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December 10, 2011

25 Days of Christmas - Days 7, 8, & 9

The Christmas fun continues in our house!

Day 7: I made these cute Rudolph the Reindeer sandwiches that I stumbled upon on...you guessed it, Pinterest! It was simple and took about three and a half minutes to make. I made peanut butter and jelly on wheat bread, cut in half. I used pretzels for the antlers, raisins for the eyes and a piece of taffy for the nose. The boys were delighted with their lunch. I love easy ways to bring a smile to their faces.  Be sure to check out Next to Heaven to see the original idea.

Day 8: Last year my grandma gave the boys a big Christmas coloring activity book. They weren't interested in crafts and coloring as much then, so I put it away for this year. We had fun painting and coloring pages from it and sharing memories of GG. I didn't get many pictures, because JM wanted me painting with him instead of playing photographer. ;-)

Here is a picture of my grandma with Mike, the twins and me on our most recent visit to see her. 

Day 9: I think day 9 was my favorite so far. I hosted playgroup at my house, and we did a snowflake craft. Before the other children arrived I set up our dining room table.  I spread out an old sheet and taped it underneath the table top, so it wouldn't slide as the children reached for supplies. I glued a few popsicle sticks together, so they had time to dry. The ages of the kids ranged from 2-4. With their attention span, I wanted them to be able to dive right in and begin decorating their snowflakes instead of waiting for the glue to dry.

I have these cool collage caddies that I purchased from Lakeshore Learning. They are perfect for little hands. I believe children work and play better with organized choices rather than chaos. I wanted the kids to have many options to decorate their snowflakes with, but I didn't want an abundance of supplies strewn across the table. The caddies made it perfect for the kids to see what items they could use without being overwhelmed. Inside the caddies I had pom poms, sequins, bells, buttons, foam shapes and rhinestones.

I recently put all of our glitter into salt and pepper shakers to make easy use for my kids and to avoid the mess of dumping the entire container with one flick of the wrist. I found this genius idea here. I don't mind messes. In fact, I encourage my boys to be creative and have fun with crafts, but I don't like waste. If one of my boys wants an entire container of glitter on a project that is his choice, but nobody likes the accidental dumping.

JZ and JM could hardly wait for their friends to arrive! I tried to hold them off, but I really couldn't blame them for wanting to get started.

Another benefit of the collage caddies was that JM and other kids his age liked to dump the entire container full of decorations onto his snowflake after applying glue, so by having a small amount in each caddy he couldn't dump too much at once.

After dumping all the little pieces onto his snowflake JM proudly said, "I all done!" I love his enthusiasm and how he takes pride in his own work.

JZ was more meticulous than I've ever seen him be on a craft. He sprinkled glitter first then careful chose which items to glue on the ends of the snowflake.

I didn't ask any of the other parents if I could post photos of their children, so I'm only putting up the ones of my own boys. Everyone seemed to have fun. I enjoyed watching how each child took on the project. There were dumpers like JM, meticulous workers like JZ, kids who wanted a little bit of everything on their snowflakes, kids who stuck with one type of decoration and kids who wanted to rub glitter and glue in their hands. What a fun sensory activity. I might give my boys some glue and glitter some day and see what they do. Here are a few of the finished snowflakes:

Clean up was a cinch thanks to the sheet on the table. I wrapped it up, took it to the garbage can and shook all the excess glitter and sequins then threw it in the wash.

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