Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Book Advent Calender

My family is starting a new tradition this year. A Christmas book advent with a book and activity or project each day until Christmas. I first heard about this tradition long before I had my son but knew it was something I wanted to do with my children. The idea for the activity or project with each book came from Alison at Oopsey Daisy. I will be shamelessly borrowing tons of ideas from her blog. If you have a chance stop by Oopsey Daisy, there are always lots of fun projects. 

I labeled my books with a free printable from Clean Mama.

Thrift Store Book Finds

What We're Reading This Christmas
The Donkey's Christmas Song
Merry Christmas Stinky Face
Baby Elf's Christmas
Who Will Help Santa This Year?
A Merry Little Christmas A-Z
How to Come Up With 24 Books
Thrift Stores
I visited my local thrift store 2-3 times over the summer and came away with a rather nice stash of Christmas Books. I was surprised by the fairly good condition most of the books were in. Some of them appeared brand new. Most of the books sold for .50 cents which made my wallet very happy.
Scholastic Book
I love Scholastic book orders. They have loads of great books in each flyer. They have dollar books and value packs for Christmas. Plus, you support your child's classroom by helping them earn free books.
EBay and Half.com
Search EBay for Christmas book lots. Half.com often has used books in good condition for a fair price. You can save on shipping by buying multiple books from the same seller. 
After Christmas sales
50% off Holiday books!
Trade with family or friends
My sister and I are both having a Christmas book Advent this year. Our children are only three weeks apart and we live in the same town. It made perfect sense for us to share books in order to come up with 24. If you don't have family around you could talk to your friends and neighbors and see if they would be interested in sharing with you.
Read books that have Winter and Snow Themes
Check your book stash for books about snowmen and winter. You may be surprised at how many you have already.
Use the library reserve system to place holds on Christmas books you want. Most libraries allow you to check a book out for 2-3 weeks. You can use the library books at the beginning of the advent so you can return them without incurring fines.
Start with what you have.
Finding 24 Christmas books can seem like a lot if you only have a few. Start the tradition with the number of books you have and add a book each year. Your collection will grow slowly without breaking the bank. You can also fill in the blanks with activities, coloring books and Christmas music cds. 

Come back and read about our book and activity each day as we count down to Christmas. What are your families favorite traditions?

We participate in these link parties. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Kids Inspiration

I love Pinterest and have found some great Thanksgiving ideas for children. Here are some of my favorites:
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Free Thanksgiving Printables and Activities

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Thanksgiving Story Bracelet
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Thanksgiving Bingo
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T is for Thanksgiving Mommy School Packet

Thanksgiving Table Decorations: Village People
Thanksgiving Village People
Thanksgiving Books for Kids

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Thanksgiving Coloring Book Page

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. What are some of your families favorite activities and traditions for Turkey Day?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Easy Nativity Finger Puppets

I think nativity finger puppets are darling and wanted to make a set of my own. When I saw felt nativity stickers at Hobby Lobby I knew they would be perfect for making finger puppets. The size was just right and the set was on sale for two dollars. I purchased a few sheets of felt on sale and found a pattern for the puppet backing. I sewed the puppet backs together using my sewing machine. I made a few reinforcing stitches on each puppet. The nativity figures have an adhesive on the backs, but it is not strong enough hold up to the test of time. 

The Three Wise Men

Mary, Baby Jesus and Joseph

Angel and Christmas Star

I made a pouch from a felt rectangle to hold the finger puppets.

Felt pouch with snap closure

Supplies Needed:
1 sheet of navy blue felt
2 sheets of tan felt
1 sheet of brown felt
1 Square of Red felt for the pouch
Thread and Needle
1 snap

The project was easy and cost under $4.00 for all of the supplies. Eventually I would like to add a shepherd and possibly a few animals. I think the puppets will be a wonderful way to teach my toddler the Christmas story.   

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Unclutter Your Shower

My shower used to be cluttered with tons of bottles. It made cleaning a hassle and just looked messy. 

I looked around for the easiest solution to my shower clutter and found these. They were easy to install and required no drilling or power tools. I only needed a level to make sure the shampoo dispensers were even. The dispenser has been up in my shower for a few months and I love having them. My shower looks a lot cleaner and I waste less product.