Advent Tree Craft

Sparkle !

Christmas Advent Craft

I love glitter and it’s a good thing because my kitchen , my son and I are all  covered after this and we bought pre-glittered stuff!  I figure a little extra sparkle is never a bad thing! This advent craft is a fun number search every day leading up to Christmas, it’s also a great Christmas centerpiece.  My plan is to take each number off the tree and place it on to our Christmas tree ! These are great kid friendly ornaments that add sparkle but not a lot of cost to your decorating budget.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some fun wire decorative branches, some snowflake ornaments, some labels ( pre cut circles ones would be way easier) some crayons, a marker and a vase.advent craft
  2. Start by writing out the numbers 1-25 on the labels. I didn’t have circle ones  so we cut ours into circles but if i did this again we’d get pre-cut circle ones. advent craft
  3. Have your child color the numbers, and identify the numbers they are coloring too ! Yay Math!Chirstmas advent craft
  4. Cut into circles if you need to.Christmas Advent Craft
  5. Peel and place the stickers on each snowflake ornament. Press firmly. advent craft
  6. Hang onto the tree! Christmas advent craft
  7. Have fun counting down to Christmas! Christmas Advent Craft

Books!

little_drummer_mouse

The Little Drummer Mouse by Mercer Mayer is a beautiful book. The dedication to his grandchild is perhaps my favorite part even though the book itself is wonderful too! Read it and you’ll see !  The story is a retelling of the little drummer boy , but in this book he’s a tiny little insignificant mouse. At least he thinks he’s insignificant until he follows the bright star to the manger on the very first Christmas night! The little acorn drum that this little mouse beats is anything but insignificant and he is thrust into the spotlight as Baby Jesus likes his music best of all ! The illustrations are amazing, they have so much detail I find myself opening this book over and over to just look. Great book, the test is lengthy for toddlers but preschoolers and older will love it.


Merry Christmas, Mouse!
by Laura Numeroff is an adorable little Christmas counting book. Most of the praise should really be on Felicia Bond the illustrator because the pictures take the cake on this one. The book follows the mouse as he decorates the Christmas tree, 1 Star… 2 angels… etc… It’s a perfect to read and then count the ornaments on your own tree. After reading it my son and I found 4 bells, and 3 trains on our own tree.


McDuff’s Christmas by Rosemary Wells was a classroom classic in my last year teaching. I think I read it every day for 3 weeks straight and then a few weeks after Christmas too! In it McDuff the little Westie dog saves the day finding Santa stuck in the snow! I love Susan Jeffer’s retro illustrations and the little details like the dad feeding the baby, the doggy sweaters the McDuff wears in the snow, and how Santa gave them all gifts they needed in the story . This book was never really put away after last Christmas and has been in bedtime reading rotation since, a definite favorite of my now 3 year old!

Holiday Book Sneak Peak

guess_whos_coming

Guess Who’s Coming to Santa’s for Dinner? by Tomie dePaola is a funny book about the classic family gathering. I don’t know about you but our family Christmas dinners were more comical than Norman Rockwell and I related so well to all the different family personalities, and quirks. My son thought the fact that one of Santa’s friends brought a polar bear was hilarious, but was perplexed by the absence of any elves.  I like that Santa is exhausted by his family but in the end happy he hosted such a large family gathering.  My son liked it, and loved the illustrations  but it is a longer book so take a flip through it to see if your child is ready yet.

cockadoodlechristmas

Cock-A-Doodle Christmas by Will Hillenbrand is a really unique Christmas story. A little rooster is at the center of this book, he is so little that his cock-a-doodle doesn’t wake anyone up.  He is very sad about his inability until that night he finds himself in the manger with Baby Jesus and finds his voice. It’s a simple book, with profound meanings. This is a great book for a Christan family or to read at Sunday school.

Latkes

Latkes, Latkes, Good to Eat: A Chanukah Story by Naomi Howland is a Hanukkah story about kindness repaid and how things can go awry. Sadie is a kind young woman and after she offers her fire wood to an older woman who is cold the older woman repays her with a magic frying pan. This pan magically makes latkes , as many as you want if you say the magic words . Her hungry brothers are overjoyed, their bellies are full but as often happens, they get greedy.  See the frying pan will keep cooking and cooking unless you know the magic words to make it stop, and her brothers didn’t hear those words. Mayhem ensues but the family and village find a way to make the mountains of latkes into a celebration. Beware you will be craving latkes after reading this, luckily there is a recipe.

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A Confused Hanukkah: An Original Story of Chelm by Jon Koons is a delightful story about the village of Chelm, known by some as the village of fools.  The people of Chelm aren’t the brightest and when their Rabbi is away they have no one to guide them about Hanukkah. So they send a villager out to find out how to celebrate it, only he misses the nearby village and ends up in the big city where there are Christmas trees.  After he returns the village gets ready for Hanukkah with a dreidel covered Christmas tree, and they select the biggest fattest villager to be dressed as their version of Santa. Luckily the Rabbi returns , and gets the village back on course , explaining the proper Hanukkah traditions and the reasons behind them all. I love this book, I think it’s a great comical look at Hanukkah while really teaching much about it as well.

Bear Stays Up

Bear Stays Up for Christmasby Karma Wilson is such a heartwarming story about friendship. Bear is hibernating but his friends wake him up to celebrate Christmas. It’s not easy at first , Bear is super sleepy and wants nothing more than to cuddle back up and fall back to sleep.  They get a tree, decorate it, hang their stockings and sing carols. When all the other animals snuggle in and go to sleep Bear stays up. He is busily making gifts for all his friends, he is so busy he doesn’t even notice Santa coming and filling the stockings. He delights in the friendship and when his friends present him with a lovely quilt, he snuggles under and goes back to sleep happy and filled with friendship. This is such a wonderful book , I love it’s focus on friendship and the excitement of giving gifts!

Homemade Christmas !

Candy Cane Scrub

Peppermint Salt Scrub

This is an easy make at home Christmas gift that your child can help make and have fun doing it.  Salt scrubs are awesome for dry skin and exfoliating, I have followed many recipes for oil and salt ratio but found the best is to simply add the oil slowly enough that you get the consistency you want. We have many more Christmas crafts on the way.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some kosher salt, vegetable oil, peppermint oil ( or extract – which contains alcohol so it can be drying, I used it but oil would be ideal) , a cleaned recycled glass jar, some material , ribbons etc.. for  decorating the jar.Salt Scrub
  2. Start by pouring the oil in a little at a time.Salt Scrub
  3. Mix Salt Scrub
  4. Add more until you are at the consistency you like. Homemade Christmas
  5. Add your peppermint, for this large jar I added 1/2 a tablespoon. If you are using essential oil, start small it’s very potent! This step should be done by an adult! Candy Cane Scrub
  6. Scoop into your jar.Homemade Christmas
  7. Add some fabric and ribbon and you are done! Peppermint Salt Scrub


More Christmas Ideas

Also Don’t Miss our

2009  Holiday Gift Guide

Recycled Christmas Tree

I love this craft, I have done it over the years with kids ranging from 3 – 13 and although he needed help and skipped the star my son (who is 2)loved it too. This is a great project when you have a wide range of abilities because it’s easily adjusted. For older kids have them add on ornaments or a Christmas message cut from the catalog’s text.

  1. You will need a brown grocery bag, some catalogs you are trying not to order things from, scissors, glue and a marker.
  2. Start looking through the catalog for green things, you want them to vary, it’s what makes the collage so cool. Cut them out. I have done this with 4&5 year olds and I would rip out pages that had green on them before starting the activity, and they would cut out the actual picture. Older kids can search for the pages themselves. Toddlers will may get very frustrated very fast, so do this step for them, or be prepared to do it with them.
  3. Draw or have your child draw the outline of a Christmas tree.
  4. Have your child color the tree- skip this step with kids that will be able to cover the whole tree, this fills in the gaps well with the little guys though, and they have fun!
  5. Grab that glue, no need to be exact !
  6. Start putting the cut out green pieces on the tree. Show little ones that you want the green side facing out, but if they object, I would let it be. If you are using this as a color lesson just label the color that is showing saying something like ” Oh wow your tree is purple”.
  7. Keep adding glue,and pieces of catalog. Don’t worry if all the corners are glued down, they will roll up and give the tree some texture. If you have a toddler help them with this step, once my son saw that I was popping the catalog cut pieces on anywhere he started adding one after another.Also the lines are just guides , if your collage goes over it that’s fine , you will cut it out in a later step. Let dry.
  8. These next steps I did myself, at this point my son has had enough and was off to play. Draw a star in the corner.Find gold and yellow pictures in your catalog and cut out.Glue onto the star shape. Let dry
  9. Cut both the tree and the star out .
  10. Glue the star on the top of the tree and voila!

Coffee Filter Angel Craft For Kids

 

angel craft

Since getting a Little People Manger for his birthday my son has been very into angels, so we made a sweet little angel craft for kids with a coffee filter for the wings! To make it even more celestial you can add some gold foil stars to the black paper!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 2 full pieces of construction paper( one white, other any color), a pipe cleaner, sparkle paint, 2 coffee filters, 2 scrap pieces of blue and red paper, a marker, and glue.
  2. Start by drawing a key hole shape on the white construction paper.
  3. Using the sparkle paint , paint the angel’s body, let dry.
  4. Paint the coffee filters.
  5. While your child is painting cut out a small red mouth and 2 eyes, I drew closed eyes with lashes, but googly eyes would work too.
  6. Glue the eyes and mouth on.
  7. While your child is gluing make a halo out of the pipe cleaner.
  8. Glue the wings to the 2nd piece of paper
  9. Tape the pipe cleaner to the 2nd piece of construction paper.
  10. Cut out the dry angel body and glue it to the paper over the pipe cleaner.

Books!
For the full round up of
Christmas Book Reviews
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