Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!

Ah, the first in a series of Chrismtas posts!!  I'll be sharing great Christmas books, crafts, hairstyles and ideas to keep yourself sane and you kiddos busy this holiday season.
This week, we are at practice each night for the EPAC Christmas show.  Here's a sneak peek of one of the songs Bee is in:

So - due to our (once again) crazy busy schedule, we will do simple crafts this week.

I confess, I'm a black Friday shopper. I LOVE it in a way that is probably very unnatural - but it's true.  I found a great deal at both Michael's and AC Moore - 30% off your entire order, so I hit up both stores for simple crafts.  Here's the best part - even if you had no coupon - these crafts are just a dollar each anyhow!  They are usually as you first walk into the store, hanging on the wall. There is quite a variety, and the kids love them.  So if you are a mom who wants to craft but doesn't feel "crafty" or doesn't have time to pull out the glue, and scissors, etc., these crafts are perfect for you.  Everything you need is contained in the package, and the kids will love them.

So, crank up the Christmas music and join us!  A Craft a Day until Christmas has officially begun!  This project was simple.  We used watercolors to paint wooden Santa's village scenes.  Very little mess, and easy for any age!!

Happy crafting!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Wrap Up

We've continued to work on a few things for Thanksgiving this week.  I choose this for our final craft: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/mtpturkey.htm Here is how ours turned out:

They were pretty easy to make, although the tops kept popping off whenever they were moved. I would say this is a decoration that would be good on a shelf where it won't get bumped or moved around.
The day before any major holiday break, we celebrate the day by doing themed work.  You'd be amazed at what you can find for free on the internet, and the kids have so much fun doing it, they forget that it is work!
Here are my favorite sites for ideas and holiday worksheets:

Yesterday, they were given the assignment to name a turkey and write a story about him or her.  They had to tell whether or not the turkey got eaten on Thanksgiving.  They were pretty funny.  We read a book about a turkey that poses as a pizza delivery boy to avoid getting eaten on Thanksgiving - thus the pizza references.   Here are their stories (post mommy spelling editing - the grammar is their own) - I thought you'd enjoy reading them.  

Tickturkey is funny.  He is crazy.  He gets lost, but a pizza man shows up.  The pizza man throwed the turkey in the house and they cooked him and ate him.  This is Jacob's story.

John Turkey
It was the day before Thanksgiving and John Turkey was the main course. Then turkey had an idea.  Turkey dressed up as  a sword but the farmer found him, and accidently killed himself by running into his blade.  Then turkey ran away and got up to Heaven where he was safe.
(a tad violent, but what eight year old boy isn't??)

Cookie Turkey
It was the day before Thanksgiving.  My turkey Cookie got cooked.  First, Mommy made the cornocopia while Daddy made the cranberry salad.  Next, Mommy made corn and Daddy cooked Cookie  Turkey.  But when Cookie came out, she was hot pink!  That made the girls happy.  The boys did not like it.  She turned pink because she was a rainbow turkey.  The boys said, "no" to eating it, but the girls already ate it all gone.

I had them re-write their stories today on lined paper with a turkey header.  Cute!
They also did Thanksgiving word searches, crossword puzzles, math sheets, and a simple craft:
http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/m-givethanks-turkey.htm  which they used as a cover for the Thanksgiving Book (I just put together everything that they did today with their story in the front).

It has been a good day, and final week of celebrations. Tomorrow we will relax as a family - and Christmas crafts will start on Monday!!
Have a blessed and relaxed weekend.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Three Day project!

This one is great to start right now - it took us three days to complete.  First, have you child make a boy or girl native american.  http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/mgirlnative.htm  This process takes a long time, especially the cutting out - so give it to them at the beginning of the school day, and let them work on it whenever they have a free moment.

The next day, have them make a boy or girl pilgrim: http://www.dltk-holidays.com/thanksgiving/mpaperpilgrim.html

On the third day, have them write something about Thanksgiving. This can be copy work for the younger set, or an orignial paragraph for the bigger kids. At our house, I simply put words on our dry erase board that had to do with Thanksgiving and asked them to write a paragraph. Jake had to write two sentences.

Finally, have them glue it all together on a big piece of construction paper and add their names! 

My kids had a good time with this, and it was a good way to review the meaning of thanksgiving at a time when we aren't studying American history.
Have fun with this one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Still here, still crafting....just busy!

So - our last week has led up to this:
Opening night of Oliver!!  It was a smashing success, and we had fun all weekend long performing for near full audiences!
We've also continued our crafting.  We made this last week, but I ran out of time to blog about it:
Now, before you decide not to do this because it says it is for the preschool crowd - think again!  My kids loved this craft, and there are things you can do it make it more age appropriate.  First, have them write the words to the poem as their handwriting for the day.   Second, have them paint their own hands!  They'll love it!  Third, have them cut and glue the papers together. Adding these few extra steps really does make it a "big kid" project. Here is how ours' turned out:

Here is an "up close" shot of the poem we used:

Cute, huh?  And a keeper.  :)
We're finishing another craft today that has taken us all week long!  Happy Crafting Everyone!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fairy Princess Braids

This blog is one of my favorites because not only does the mom do GREAT hairstyles, but her daughter got her hair cut around the same time my daughter did this year.  Now, this style says that you need longer hair to do it - but I was able to do it on Bee by just pulling the braids tighter - and I actually really liked the way it turned out.  You can find the step by step here: http://www.princesshairstyles.com/2010/10/fancy-princess-braids.html
This is how our's turned out:


A Craft A Day until....Thankgiving!

This is the completed version of this project http://www.craftsnactivities.com/Craft_Ideas/strawhatturkey.html  which, if you're tracking with us, should have been started a few days ago.  :)   I always try to tie in a book when we do a craft, and while this book is really about a turkey dressing up in costumes, it's still a turkey - so it fit with the craft. This book is very silly, and any age would love it:

A few tips on this one:
*give your kids super sharp metal scissors to work with when cutting the felt - kiddy or plastic scissors just won't do the job*
*I found that with the tacky glue, the rest of the pieces stuck nicely...except for the feet.  The paperclips worked so well on the sticks that we used them for the feet as well.*

*A note on the feet too - my kids had a really hard time with figuring out how to do the feet.  I ended up showing them how to do one of theirs, letting them do the other, and then "fixing" it when it was done. The feet are remarkably difficult to do.  If I were to do this over (or with younger kids) I would just make the feet for them.*
Here is how ours turned out, enjoy!

This might be my most favorite Thanksgiving craft ever - so CUTE!  These ones are "keepers".  I'm not sure how I'm going to hang them yet - maybe a string on the back or a thumb tack. Either way, they are too, too cute, and I'm thrilled with how they came out!
Two more days until Oliver opens!  Prayers for health and rest would be appreciated!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A craft-a-day until...Thanksgiving!

We started this craft http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/fall/pumpkin-seed-pumpkin.asp yesterday, when we painted several pumpkin seeds orange, green and brown.  To make this a bit "older kid" friendly, let them trace the pumpkin shape and be in charge of the glue.  :)   They aren't totally dry in these photos, but they came out pretty cute!  If I were to do this again, I would have had them paint more seeds.  For some reason, Alex has way less than the other two kids - they all look a little "sparse", but I didn't want to take the time to have them paint more seeds. 

This craft really is good at any level.  It worked their little fine motor skills out for about 20 minutes as they glued and placed each little seed.  :)
Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Updates and a new craft-a-day!

The last few weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster around here. I've been sick on and off, as have the children.  Add to that the rehearsals for Oliver, school, soccer, etc. and we've been pretty busy!  So...Halloween 'craft a day' kinda went by the wayside, but Thanksgiving Craft-A-Day will not.  I have so many fun things planned for the next three weeks, and I hope you participate along with us!

Today is the planning day  for week one - there are a few crafts that need some "mama-help" to get them started.  One is this one: http://www.craftsnactivities.com/Craft_Ideas/strawhatturkey.html adorable, right?  The problems started when I tried to have the kids put the craft sticks on the straw hat. **side note - the craft hats can be found at AC moore or Michaels - they are only like 50 cents each**  The hats aren't perfectly straight, and therefore the sticks didn't want to stick.  So - step one for this craft is a mama job.  Here is how I got them to stick - it's also important to use craft glue, as it is more "tacky".  Notice my clever use of paperclips??  :)  We'll see how they actually come off when the glue is dry!

Another craft we're doing this week is this one: http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/fall/pumpkin-seed-pumpkin.asp  The first step here is to roast your pumpkin seeds.   Hopefully you've saved some, or still have a whole pumpkin laying about.  If not, they are on clearence or free in most places now!   Bake on a cookie sheet at 325* for about 30 minutes. Be sure they don't get too brown!

So..prep the first two crafts today, so that your materials are ready to go tomorrow.  The straw hat turkey will take all week - adding a bit to it each day.  I think it's best to let each part dry completely before you move on.
**Tip - the tape really helps!**

For today, we are going to paint the pumpkin seeds for craft #2, but not put it together until tomorrow.  We are also going to do a cute corn craft. This one is more for Jake's age range, but I've found that even the simplest crafts are fun for my big kids as well.  Here's the link: http://www.allkidsnetwork.com/crafts/fall/button-indian-corn.asp  I was able to find these at Walmart - for about three dollars total. 

I had Jake sort the colors (good task for a first grader or younger), and we saved the extra buttons for a Christmas craft or two. 

Here is how ours' turned out:

 Someone was a little over-zealous with the glue - I decided to post it now, rather than wait the four days it will take to dry...lol:
Wooh!  Long post - I hope you made it this far.  Have a great day and enjoy the sunshine if you have it!!
p.s. I need to add that there won't be any exciting Bee styles until next week, as this is show week, and she needs simple french braids all week long. I might have one saved that I could post...I'll have to look through photos...we'll be back to fun styles early  next week.  In the mean time, enjoy daily crafts, and try some with your kids!