Friday, December 31, 2010

Grapes At "Midnight"

This is just a fun idea I found, also from Martha.

It is Spanish custom to eat 12 grapes at "midnight" to bring good luck to the coming year.

My kids love grapes, and I loved that it was a healthy treat for the evening!

And, while we are talking "snack ideas" for New Years, let your kids have a fun champagne class of sparkling grape or apple juice.

You can find these usually in the juice isle, and they are made by trusted brands like Welch's.

I found plastic champagne glasses at the Dollar Store, and my kids thought they were super special when we all "toasted" the New Year.

New Years Hand Print Craft

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

I love to commemorate all occasions with hand print crafts. They are fun, easy, and best of all show just how small or big your child was on that given holiday!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Paint
  • Construction paper
  • Permanent Marker
  • Glitter Glue (optional)
  • Cute Hands
**Notice that I used both of my kids hands in this project. Since the New Year is the start of a new beginning for the whole family, try having all of your children add a hand print or two. If you have an odd number of kids let mom and dad in on the fun, so no child has more than another.***

Simply paint your child's hands and stamp. You will want a total of 4 hand prints--one for each digit.

Once it is dry you could simply write the digits in with permanent marker, or do like I did and outline with glitter glue.

New Years Hats

Toddler, Pre-K, K, 6 & Up

This idea is pretty simple, and it gives the kids something to do while they are waiting to countdown until midnight (which is 8:00 at our house :)

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • Markers or crayons
  • Stapler
  • Scissors
I cut the shapes out for my kids, but if yours are old enough, they may want to do that themselves. Let them decorate their hats and then cut out a band from the remainder of the construction paper (give the kids half or 2/3 for the hat, saving yourself half or 1/3 for the band). Staple the band on their hat adjusting for head fit.

Bubble Wrap Noise Maker

Mommy Craft

This was a HUGE hit--although, I had no idea just how loud it would be on hard wood floors!

I got the idea from Martha Stewart, and it was easy and fun!

To make this activity you will need:
  • Bubble wrap
  • Sharpie markers in various colors
  • White paper
  • Tape
First, turn the bubble wrap so that the flat part is facing up. You will want to color in a few circles with your sharpie markers. This really is a neat effect!

I taped several pieces of white construction paper together, but if you have access to a roll of paper, or, you could make a large square and put it on a poster board. I taped my bubble wrap to my paper, but first I wrote "2011" in several different spots to make it more festive. Then, I taped the paper to the floor. This is important, because it will slide on the kids! If you have carpet--you will likely be better served--but the kids love it no matter where it is!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Stain Glass Nativity Scene From Tissue Paper

Okay, this was totally a "Barbara Brain Storm Idea." Gracie and I were looking through pictures on the web and I came across this picture of a stain glass nativity scene, and I thought "I bet I could make that out of tissue paper and it would look so pretty in the window!"

Well, it does look pretty neat--but it isn't as sharp as I would have liked. I had to trace the shapes instead of printing them out--which would have helped. But I still like it! I used clear contact paper to hold it all together--and when the sun shines, it looks very pretty.

Candy Cane Letters

Mommy Craft

This craft is too easy not to do it for your kids! I saw the idea here, and just had to make them. Of course, how neat would it have been for them to find them on the tree Christmas morning?! But, Gracie loved hers when she saw it the day before.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Candy canes ***take off the plastic!***
  • Silicone backing sheet/pan OR parchment paper **do NOT use wax paper--live and learn, sigh**
  • Oven
  • Wooden skewer (optional)
  • Ribbon (optional)
Heat your oven to 250. Put the canes on the silicone baking sheet or parchment paper and put in the oven for 10 minutes. TAKE THE PLASTIC OFF THE CANES FIRST!

This is the hot part--but you can do it.

The candy is only pliable for about 2-3 minutes. Shape your candy carefully into the first letter of your child's name.

If you have a harder letter like "E" or "A" you will want to break your candy cane in pieces before putting it the oven. That way you have pieces to stick together to make your letter. I was able to make my "T" for Thomas with the cane intact, but it may have been easier with a long piece and a short piece.

Use a wooden skewer or something else to make a hole in the top while it is still hot. When it cools you can hang in on the tree!

Mommy Crafts A....

Santa & Me Frame

Okay, I know I am cheap, but I will be honest, I made these because we didn't have time to even stop and price the ones at Cracker Barrel when we were there Christmas Eve morning/early afternoon.

But I just had to have them!! So, I picked up a two pack of 4x6 wood frames at the dollar store and got to work. I painted them red, and cut out a Santa hat from craft foam. I added the touches and voila!

I love it! Now, I need to add the pictures I took of the kids and Santa!

Here's a look at the ones I saw at Cracker Barrel:

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Stocking Hanger Board

Okay, it is way too late to making Christmas crafts, but this is one I bookmarked so long ago and it is of my favorite ideas!!

I got a cabinet door from the Habitat Re-Store here in Mechanicsville. I grabbed some gold and burgundy paint and found a font I liked on line. Since I don't have one of those fancy cutters like all the other crafty mom's have...I had to paint mine by hand.

I used Gracie's pretend waitress pad and used the carbon paper to make the words outline on the board. Then I filled them in. Pretty ingenious huh?!

Now, the craft calls for door pulls. Do you have any idea how expensive those things are?! Well, I decided I would use nails and laminate these hand painted "peppermints" and just hot glue since it was so close to Christmas. I figure next year I will pull it out and add the drawer pulls to make it look fancier.

Of course it worked just fine. But, the stockings are a little close together on it. But, since I got a new sewing machine for Christmas--I think it is time for new stockings next year!!

Handprint Santa

Toddler, Pre-K, K

This one is pretty simple---and looks so cute!!!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • White Paint
  • Red Paint
  • Flesh color paint or mix a very little orange with some white. You want to be able to distinguish the face from the beard.
  • A cute hand!
Paint your child's fingers white, the middle to the bottom of the palm skin color, the top of the palm and the thumb almost to the end red, the tip of the thumb white.

Press your child's hand down.

Now, draw facial features. In hindsight I wonder if just doing the eyes and nose would have been cuter, like the beard takes up his mouth?

Santa Hat

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Let your kids make this Santa hat to wear for fun and you can add the beard and they will have plenty of fun pretend time!

Note: You can do this craft WITH your toddler. Mine had a great time putting the cottonballs in the glue, but I spread the glue, and stapled the bands on the hat.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Red construction paper
  • Cotton Balls
  • Glue (Not glue stick!)
  • Stapler
  • Santa hat pattern
Cut a Santa hat out of one piece of red construction paper. Draw a line along the bottom rim, kind of thick--this is where the kids will put the glue and cotton balls. Then, put glue at the pom-pom part of Santa's hat, he will need cotton balls there too.

Now, while the glue dries a bit--or if you are smarter than me have it done before you start--cut out strips from an addition piece of red construction paper. You need to make a band to go around your child's head. Staple the ends of the band to each side of the Santa hat.

Make your child wait a bit before putting it on, or you will have glue and cotton in their hair if they used to much and it runs ;)

Santa Felt Beard

Mommy Craft

This is just something fun to do for your kids to go along with the Santa hats they can make themselves.

Here is the pattern: (click to make it larger)

Now you may notice that I just cut out the beard part from felt. I didn't dew it, and I just hot glued ribbon to the back to tie it on. If you have more time I am sure a sewn version will look nicer, but this is faster and easier.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Candy Cane Painting

Toddler, Pre-K, K

This craft is perfect for small hands! They can make a huge mess and it still comes out super cute!!

To make this craft you need:
  • White heavy paper (construction should do fine, but you may want to put something under it to protect your table)
  • Red paint
  • Candy cane template
  • Tape
Draw a candy cane shape on your paper. Use your tape (I used clear tape) to cover different sections of the candy cane. These parts will be white when you are finished.

Let your child have a paintbrush and red paint and let him or her go to town!

When the paint dries pull off (which is what I did) or carefully wipe off the tape with a baby wipe (*I was scared I would get the paint wet again so I didn't try that--but trying to get the tape up wasn't exactly easy. Next time I think I will fold the ends of the tape over to make it easier to start).

Cut out the candy cane shape and "ta-da!"

If you aren't sure about drawing a shape on your own, here's a template for you:

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hand Print Holly Wreath

Toddler, Pre-K, K

While you have the green paint out and the kids are messy--try this one too!

To make this craft you will need:
  • 1 paper plate
  • Green paint
  • Red paint (optional)
  • Red construction paper, or ribbon (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick (optional)
Cut the middle out of a paper plate. Now, paint your child's hands with green paint and stamp them along the edges of the paper plate ring. You can use their fingers to make holly berries with red and add a bow at the bottom.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Footprint Christmas Tree

Toddler, Pre-K, K

What a cute idea for Christmas. Although you could do this like a winter tree as well and cover your child's footprints in "snow" using glitter or white paint, etc.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • Green paint
  • Markers for details
  • One cute little foot

Friday, December 17, 2010

Mommy Crafts A....

Pair Of Matching Reindeer Shirts

Aren't these the cutest?!! I found the idea on another mom's blog. She made on for her young daughter with the bow in the reindeer's hair and thought you could do it with a bow tie for a boy. That gave me the ingenious idea to make matching ones for my kids!

Find the how to, and the reindeer pattern here.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Handprint Reindeer

Toddler, Pre-K, K

While you have the brown paint out and your kids are already messy--try this hand print reindeer as well.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • Brown Paint
  • One Cute Hand
  • Markers for facial features
This one is pretty simple. Paint your child's hand and stamp on the paper. The fingers are the antlers, the palm is the face. Add facial features, or let your child do that part. You don't have to use just markers--I cut out a red nose from scrap construction paper.

Hand & Foot Print Reindeer

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Get the brown paint out and get messy...and have fun!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction Paper
  • Brown paint
  • One cute foot
  • Two cute hands
  • Markers for facial features

Paint your child's foot first and stamp it on the paper. Now, paint their hands (one at a time I suggest ;) and have them stamp on the reindeer's antlers.

Let the reindeer dry and add facial features, your child's name and the date!

Reindeer Hat

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Isn't this cute?!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Brown construction paper
  • Black Construction paper
  • Markers (or paper scraps)
  • Stapler
Trace your child's hands on the black construction paper and cut them out.

Cut two long strips from the brown construction paper to make the hat band.

Glue or staple the hands to the brown band for antlers. Add facial features and wrap the band around your child's head and mark where you need to staple.

Remove and staple, then place reindeer hat on your super cute child's head.

Mommy Note--this one would be super cute with a red pom-pom, which was used in the original idea--so if you have some (I didn't) add it on! :)

Paper Bag Reindeer Puppet

(make for) Toddler , Pre-K, K

My toddler has laughed and cackled all day with this craft. He will put it on his hand--but wants mommy to do it instead since I can make the mouth move better.

To make this craft you will need
  • 1 brown paper bag
  • Brown or black construction paper
  • Markers, crayons, or paper scraps
  • Glue Stick
I am going to post the instructions I used from Enchanted Learning's website--because it makes it simpler. (click to enlarge)

Popscicle Stick Reindeer

Toddler, Pre-K, K

A super simple and fun holiday craft for kids of any age.

To make this craft you will need:
  • 3 Popsicle Sticks
  • White Glue (do NOT try glue stick!)
  • 1 brown pipe cleaner (cut in half)
  • Red pom pom or felt cut out circle, or even construction paper circle cut out
  • Googly eyes
So my kids are little and like to make reindeer look like Rudolph. You could do the craft with a brown or black nose as well. I did try and change it up a little at least one of the reindeer crafts they made today was a "traditional" looking one ;)

Make the letter "A" out of your Popsicle sticks by gluing them together. Now the best thing to do is let it dry--but my kids wouldn't have any of that, so you may have to re-glue before all is said and done.

Add your googly eyes, your red nose, and then bend one half of the pipe cleaner on each side of the top of the head and twist together. This is the hardest part if you haven't wait for the face to dry. But, mommy managed (and re-glued!)

If I had magnet pieces I think this would make the cutest magnet to hold up Christmas themed school work!

Reindeer Crossing

So, this week's theme was supposed to be "North Pole," which included reindeer, polar bears and penguins. But, since my first grader was out of school due to snow we kind of made it a reindeer day today.

So, enjoy the next several reindeer crafts and try some out with your kids!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Paper Snowflakes

6 & Up

I found the neatest web page that gives you actual designs for cutting the prettiest snowflakes. Gracie and I are having fun making them, and you and your older child will too. Finally something just for the 6 and up group!

To make this craft you will need:
  • White paper
  • Scissors
Use this web page to find great patterns for cutting out the prettiest snowflakes. They look so nice in front of, or even on, your windows!

Mommy Tip: We used coffee filters, and they look so neat. They are much thinner and more delicate looking. Give it a try!

Handprint Mittens

Toddler, Pre-K, K
I have so much for my "snow theme" this week!!!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • Paint (any color)
  • Two cute hands
  • Permanent marker (to draw mitten outline)
This is such a cute little idea. Paint your child's hands and then press down on the paper. Draw a mitten outline around the outside of the hand prints. Or you can pre-cut out mittens from construction paper and then have your child make their hand prints on the mitten cutouts.

Need a pattern? Try this one:

Rudolph Countdown

Mommy Craft

Since Thomas had a Christmas countdown (see Santa Countdown), Gracie needed (uhum, wanted) one too.

So I colored this Rudolph picture and cut out red construction paper noses. I stapled the noses together after writing the number of days left until Christmas. Make sure you stack them 14, 13, 12...until you get to 1. I used heavy packing (clear) tape to stick the last nose to the Rudolph picture.

She pulls off a nose each night, and loves it.

There is still time for a countdown, so if you want to make a Rudolph one--here's the coloring page I used.

Mommy Tip: remind your child to pull off the nose gently. Even stapled and taped on their, it may come off a few times.

Popsicle Stick Sled

K, 6 & Up

This craft is a bit more tricky, and definitely for patient kids. I wouldn't recommend with preschoolers and under.

To make this craft you will need:
  • 5-6 Popsicle sticks (I used 6, because I have those huge ones and it looked off only having 3 "boards" for the sled. If you have regular sized sticks, use 5 total)
  • White glue (do NOT try glue stick!)
  • Yarn/ribbon/string
  • Paint (optional)
If you have the normal sized sticks, glue three of them together side by side. Run a line of glue in between the "seams" of the sled top you just made and stick 2 more sticks perpendicular to the sled top (see picture, it makes more sense that way ;) If you have the jumbo kind of sticks I have, you will want to use 4 sticks and glue them side by side. Run a line of glue on the outside "seams" (one on each side) to add your remaining two sticks that act as the "runners."

Let this part dry very well! It will take some patience and time to get your sticks to stay like the above picture.

Now, the fun part. Let you child paint or color or sticker his or her sled.

Add a ribbon or yard or string at the front of your sled when the paint has completely dried and add it to your Christmas tree!!
Mommy tip: Don't forget to add your child's name and the year on the underside of the sled. You will want to cherish this ornament after years of use when they are 20 and you miss them like crazy.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mommy Crafts....

Christmas Themed Hair Bows For Gracie

Mommy Crafts A....

Christmas Tree card Holder

The original idea I found made this tree using ribbon. I didn't have enough green ribbon--but I had plenty of construction paper! I love it--it makes the living room much more festive. I use staples instead of thumbtacks to hold up the branches--to make it more safe for my very curious (and troublesome toddler).

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thumbprint Snowman

Toddler, Pre-K, K

While you have the white paint out and your child is already messy, let them make a thumbprint snowman.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construciton paper
  • White paint
  • A cute thumb
  • Markers, pens, etc for the details.
Mommy tip: Your child will likely enjoy dipping their fingers in the paint, so let them make some snowflakes falling down on their snowman.

Footprint Snowman

Toddler, Pre-K, K

Is this not too cute?!!

I found the idea as I was surfing the net for fun crafts to make this week for snow week, and I came across the footprint snowman. Well, I wrote it down in my planner, but forgot to book mark the page where I found the idea. So, I did a search for "footprint snowman" and found a woman who did hers sooo awesome! I just had to make Thomas' just as cute!

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper
  • White Paint
  • An adorable foot
  • Markers or pens or whatever for the details.
Paint your child's food white and stamp it on a piece of construction paper. I love the way blue looks like the winter sky--but you could use any color (but white ;).

The toes are the bottom of the snowman, so let it dry and add on all the embellishments you can think of: eyes, nose, mouth, scarf, hat, arms, broomstick...etc.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mommy Reads....

The Mitten

Now that you have played the mitten game, or before you play the mitten game share the story of The Mitten with your child.

I decided I would use images found on Jan Brett's website as well as Amazon to make the story for you and your child if you don't already have the book. Enjoy!

Mitten Game

Mommy Craft
Toddler, Pre-K

This is a simple matching game for you and your toddler or preschool aged child that I think you will both enjoy. I hung mine on a rope to make it look like a clothesline and add a little more fun to the game, but you could place them on a table and you child can still match them.

To make this game you will need:
  • Different color construction paper
  • Mitten pattern (I included one below)
  • Rope or string (optional)
  • Clothespins (optional)
  • Contact Paper (optional)
I simply cut out several different color mitten (2 of each color) and hung one mitten up and had my son match the mitten I held up. It took him a while to get the idea, but once he did he amazed me at his ability to recognize the similar color and patterns. (I added some patterns on the mittens to give it an extra touch)

I laminated mine with contact paper for durability, but that is optional.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter Tree

Toddler, Pre-K, K

If you had fun making the fall tree with your child, then you will love this one too.

To make this craft you will need:
  • Construction paper (I would use any color but white, light blue looks a lot like a snowy wintry sky)
  • Brown paint
  • White paint
  • 1 cute little hand
Paint your child's hand and forearm brown. Have them press down to make a tree trunk and branches.

I let mine dry really well before adding the "snow," but use your judgment.

Let them dip their pointer finger or thumb in white paint and add snowflakes in the sky and on the bare tree branches.

When my toddler was done, I painted some snow on the ground and used my thumb and pointer finger to make a red mommy bird in the tree.

Don't forget to add your child's name and the date (at least the year) at the bottom!