Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Noisemaker Craft for New Year's Eve

This noisemaker is so easy to make.  It only takes a few minutes.

First, I gave C and R clear plastic cups (we have quite the stash from hosting Christmas).

I told them to fill the cups a little more than halfway with bottle caps, buttons, and beads.  I wanted to add jingle bells too, but I have no idea where they are right now.

We decided the filler needed a little sparkle, or New Year's Eve bling, so we added sequins.

I hot glued plastic lids onto the top of the cups.  They are bigger than the cups; that is fine!

I knew we would forget which noisemaker belonged to which child (that would end up in an argument or two), so I pulled out the puffy paints and had them decorate the lids. 

I didn't have to tell them how to make noise though; they figured that part out on their own!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Paper Plate Bears

We got the book Chaucer's First Winter by Stephen Krensky from a box of Cheerios cereal.  You probably know that Cheerios has a program called Spoonfuls of Stories and it includes them putting books in the cereal boxes.  I eat a lot of Cheerios (yes, I said "I") so I usually buy the boxes of cereal with all of the different titles to add to our library.

Chaucer's First Winter is about a bear named Chaucer who knows that bears are supposed to sleep through the winter, but he is having so much fun making snowballs and sliding across the ice that he stays awake to enjoy all of the fun that winter brings.  This book is really cute.  We enjoyed the story, and the illustrations are perfectly adorable.  I really like that while Chaucer thinks his parents are asleep in the cave, they are actually watching him from a distance.  This book is a keeper.

C and R made paper plate bears to go along with the book.  First, they each colored a paper plate brown.  I cut circle ears out of brown paper lunch bags for them to tape onto the back of the plates.

They colored the inside of the ears black.  C and R glued on googly eyes.

Then, I trimmed clear plastic containers and filled them with brown paper scraps.  We taped these to the front of the paper plate faces.

C and R glued on button noses and drew mouths with a permanent marker.

Finally, we made each bear a paper scarf by folding a long rectangular piece of paper,

cutting fringe, and adding some decoration with crayon.

The scarves were taped and glued in place.  These bears will be nice and warm through the winter!

We made these bears before bed and R was too tired to pose with her bear!

 I am linking this to stArt at A Mommy's Adventures and Kids Get Crafty at Red Ted Art.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sledding Photos

A Few Christmas Photos

This post is mostly for me because these are things I want to remember in the future.  I love the stories behind gifts.

R really wanted a harp for Christmas.  Originally, she wanted one she saw in a catalog - it was a full size harp for a child and came with a stool, but it was over $200 and R does not play the harp so we thought this was a much better idea.  She was thrilled to open this from Papa and Grandma. 

There was a present wrapped in netting and decorated with fake poinsettia leaves.  R loves to be fancy so this became a great accessory for her outfit.

C and R both got Pillow Pets for Christmas.  Pillow Pets are all the rage around here right now.

A while ago, I wrote about R's favorite doll, Sally.  This dress and tiara match that doll.  R loves dress up play more than anything else.  The doll is really called Princess Seraphina and she is made by Manhattan Toy; R named her "Sally" and she sleeps with her every night.  This dress up outfit is made by the same company.  The shoes and shawl are Play Wonder from Target, but I thought they looked great with the outfit and I knew she would go crazy for them!

C has wanted a marble run for a long time, and he was very happy to receive one for Christmas.  Funny story:  when my husband mentioned to a client that C was getting a marble run, the woman said, "Have fun putting that together".  What she didn't realize is that most of the fun for C is putting it together.  He has already spent hours creating different marble runs, some from the book and some he designed on his own.  He is very mathematical and logical, so the marble run is perfect for him.  This is the Quadrilla Marble Railway.

That football is chocolate, well, it WAS chocolate.  It didn't last long.

Santa was good to Kelly too.
Here is one of my resolutions for the new year - hand over the camera once in a while!  I have over 200 Christmas photos and I am not in one of them.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Easy New Year Art

C and R were itching for an activity, and I was in full post Christmas clean up mode, so I set them up with something they could do (mostly) on their own.  This was more than just a fun activity though; it taught them how to write the new year correctly and included some fine motor skills work too. 

I gave them each a piece of dark blue card stock, silver and gold tissue paper, white glue, and silver and gold glitter glue. 

First, they had to tear the silver and gold tissue paper into tiny pieces.  R is not fond of this task.  She always complains when this is part of an art project.  She did it though.

Next, I asked them what year it is now and what year it will be in a few days.  They both knew it was going to be 2011, so I asked them how to write the number.  Once we all knew how to write 2011, I had them use the white glue to write the number on the card stock.  I had to help R (age 4) with this, but C (age 6) was able to do it on his own. 

Then they covered the glue with the tiny pieces of tissue paper and added glitter glue all over the paper.  This is when I was able to get back to my cleaning and leave them happily creating their art. 

This week we are reading The Night Before New Year's by Natasha Wing.  C and R are big fans of Natasha Wing's books.  In this one, the family is determined to stay awake on New Year's Eve to ring in the new year, but after fun and games and sweets, the little ones are sleepy.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Make Some Noise

Last year we made these noisemakers for New Year's Eve:

I have every intention of making them again this year because C and R enjoyed them so much last year.  I figured I would post the directions from last year's post now to give you time to make your own.  This is how we did it:

Decorate two small styrofoam or paper bowls with markers, paint, or whatever you want.

Hot glue a craft stick (you may want to use two sticks to make it stronger, the bowls get heavy once filled) to one of the bowls.  Punch holes on the sides of the bowl and tie a ribbon through each hole.

Add some small items to the bowl.  We used jingle bells and bottle caps but you can use buttons, dried beans or pasta, beads, or whatever you have on hand.

Glue the other bowl on top (we used hot glue) and glue buttons to the end of your ribbons.  We also decided to add a little glitter glue at this point.  Allow to dry thoroughly.   You may want to staple the bowls together too. 

Have a very happy new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Oldies but Goodies

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a wonderful Christmas!  We are currently experiencing a blizzard with winds up to 60 mph and the potential for up to 2 feet of snow.  We did manage to get outside for a little while today, and hopefully once the winds die down, we will get to enjoy more time in the snow.  For now, I thought I would let you know that I updated the left side of my blog with some of my favorite wintry/snowman posts from last year. 

You can find snowman cookies

Banana snowmen

Marshmallow snowmen

and snow dough

Click on the links in this post or click on the photos on the left side of my blog for directions on how to make any of these snacks or the dough. 

There is a real snowman in our yard right now, but I like my camera and was not going to risk taking it out in this weather.  Hopefully, I will get some great snow photos tomorrow.  It's winter in New England!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas from our home to yours.  

Christmas Coal

C is obsessed with coal.  He has actually requested coal for Christmas.  Real coal, not the pretend stuff or the coal candy, no, he wants real coal. 

Anyway, this all started with Lemony Snicket.  C and I read The Lump of Coal this week.

He loved it.  The book is about a lump of coal with a dream to become an artist.  If you don't know already, C is my artist.  He loves to draw and create, so he was immediately smitten with this lump of coal and his artistic dreams.  But, when we got to the page that mentions coal turning into diamonds, C's eyes lit up and he wanted to know more.  Hopefully, we will spend some time learning about coal and diamonds over Christmas vacation, but for now he is drawing pictures like this:

In case you didn't know, that is coal becoming a diamond.  That is the way he imagined it happens.  Now, there was no way that I was going to let him draw that coal with a plain old black crayon.  I had to visit my friends at Almost Unschoolers and follow the directions posted there to make lumps of coal out of black crayons.  It was easy enough; five unwrapped black crayons went into the oven (250 degrees for 5-10 minutes) in a foil pie pan until they were melted and then I used a plastic spoon to scoop the melted wax into coal shapes.  This made two lumps of coal and they were ready to be used for coloring in just a few minutes.  C was thrilled.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Reindeer Food

I made this super cute reindeer sandwich this week.  Jenny from Our Nifty Notebook sent me a link to the reindeer sandwich posted on Be Different Act Normal, and I had to try it.  I used a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut the sandwich and then used the crust to make the ears and antlers. 

Here is a picture of the reindeer sandwiches I usually make:

Speaking of reindeer, C and R performed the annual task of preparing food for Santa's reindeer this morning.  Our version of reindeer food is one cup of bird seed, one cup of oats, and a few shakes of colored sugar (we used red).  C and R will sprinkle it on the lawn on Christmas Eve as a special treat for the reindeer.  They will also leave carrots for the reindeer on Christmas Eve.

We are just about ready for Santa's arrival!  As a matter of fact, we had dinner with Santa last night and C and R let him know that he should plan to stop at our house.