Wednesday, January 8, 2014


I love Christmas!  My son's kindergarten curriculum doesn't have anything related to Christmas, so we did the minimum activities from that so that we could add some fun Christmas things.
We made a lot of cookies, including a couple of times of decorating cookies with friends,  had lots of Christmas treats to eat, and made decorations.
One of the boys' very favorite projects was making a gingerbread train with Grandpa and Grandma who were visiting us!  It was really fun!
Here is our final product.  It was messy and started falling apart within a few days, but the boys loved it!

I decided to focus most of our "school-time" Christmas activities more around my toddler, and I knew my older one would enjoy jumping in on many of them.
We did a Christmas "Write the Room" because my older son LOVES those!  He always begs to hide the cards over and over again, and he is usually willing to do more writing than usual with it.  I gave him a sheet to write the whole word/name once he found a card, and my little guy had one that had the words in dotted lines, and I just had him color in or circle (or really however he wanted to mark) the item as he found it.  Oh, and this time (due to past disputes), I hid two sets of each word, so if they already had a word that they found, they were to leave it there for the other one to find.

I found this simple Decorating Felt Christmas Trees at Buggy and Buddy.  Ezekiel has often not been that interested in tongs for things, but he really enjoyed this. 

Here is a Christmas sensory bin that I set up for the boys.  I died some rice red and then added peppermint extract to some white rice.  I filled the tub with the red rice and then made some lines of the white pepper mint rice to look like candy cane stripes.  One of the things that I love about preparing sensory bins here is that they often include items that people have sent us, so it is a fun reminder of those sweet people while I am putting the bin together.  For example, in this bin, the peppermint extract is something a friend had sent us, the candy cane and the candy foam stickers and the Happy Birthday, Jesus sticks are all from my mom, and the Christmas bulbs are from a stash that a dear friend's mom had brought here during her visit.  I like to try to make most of our sensory bins from things we have or can get here, but it is really fun having sweet family and friends who send us treats that we can incorporate into special bins!

Both of the boys had a GREAT time playing with the sensory bin!

Ezekiel loves to scoop and pour/dump things!

I gave he boys a color by number (from this Christmas pack).  Well, I gave it to little man in one of his work boxes, but I knew full well that big brother would want one, so I had made an extra copy.

Another day I set out a playdough invitation to play. 

I sort of expected, what with the green color of playdough and it being Christmas and all, for the boys to make some Christmas trees to decorate.  But, Isaiah went for making a snow man...
...and then some sort of hideout or something for Green Lantern (that figures).

Ezekiel insisted on bringing a loader in to drive on his creation.

 We did find the Polar Express at the library we use here, and since Ezekiel loves all things with wheels, I thought he'd really enjoy the book.  Isaiah actually got drawn into it much quicker, but they both ended up enjoying it.  We did our "Christmas camping" (which basically consists of making a little indoor tent, which this year turned into our "train," and sleeping down by the tree) this year.  I printed out Polar Express tickets, we climbed aboard our "train" and we watched the movie with some hot cocoa.  Zeke actually got super excited about his train ticket and even wanted to sleep with it!

Another project we did together that we all got excited about was our tin can snowman.  I saw the idea on Pinterest from here, and we had a bunch of powdered milk cans saved, so I thought we could pull it off!  I didn't actually read any directions on the site, but I painted the cans (and the yogurt container for the hat) myself.  I only had some washable school paint, so it took a few coats!  Then, I had the boys choose the decorations to put on.  We had to choose a time that we had electricity so that I could use my little glue gun!  Isaiah gets very intense on having projects done a certain way and doesn't do very well with the "less precise" approach of his brother, so I let them each decorate a side of the snow man!  Any guesses which one was from which kid?  Ha.

For our homeschool co-op, the kids acted out the Christmas story.  Isaiah played Joseph and Zeke re-used a sheep costume I had made for the kids' presentation at our church service.  (Doesn't he look thrilled?)
Both of the boys really wanted to be sheep for the church Christmas presentation, so I made these costumes for them.  Given that I don't have a sewing machine or access to a lot of stuff here, I can't decide if I was a bit impressed at how they turned out or appalled at my level of insanity for deciding it was a project worth doing!  They told people to come in costumes for the presentation at church.  My kids and one other adult actually did.  And they had costumes available to wear for it.  Made me wish I had not decided to stay up well into the night, especially given that little man ended up barfing through the night and didn't get to go anyway!  Seriously, someday I really will learn to re-calibrate my gauge on what is realistic to accomplish (and still be sane)!  Several times during Advent I was reminded that I don't need to perform and fill it all up with perfect activities or prove anything or make Christmas happen and that who I AM during Advent is a lot more important than what I DO.  See the "Joseph" picture above that consisted of a towel, a headband, and my bathrobe?  Same smile from the kiddo.  I need constant reminders and am hopefully growing in this!  I like projects.  I love doing special things for and with my boys, but I don't want to get wrapped up in the doing and miss just being present in the moments!

Linking up with the Tot School Gathering Place this week!  I've found lots of fun ideas for my tot there.

1 comment:

  1. We loved being part of the gingerbread train project. So fun. You know we have helped with a gingerbread project several years in a row, , , , it would be a shame to skip a year.