Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Snowman Refrigerator

Our winter refrigerator decoration is a snowman. Instead of using construction paper, like I have for my past refrigerator decorations, I have found that using felt pieces is more practical if I want to reuse these. 
So, I cut eyes, a mouth, buttons, and a hat from black felt pieces. I cut a carrot nose from orange felt, and David picked out a decorative felt piece for the scarf. He picked a blue piece with sock monkeys on it. 

(It took two pieces of the decorative felt to make the whole scarf. Those were 50 cents each at Hobby Lobby. It took two pieces of black felt and one piece of orange felt for the rest of the snowman. The solid-colored felt was 25 cents each.)  Total cost: $1.75

January Activity Wall-Garden of Healthy Choices

The holiday baking season was a lot of fun for the kids (and me). However, I decided January needed to be a time to add more healthy choices to our menu. To make this adventure a little more exciting, I turned these healthy choices into our next activity wall.

Our typical activity walls are dedicated to different crafts the kids uncover each day. For this month's wall, I turned each day into a different fruit or vegetable. The fruit or vegetable the kids uncover each day will be the star of our meal that night. To add a little learning for my younger children, I dedicated each of January's five weeks to a different color. 

I started by making "garden row markers". I broke a flat crafting popsicle stick into thirds. I hot-glued a mini clothespin to five crafting stick pieces. Then I cut paint swatches for the five colors I am using. (red, orange/yellow, blue/purple, green, and white/tan)
I wrote the dates and the colors on the swatches and attached them to the row marker with the clothespin. 

Next, I bought a large brown piece of foam from Hobby Lobby (construction paper would also work fine). I drew five rows on the foam and hot-glued a row marker to each row. 
For the blue/purple week, I cut four random shapes from blue and purple felt. Then I cut seven shapes from green felt for week two. I repeated this step for each week. Then I wrote a fruit or vegetable on a small post-it and attached it to the back of each felt shape. 

 January 1-4 is the color blue/purple. Our fruits and veggies are blueberries, blackberries, purple cabbage, and purple carrots. 

January 5-11 is the color green. The fruits and veggies are green beans, cucumbers, green peppers, kiwi, asparagus, green grapes, and leafy greens. 

January 12-18 is dedicated to yellow/orange. Our fruits and veggies are oranges, carrots, yellow peppers, yellow tomatoes, mangos, lemons, and starfruit.

January 19-25 is the color red. The fruits and veggies are cherries, apples, red grapes, raspberries, red onions and red peppers, tomatoes, and red potatoes.

January 26-31 is white/tan. Our fruits and veggies are brown pears, bananas, onions, parsnips, garlic, and white peaches.

The final step was to turn the shapes over and attach the "garden" to the wall. On a piece of grass scrapbook paper, I used a black paint marker to write "Garden of Healthy Choices". Now, each day, the kids can uncover a different fruit or vegetable. We will make that fruit/veggie the star of our dinner that day. 

Because my kids will still want to do activities after we cook dinner, I am going to try to center our activities around the week's color or the day's shape. At the end of each week, we will write/draw about our experiences with that week's fruits and veggies. 

Monday, December 9, 2013

Santa Refrigerator Decoration

Here is the start to our Santa fridge. I ran out of red felt, so I will have to finish the pants and arms later, but at least it is started. The entire thing is made from different colors of crafting felt. 

My youngest son has been begging for a Si Robertson Santa fridge, so to keep the peace around here, I printed a picture of Si (http://static1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20130601153322/duckdynasty/images/0/08/Si.jpg) and placed it in the face spot. 
Here is Santa finished! The entire thing is done with felt.

Christmas Activity Wall

This Christmas activity wall is the one the kids and I started with. So...we have officially been doing activity walls for 365 days! This has been an amazing experience, and I encourage others to find ways to spend special time with their children each day.

This wall is very easy to create. I found 25 small envelopes and glued Christmas scrapbook paper to the front of each envelope. I pasted on a number (1-25) to each envelope. I cut out the activities and placed them in the envelopes. Each day the kids will open the envelopes to reveal an activity.

Here are our activities for the month (And...I left last year's activity slips in the envelopes in case we have time for two activities.)
Pinecone tree
Candy cane science experiment
Candy cane Christmas tree
Polar express movie night
Paint nutcrackers
Snow globes
Pipe cleaner wreath
Candy cane ornament
Bulb ornaments
Name blocks
Mini glass bulb ornaments
Clothespin reindeer
Paper clip angels
Melted snowman art
Gingerbread house
Christmas tree and icicle ornaments
Paper snowflakes
Snow slime
Snowflake ornaments
Snow paint
Construction paper/tissue paper trees,
Angel handprint
Christmas cookies
Paper igloo

Our activities last year (before I started blogging) were: 
Drink Grinch punch while watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Make snowmen lights out of milk jugs
Turn the refrigerator into a snowman
Go to the library and check out a Christmas book
Make your own snow globe
Make elf donuts for Christmas Eve
Make Christmas cookies with Grandma and Mom
Make cinnamon ornaments
Make angel ornaments out of paper clips for 3 special people of your choice
Paint snowflake art from tape 
Write a letter to Santa 
Have a Polar Express night-Read the book and eat Polar Express treats.
Make Candy Cane Marshmallow Pops and Eat with Hot Cocoa
Make the Grandparents a Christmas Tree Fingerprint Card
Paint your own dinner plate
Make rice krispie gingerbread houses
Paint a Christmas scene with puffy paint—glue and shaving cream
Drive to the Nicol’s Christmas light show
Watch one of the ABC Family 25 Days of Christmas movies with treat necklaces 
Pick out two old toys to donate to charity
Pick out and wrap a present for Daddy 
Deliver cards and goodies to the neighbor 
Cut snowflakes and hang them on the window
Do a puzzle together
Read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2

Have a candlelight dinner party on the longest day of the year-Dec. 21st. Make sure you dress up J