Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stainglass Christmas Trees

Well, Christmas is one week from today and we still have so many Christmas crafts to finish up.  Yesterday, I cut tree shapes into a pizza cardboard box.  I, then gave Monkey the hole punch and told him to punch as many holes in the tree as he wanted.  Next he painted the tree green on the non-printed side.

While the paint dried, I cut up green and red tissue paper into small squares.  Monkey covered the tree in glue (I think a glue stick might have worked a little better for this but I was afraid it was going to rip the tissue paper)

Then he started to cover the entire tree with pieces of tissue.

Let it dry (for a long time if you used as much glue as Monkey did)  Then I trimmed up the pieces of tissue that were hanging over the sides.  And that was it.  Really easy, but super cute.  When it was completely dry, we hung it up in the window so the sun could shine through.

Looks like a little stain glass Christmas tree.  You could definitely spice them up with a little glitter and/or decorations, but Monkey wanted to leave it plain!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jingle Bells!

Well after 6 days of antibiotics, I can sadly report that Logeybear is still not recovering well.  However, Monkey is definitely starting to get back to himself.

While we were making our egg carton snowmen, I had Monkey paint a few extra single egg cartons.  He had no idea why he was doing this, but I kept telling him he needed to wait a few more days to get to them.  So I gave him green, red and white paint to get them all covered.  It takes more paint that I thought to get those cartons covered - the paint soaks into the material.

So when I told him to really put a LOT of paint on them, this started happening!  The paint would stick to the cartons and the paint brushes.  We weren't using the greatest brushes either, but that was what I had grabbed the first time I went to get the paints, and I wasn't walking back downstairs again (sick Logey still in my arms 24 hours a day!!)

Once they all dried up, I got out a pack of bells (or Jingle Bells as Monkey calls them).  We cut pipe cleaners in half, and looped them through the opening on the jingle bells.  This was actually kind of hard so Monkey would get the first half in, and then I would have to get it back out.  Then we pulled the bells tight and poked 2 little holes through the egg carton and attached the pipe cleaner at the top.  It looked like this:

Then we finished up the rest of them, I think we made about 8-10 of them!  Monkey likes to do things in bulk, so I always have to have lots of extras so he can do the craft over and over again! 

So here they are all hanging on our Christmas tree.  We are finally starting to fill in the voids from the poor broken decorations! We used sparkly silver, gold and blue pipe cleaners and some regular old green and red one.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Egg Carton Snowmen

Well, the kids are still really sick and both boys are on antibiotics, but we are still doing some nice and easy crafts!  Monkey was really wanting to make some snowmen (like I said, he is really into Frosty right now)  I kept telling him that once we finished the eggs, we could make some really cute snowmen with the egg cartons.  Well, yesterday the day finally came.

First thing I did was cut the cartons so that I had three in a row.  Then I set Monkey up with some white paint and told him to get it completely covered in snow.

Once it dried up, I set Monkey up with some pipe cleaners for arms and scarfs, googly-eyes, pompoms and Sharpies.  First thing we did glue on the pompom buttons, and the googly eyes.  Monkey asked me to draw the mouth on his.  Then we cut our brown pipe cleaners into 4 pieces (sneaky Mommy with those scissor skills). It turns out that pushing pipe cleaners through the egg cartons was more difficult than I thought, so I used the exacto knife and pushed little holes through first.  Then Monkey was easily able to get the arms through.  We then cut the sparkly pipe cleaners in half.  He wrapped half around to make the scarf.  As we finished, I realized (or rather Monkey pointed out) that I had forgot about hats!  Monkey then suggested that we use the other half of the pipe cleaner. This was a great idea because the 'hat' actually served as a hat and a hook to put it on the tree.  The pompoms weren't sticking that well the egg carton, we ended up hot gluing them to make sure they stayed put! 

Here are Monkey's 2 snowmen, a Mommy and a Daddy snowman.

Here is the Daddy hanging nicely in the tree.

These little guys were really easy and I was able to do it with Monkey while holding Logey (who is just plain miserable!!)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Popsicle Stick Tree and Stars

This was an EXTRA easy craft that was PERFECT for Monkey.  I loved it because I did not have to prepare anything for it.  I just grabbed some popsicle sticks and glue, and a few cut pieces of yarn!  Our great friends over at Happy Hooligans gave me this idea (again!!!!)

Generally I would have got none-coloured popsicles sticks, but these were left over from our Thanksgiving turkey crafts (I wasn't blogging then so you can't see how cute they were)  All we did was put some glue in the centre of the sticks and then stick 3 or 4 together!  Like I said super easy!


Here is how they turned out!  Monkey just kept wanting to do more and more, so I figured why not (Our Christmas tree is still looking a little bare due to half the decorations breaking last year)

Once they all dried we used the glue gun to glue some yarn to them so we could hang them up.  I got Monkey to cut the pieces of yarn to size, so he could again practice those scissor skills!!

Here are some on our tree!  (Side note: up in the left hand corner is our glue gingerbread man from last year.  So easy to make, just glue and glitter and cookie cutters!  We will be making some more of them this week too!)

When we were done, there were a few Green popsicle sticks left over, and out of the blue Monkey said it looked like a TREE!  So we used the scissors again to cut them down a little bit more on each one.  Then he said we needs a "truck"...took me a few tries to figure out what he was talking about and then I realized he meant TRUNK!  (Side note: speech therapy FINALLY starts on Dec 22!)  He picked up a broken piece of yellow that was sitting in the bottom of the box and said it was the Star.  He glued them all on and VOILA a beautiful Christmas tree!

So, two really easy Christmas crafts which worked on great skills!  We always need the scissor practice and anything I can do with scissors is great!! 

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Look!

Just in case you didn't notice, my blog has a new look!  As we all know, I am VERY new to blogging and started off with a very generic header. 

A super awesome friend whose hubby is an amazing 'graphic designer', whipped up this beautiful header for me!  I love the monkey and bear.  It couldn't be any cuter!  It was so great that he had time to do this for me, and I am so thankful for it!

Also, SANTA came to visit the blog as well...Keep your eye out for him while here!!

Gingerbread House

So today we had no daycare kids, since we were all on the mend from all our illnesses.  So I figured Monkey, Logey and I would work on our Gingerbread house.  Grammie bought us a nice and easy pre-made house.  All I did was put the house together...

Here is all the parts laid out with a great tray that came with it (made it so much easier to build)

Once the icing hardened enough for Monkey to start decorating, I gave him the icing bag and let him have a free for all!  As you can see, Grammie also stopped at Bulk Barn and got some (LOTS!!!!) extra candy.

It was great to watch him do everything on his own.  I wasn't going for the perfect Gingerbread house, I was going for a 3 year old's version of the perfect Gingerbread house, and that of course I got!  On one side he did straight lines with the icing and candies, and on the other side he tried to follow to pattern on the house! I think both sides turned out great!

Here is the final Masterpiece!  He even made a perfect walkway out of the Lego blocks that Grammie bought.  I didn't even show him how to do it, I was so impressed!

Ya, that is a whole lot of candy on there!!    Logey tried to help, but by helping, I mean he helped himself to candy, so we set him up on the floor with lots of toys and books to keep him busy while Monkey finished up!

I have always loved building gingerbread houses for the holidays, but I love it even more now with the kids!  Plus, I once again sneaked some skills in there too.  Monkey had to squeeze the icing out of the bag and into the 'right' spot on the house, and well as some fine motor skills to place ALL that candy on there!  Can't wait til next year when Logeybear can help us too!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Felt Snowman

Been a few days since I have posted...the whole family is quite sick and each of us is trying to fight a different infection.  Somehow, I had time to whip up this craft between wiping noses, holding a crying/miserable baby, cleaning up after a 3 year old with a nasty gastro virus, while being super sick myself!  Not an entirely enjoyable weekend for us!

Monkey loves his felt Christmas tree so much that he asked if we could make another one.  While I saw no purpose in having two Christmas trees, I came up with a better idea!  He has been LOVING Frosty the Snowman lately, so why not make a snowman!!

It was super easy to do.  I first took 3 of the kids measuring cups (1/2, 3/4 and 1 cup size) and made perfect circles on the white felt.

Then I cut out the circles, and used my scrap pieces of felt to make a hat, eyes, nose, coal mouth, arms, and lots of buttons.  I used the left over white felt from the circles and made some snow hills for the bottom.  I stuck it all onto a big left over piece of green felt from the Christmas Tree.

And then Monkey went to it.  He took is apart and put it together over and over and over again.

This was the one he wanted me to take a picture of to put on the blog (he actually told me to take the picture lol)

We weren't letting Logeybear play with it because the button and mouth circles were pretty small and we knew from past experience that the pieces were going to go right into his mouth.  So while I was playing with Logey, Monkey started to decorate one of Emmy's dog toys!  And of course, told me to take a picture!  I thought it was pretty creative of him!

These felt scenes are so easy to make, and can lead to hours of play!  I hope to get lots of great Christmas activities done this week, if we could all just fell better!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Felt Play Christmas Tree

Well, my tree is still standing, and has yet to come down this year, however, I have re-decorated it about 50 or so times!  I can't keep the boys hands off the decorations!!  I went to Pinterest to find something that could solve my problem!  This is what I found! Play Felt Tree and Ornaments

So after a friend kindly made a trip to Michael's to pick up a big peice of green felt, I was ready to cut!  Turns out I can't really cut a tree all that well, but the kids sure don't mind.  I added a little trunk to the tree to make it a little more real for them.  I cut bulb shaped ornaments, and some garland. and a little star for the top.

I left the tree out on the table for Monkey, so when he came down in the morning, it was a nice surprise for him to decorate!  He got right to it

And re-decorated....

...and re-decorated...

We moved it to the floor so Logey-Bear could play as well.  I was really close to him because I suspected that the peices would go right into his mouth....

..."What, I don't have anything in my mouth!!!"

..."Oh wait....yes I do!!!!"

So all in all, Monkey loves the tree and decorates it over and over and over....and Logey, well he likes to try and eat it, so not so great for him.  Monkey has decorated it by putting all the same colours together in each section, and by mixing up the colours.  It is amazing to watch him keep going back to it, to make it just right!   HOWEVER, I have still re-decorated our REAL tree about 15 more times, so it really didn't solve my problem!  But still cute nonetheless!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Home-Made Snow Globes

I had been seeing home-made snow globes all over Pinterest, and really had no interest in making one.  But when our friend from Suburbia Momma wanted to come over at 10pm the other night to make them, I couldn't resist the challenge!

I mainly didn't want to do them because it seemed like so much work and would take a long time to make, but turns out it is SUPER easy and barely takes any time at all!

The supplies you need are:
Some type of bottle (wouldn't recommend glass if you have to destructive boys like me!)
Glue Gun
Water or Baby Oil

First thing I did was glue a Christmas decoration to the inside of the lid of my bottle.  I think if I did it again, I would put something down first and then glue the decoration on top of it.  Maybe like a small lid of some sort - basically to raise the ornament higher into the Globe.

Then I hot glued some foam snowflakes to the inside of the bottle.

Then fill the container to almost the top with Water (or baby oil - I did one with baby oil and it looks kind of cloudy, so I did this one with water).  Pour in a whole bunch of glitter!  We added some floating foam stars as well.  Take the jar over the sink to put on the lid because some water will likely spill out (learned that the hard way!)  Once you get the lid screwed on tightly, use the glue gun to lock the seal! (don't put hot glue around the entire mouth of the jar and then try to twist the top on...seriously, we tried it -TWICE - you will never be fast enough to get the lid screwed on tightly!)

And VOILA! A perfect little snow globe for Monkey and Logey Bear!   My jar had some ridges around it so it was tricky to get a nice picture of it, but you get the point!  The boys love shaking it all around and seeing how long it takes for all the glitter to get to the bottom!

So, it really was that easy!  I think I will try this again every Christmas with the boys.  Since I now know how easy it was to do, next time Monkey will be doing it with me!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Christmas Bingo

I have been searching the Internet for a Christmas version of BINGO, but something easy enough for 2 and 3 year olds to understand.  I was just about to give up and make my own, when I finally came across this site that you can pick your occasion and it generates the BINGO cards and caller sheet!  I renamed ours SANTA (instead of BINGO)  This was definitely be easy enough for Monkey and his friends to understand.

So I printed out a few cards on regular computer paper and then cut them out and glued them on to construction paper to make them a little stronger.  I did the same with the Caller Sheet.

Next it was time to play.  We used a block and rolled it onto the Caller Sheet, and whatever it landed on, Monkey and his friends searched for on their cards.  We marked off the squares with left over construction paper from the backing of the cards!

Monkey was really excited when he got his first BINGO.  I told him to yell BINGO once all his pictures were covered, but he so did not understand what BINGO meant!  He pretty much thought I was crazy!

Once we played about a hundred or so times, Monkey decided he wanted to name each item on the caller sheet and then cover it up as he called it out.  AND once again, this sneaky mom was a-ok with that because he was working on his fine motor skills to get those squares placed perfectly!

I LOVED playing BINGO with the kids today.  Monkey really liked it and it was so easy to make.  I love that DLTK has it set up that you can make the games for pretty much every occasion, season, event etc. that you can think of!  I know we will be doing this one again soon!

Rainy Day Fun

Yesterday was a rainy December day (seriously, rainy in December!!)  In the morning we decided to pull out the train set and make a big track using up as much of the floor as possible.  Monkey built the whole track himself and player with it for easily 2 hours.  He loves his trains.

I love how careful he is when he is playing trains.  It is probably the only time he is ever gentle with anything!

Once Logey-Bear went down for nap, we got to some Christmas crafts!  We have been working on BINGO dabber art for the past few months, and Monkey has a lot of trouble getting the dots right in the centre of the circles.  Today, he did great!  

I printed off these four Christmas sheets from DLTK

I got out green, red and blue dabbers.  Monkey went to town with them.  The present was his favourite.

He really likes trying to press as hard as he can and getting lots of the liquid everywhere (of course, trying to make the biggest mess possible)

Here is his finally projects! They will be going up on our Christmas wall of Art!  Monkey did a great getting the dots inside the circles!  Practicing fine motor skills again, and having fun!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Water Bead Sensory Bin

The other day our good friend from Suburbia Momma brought us over some of her Christmas themed water beads!  To say that the boys had a blast would be an understatement!  Water beads really are amazing.   You can find them in the craft section of Walmart (and probably any other craft stores)  You need to soak them in water for about 4 hours and then they are ready.  Couldn't be any easy than that (and they are super cheap! $2 per package).  Once they are ready, you just give them to the kids for a free-for-all! 

Since Christmas is so soon, we used red, white and green.  The beads are wet, slippery, squishy, bouncy and just plain fun to play with (even for us adults).

You might not be able to tell, but the bin never even made it past our front door.  The boys were so excited about playing with them, I just had to put the bin down right there.  They couldn't wait to get their hands in there.

Little did Logey-Bear know, but this was a great activity for him to continue practicing his pincer grasp

Look at those you think they were having fun!!??!!??

Logey-Bear is laughing so hard, because it turned into a game.  As soon as I lifted the camera to try and get a picture, he would try and pop some in his mouth!  It says on the package to not ingest them, so it became quite the chore for me to ensure that none made it into his mouth!

Definitely recommend water beads to everyone with kids.  Or just adults who are kids at heart!  They were great for Logey to practice picking things up and using his pincer grasp...great sensory bin product.  They were also so much fun for Monkey who had fun bouncing them, squishing them, hiding his cars in them (of course).  They have lasted quite awhile as well.  I still have them in the bin and Monkey plays with them once a day at least!