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Archive for the ‘toddler activities’ Category

So I’m trying to make sure each day between now and Christmas is part of our celebration. Some days we’ll do more exciting things than others, but each day will have some special Christmas activity.  Some days we will probably do more than one thing, some days it may be as simple as coloring a Christmas tree or reading a book. These are all things we’re hoping to do this month.

What’s everyone else doing to get ready for Christmas? These Advent activities have been a blast for Keagan so far. I can’t wait until Eden’s old enough to participate.

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Our third and fourth day of Advent were spent making salt-dough ornaments.  Keagan really liked the painting portion.

He is so enjoying all of our advent activities! We are (hopefully) getting our tree this weekend so that should make for a lot of Christmas fun!



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We’re doing a Christmas activity each day until Christmas. We started the 30th of November by making these activity cards:

I found the numbers on some blog and I feel pretty crummy because I just can’t remember where! If anyone sees them and recognizes them, please tell me where they came from!

So we colored, stickered (we were given a large amount of Christmas stickers)  and glued those on the 30th. I’ve been adding the activities to the back here and there. I want to be sure we have one each day, but I also want to be flexible. With a 2 1/2 year old and an 8 month old I have to be!

On the first, we decorated one of our “faerie trees” out front that Keagan insists his friends, the faeries live in.

Keagan was really excited.

Keagan had a blast decorating and now gasps with joy every time we go outside. I love it! He said he made his faeries happy and their tree is pretty. Sounds good to me.

Yesterday, we made snowmen (I cut, he glued) and read “A Pirate’s Night Before Christmas” by Phillip Yates. The book was great! We read it several times and it’s a lot of fun. When you read this book aloud, you can not help but to talk like a pirate. And what kid doesn’t want to combine all the fun of pirates with all the wonder of Christmas? It was the first book he wanted to read when he woke up today as well. It’s a hit. It’s not one that will leave you all warm and fuzzy when it’s done, but it’s great.

Today, we made salt dough ornaments. We baked today and we’ll paint tomorrow. I’ll share photos when we’re done, but Keagan’s loving the process thus far.

I hope everyone’s enjoying the advent season. It’s a lot of fun to lead up to the big celebration with lots of fun activities. Christmas should be more than just a day, I think. Is anyone else celebrating the whole season? Anyone have any fun activities they’d like to share?

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We’ve been making a lot of Thanksgiving crafts the past two weeks and while a lot of them were things I made up on my own, we have done a few we found online. I thought I’d link to some of the fun activities we’ve found.
http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/crafts-other.htm
http://crafts.kaboose.com/holidays/thanksgiving
http://familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations
We also found a few fun ideas over at Chasing Cheerios.

We also started using the lesson plans from Little Acorn Learning. We don’t use all of it, and we change things around a bit to work for our family, but it adds a nice rhythm to our day. Keagan seems to enjoy it and it’s all simple stuff that’s easy to do with Eden around. I like the reverence for nature, the acknowledgment of a creator and the fact that it’s not expecting too much academically out of a two year old. That said, we do our own letter/ early reading learning on the side and lots of craft projects as well. But it helps to fill out our day and give me motivation.

With Thanksgiving just two days away I am sure many of you are busy getting ready. I’m spoiled. All I am doing is making a pumpkin pie, which I’ll probably do tomorrow night. My mom hosts each year, makes wonderful food and doesn’t like to lose control of much, so pie it is. I will bring a few things along that are allergen friendly. Nick is trying this http://www.enzymedica.com/products/GlutenEase to see if he can get through dinner without feeling sick and still enjoy all the yummies. I hope it works for him. It’s nice to have one less allergen to think about!

Happy cooking and happy feasting to all!

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These were so good! Keagan and I baked some Sunflower Seed Butter cookies yesterday. These are free of many major allergens, though if you can’t eat egg, you would have to use a substitute.
I pieced together a few recipes to try and make a gluten free peanut free alternative to a peanut butter cookie. Here’s what I came up with:

1 cup sunflower seed butter
3/4 cup evaporated cane juice (or you could use basic sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla

Bake at 350 for about 10 min.

These were seriously so delicious. A lot of allergen free alternative are good, but can leave you wanting the real thing. I liked these better than “real” peanut butter cookies.

Keagan had a lot of fun helping. Or should I say stirring the sunbutter, stealing the spoon and running to the living room to hide.

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He really did enjoy the whole process. I always try to distract him when I cook and I know everyone always says to include the kids and how much they learn from it, but it just always stressed me out. I realized yesterday it was no big deal and was more fun for both of us. I see a lot of baking together in our future.

Eden kept herself busy with some ribbon while we baked. She’s not quite ready for baking 🙂
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Naptimes’s over, so this blog is too 😉

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Keagan had a blast with this activity. I cut out four head shapes, several sets of eyes, noses, random shapes, mouths, hair etc in multiple colors and had Keagan create “monsters.” It was a great Halloween craft for him because in addition to being fun, it reinforced his knowledge of shapes (circle nose, oval head etc) and colors and also spatial reasoning. I was surprised how accurately he placed the pieces on the faces.(Excluding one upside down eyebrow, of which he was quite proud.)
I think we’ll repeat it again later… we could make silly turkeys, snowmen, etc.
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For the next two weeks Keagan’s homeschool theme is Halloween. We started today and we’re both already having a lot of fun!

Since we’re still going to do some letter work the next two weeks, we started with an “h” collage this morning.  Then we read three books to fit our letter theme, “Harry Hungry!” by Stephen Salerno, “Hippos Go Berserk” by Sandra Boynton (one of our favorite authors around here!) and “Halloween Kitten” by Mary Packard. The latter we found at the thrift shop for only a quarter- and it still had two sheets of stickers in it. I used it  as an into our Halloween activities.  After we finished the book, I wrote “Happy Halloween” on orange construction paper and Keagan used the stickers from the book to make a collage.  He loves sticker collages, but we don’t do them often as I think stickers are pretty wasteful. But hey, they came with the book, so we went for it. 🙂

After that, I cut some ghost shapes out. Keagan glued them on to black construction paper and then drew faces on them. I think they came out pretty cute. I’m also really happy that he’s stopped being afraid of ghosts. I contribute this to another thrift store find, a copy of “Gus was a Friendly Ghost” by Jane Thayer.  He’s insisted that I read it to him every day, several times a day since we picked it up last week.

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After that, we made a paper chain as a countdown to Halloween. Keagan loves to use gluesticks, so this was great for him.We talked about how we’d rip one link off every night from now until Halloween and then he’d go trick or treating. I explained to him that he’d dress up and get candy for the faeries and he’d get a gift the next day. He said “that’s right, Mama,” so I guess he’s on board with the idea of swapping candy for whatever a faerie might bring him.

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He’s napping now, but later on I am sure we’ll be back at it. I’d like to come up with a baking/cooking project he can help with that actually looks Halloween-y. I am not sure if we’ll come by it. We recently had dairy added to the list of things he can’t eat (a food already avoided for the household, but not strictly restricted previously for Keagan) and it seems that so many of the cutesy Halloween foods use cream cheese or sour cream etc. Maybe I can make goat’s cheese work.

Homeschooling has become so much fun with a holiday theme. I can’t wait for Christmastime. I am thinking all of December will be devoted to Christmas. There’s just so many possibilities and since we get to make our own timeline at home, I think we should embrace the joy of the season.

Well off to enjoy what’s left of naptime with my very awake six month old. I’ll leave you with Keagan’s art wall, something of which he’s oh so very proud.

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