday, December 2, 2011

Advent Activities ~ Week 1

We started our advent activities on December 1st. Click here to see our activity advent calendar. We did something similar last year and it was a big hit with the kids. Every day, the kids pick a special activity that we will do on that day. 

My mom sent us this super cute reindeer calendar. I wrote little cards that have the special surprise for the day written on them and Smiley gets to find the correct number each day (Lovebug helps). 

On Day 1, the kids were surprised with out Little People nativity scene that they got to set up... (excuse love bug's bed hair, this was right after she got up).

 Now that it is getting dark so soon and has cooled down quite a bit, much time in the late afternoons is spent with activities inside. Smiley's continues to love cars and especially enjoys it if mama or daddy play with him. Daddy plays cars with him for at least 30 minutes every day, which Smiley absolutely loves... (and there usually is some wrestling involved too).

 Lovebug particularly enjoys puzzles and other fine motor activities, in addition to playing with her stuffed animals and playing dress up ;) Here she is working with connectors that we got from Lakeshore when Smiley was a little one.

 Mommy got her Christmas present a little bit early. A juicer!!! I am so thrilled. I got the one that Carisa recommends on her blog. It's a bit pricey, but oh so worth it! While I put it together, the kids had fun coloring the box and pretending it was their house (the box is still in Smiley's room with a bunch of blankets and pillows).
The kids help me wash the veggies and fruit for our juice and Smiley puts everything in the juicer. He loves to be a helper in the kitchen! And I love that my kids drink a juice made from kale, cucumber, celery, and apples. We call it Green Power Drink ;)

 We have a juice every afternoon and the kids always ask for seconds.

 It is a great way to use up all the organic produce from our CSA box every week :)

Smiley also likes to help me bake bread. Sometimes we do it by hand and sometimes, like this week, we use our bread machine.

For one of our sensory activities this week, I gave the kids a baking pan filled with beans or popcorn kernels and a few trucks. The kids had fun playing with this for quite a while :)

Tot School