Category Archives: celebrations

Little People Nativity Scavenger Hunt

I bought this darling Little People Nativity on sale last October (as in over a year ago) and completely forgot about it. So of course when I pulled it out this year I knew I had to do something special with it. This is what I came up with:
Little People Nativity Scavenger Hunt

We started our FHE by recalling prior knowledge about why we celebrate Christmas. My daughter’s response was along the lines of “so we don’t get bored”. Yes, we needed a nativity lesson!!! After talking about why we celebrate Christmas, I told her we were going to go on a scavenger hunt to find different things that will tell us more about the story of Jesus’ birth. I had her captivated. Mission accomplished.

Each object had a corresponding scripture, song, or poem on a strip of paper. On the back of the paper I wrote where to go to find the next object. (if you want to see what I wrote click here– nothing fancy, but it worked well)

We used the piano bench as our “base”- each time we found a piece to the Nativity we ran it there so we could act out that part in the story.

The objects were hidden in the order they appear in the story of the birth of Christ or where I thought they would appear. I loved the idea of starting at the beginning and acting out the story with the Little People.

don’t forget to have your kiddos have Mary, Joseph, and the donkey walking to Bethlehem before finding the next clue!
the Little People nativity is perfect for this- if you press on the stable it plays Away in a Manger- then you can just sing along!
so our nativity didn’t come with a shepherd, hence the cowboy playing the part. do i get points for creativity?

it just so happened that we ended our story with an animal my daughter has always wanted. it was perfect!

My daughter is absolutely, without a doubt IN LOVE with the Nativity story. Sure, a big part of that is because animals were involved.

She calls Bethlehem her “world” and had to take it to bed with her. I knew it was a victory when she later told me she wanted to play with her nativity instead of going to the dinosaur park ( a place that she loves very much).

I hope this helps you make the story of the nativity come alive for your kids! And of course, if you don’t have a Little People nativity, you could use one that you already have…. or print the pics on this post.
Happy Teaching and Merry Christmas!

Christmas Advent Ideas

I love love LOVE Christmas. Everything about it- the touching story of our Savior’s birth, the bright lights shining in the night sky, the smell of freshly cut pine trees, Bing Crosby and Johnny Mathis singing good old fashioned Christmas songs…. I just love it all! So of course I love acknowledging each and every day as we count down to Christmas!
I thought I would share the advent ideas that we are doing this year. I know it’s already the 4th of December, but maybe they will give you ideas for next year- or of course you can always start late ūüôā

Christmas Keepsake mini books/ornaments. I found this gem while I was teaching school and have thoroughly loved it- I would recommend this to anyone who loves books, learning about Christmas, and ornaments. After we read the book for the day, we hang it on a little tree next to our fireplace.

Christmas Countdown Blocks
Made these awhile ago with my friends and I love it!

Advent House
I bought this at Target several years ago. I believe it was our first advent calendar. The last two years I filled it with treats and a small activity for us to do together. I even put in money when we worked on coin recognition. This year we went strictly for the treat.

Service Tree
Found this at SugarDoodle and love the idea of getting service into this season. It’s too easy to get caught up in the greed of wanting things- a step back always leads to a greater appreciation for what we do have and a more compassionate and empathetic heart for others.

Last, but certainly not least, the ever talented Shirley at Silly Bean’s Idea Space (we lovingly call her grandma) made this BEAUTIFUL advent box for my daughter. I am absolutely in love with everything about it- ¬†the fun Christmas paper, the pink sparkly vinyl, and the thoughtful little gifts inside that my daughter just TREASURES. ¬†Grandma Shirley, if you are reading this…. we love and appreciate all that you do for our little family. You are SO talented and we are just plain lucky to have you in our lives.

Hope you all have a great holiday season! Happy Teaching!

Fall Bucket List

It’s time for fall! YAY! I love everything about this time of year and wanted to make sure we accomplished everything fun fall related- so we created a Spooky Pail List! I am excited to share our ideas!!

Yellow and Orange popsicle sticks in a festive Halloween pail

Just like our summer bucket list, I color coded our activities. I decided to keep it simple- completing our summer list got to be a bit of a chore- and while we didn’t complete it we still managed to do about 100 activities! It was WAY too intense. This is what I came up with- and yes, I only used fall colored popsicle sticks which I purchased at the Dollar Tree (that store is my one true weakness).

Yellow Popsicle Sticks (food and treat ideas)
fall cookies
pumpkin pie milkshakewe had this last year and it was SO good- even my husband who hates pumpkiny food liked it!
bake pies
caramel apples

other Yellow ideas that we MIGHT do:
homemade chili
homemade bread bowls
caramel apple cider
plus 50 more fall treat ideasthey look SO good!

Orange Popsicle sticks (activities)
nature walk/ hike
corn maze
pumpkin patch
hay ride
football game
apple orchard
city’s annual pumpkin walk
play in a leaf pile- and take pictures
“boo” our neighbors (so if you happen to be my neighbor and you are reading this- kindly disregard what I just wrote)
leaf art
decorate a pumpkin
scary movie
13 Days of Halloween countdown
Mummy on the Move

other Orange ideas that we might do:
spider ring hair
sprouting pumpkin seeds inside a pumpkin

We are going to be adding Brown Popsicle sticks to our container in November- these will be our Thanksgiving related activities.
Here are some ideas:
thankful rolls
thanksgiving countdown activity for kids- looks super cute!
little turkey cookies
yarn ball thankful turkey

Hope you all have a wonderful fall! Happy Teaching!

General Conference Easter Eggs

My daughter was extremely excited to watch General Conference this year. I was so proud of her for ¬†desperately¬†wanting¬†to see our prophet and apostles speak. (Or so I thought… she told me later she liked conference because of all the treats. At least she’s honest. I always enjoy the yummy treats, too.)

In order to keep Boo’s interest in watching all 4 sessions of conference, and since Easter was around the corner, I came up with this idea:

Conference Easter Egg Hunt
Supplies: 15 plastic easter eggs, 15 small prizes or treats ( I would make 1 set for each of your children- so if you have 2 kids use 30 eggs, etc)
  1. Print mini pictures (or cut up an old Ensign) of the 12 apostles and first presidency. 
  2. Tape pics to plastic eggs.
  3. Fill eggs with prizes or treats.
  4. Hide eggs. Make sure you hide them in the area that you will be watching conference…. you don’t want to kids to leave the room. That sort of defeats the purpose :). ¬†Or you can be lazy like me and instead of hiding the eggs just toss them all in a basket.¬†
  5. When an apostle or member of the first presidency speaks, have your little one search for the egg with his picture. Great way to learn the names of our church leaders.
Extension: Write simple summaries of each of the talks. Place each of the summaries inside the conference plastic egg with the church leader’s picture. During family home evening, have each of your children pick an egg. Read and discuss the summary. If possible set goals as a family to apply those teachings.

Dollar Store St. Patrick’s Day Handprint Plate

Boo and I recently created our third Dollar Store plate- this time with a St. Patrick’s Day flair! I tried making a shamrock plate, but as soon as I saw this adorable handprint leprechaun from Meet the Dubiens I was in love.

Materials for the Leprechaun:

  • Orange and peach paint
  • 2 brushes
  • black, yellow, and green paper for hat
  • marker

Materials for the plate:

  • Variety of colored tissue paper cut into squares
  • Glass plate from the dollar store
  • mod podge/foam brush
Make the handprint leprechaun. (for complete step by step directions on making the leprechaun , head over to Meet the Dubiens!)
Turn the plate over (so the back is facing you). Put the¬†leprechaun¬†facedown on the back of the plate. Then modpodge it on until the leprechaun sticks on the plate. Don’t worry if he looks a little gluey- it won’t stay this way!
Modpodge the tissue paper squares on to the back of the plate to fill in the gaps. Be careful not to rip or tear the tissue paper during this process. 

Turn the plate over and admire your work. Preferrably in front of a large window- I just love how the light shines through the paper!

And it is such a great addition to our St. Patricks Day mantle. (We just rolled up green glitter foam paper and stuck it inside our apothecary jars- simple, yet goes well with our green theme!)

We are having such a great time making these holiday handprint plates! For similar art ideas, follow our hand and footprint pinterest board.

Happy Crafting with your kids- and Happy Teaching!

DIY Embroidery Floss Easter Eggs

Easter is soon approaching (can you believe it? i am not even ready for st patricks day!) I thought it would be fun to post a quick (and messy) tutorial on how to make some embroidery floss eggs. This would be a fun craft for kiddos (this particular set was completely mommy made however- Boo was not in a crafting mood!)

Materials:
Embroidery Floss (one small skein per egg)
Vaseline
Mod Podge
Balloons (picked these up at the good old Dollar Tree)
Blow up a small balloon until its about the size of an egg. Then coat that balloon with Vaseline. This prevents the Mod Podge from sticking directly to the balloon. 
Cut the embroidery floss into several long strands. Do this before you begin gluing, since your hands will be super sticky. Then dip the floss into your Mod Podge and wrap it around your balloon.

Helpful hint: I covered my table with old sheet protectors. They not only kept my table clean, but the Mod Podge didn’t stick to it. And then, of course, the clean up was fast!

Hang balloons to dry. I just tied a simple knot at the ends of the balloons with white string and hung them in the bathroom on the shower curtain rod.

After a day or so, take the balloons down. The balloons should be shrinking- but the embroidery floss should have kept its original shape. Pop the balloons and take them carefully out of the egg.

And voila! You are finished! And not only would these be fun for Easter, but they make a great addition to Christmas lights (how fun to hang on the deck in the Summer!) and I love the color they add to my home decor!

Have fun crafting with your kiddos- and as always, Happy Teaching!

Mardi Gras 2012

I have to honestly admit that a week ago I had no idea the purpose or history of Mardi Gras! I knew I wanted to celebrate it with my daughter this year, so I went straight to work doing some research. The best explanation that I found was a kid friendly video from National Geographic Kids.

I made plans to do some Mardi Gras activities and games with my daughter. But as luck would have it, 3 days ago our entire family came down with a nasty chest cold. So although we had to modify our plans a bit due to illness, I wouldn’t let that stinky virus stop us from having fun!

We started our day with festive colored pancakes! Really easy to do- just separate your batter into 3 bowls and add food coloring.

After some needed rest we made some handprint masks. They turned out really cute! I am thinking I will read her bedtime stories tomorrow with my mask- just to spice things up a bit.

I made green,yellow, and purple cupcakes (for the super easy recipe check out Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas blog). I thought it would be fun to use our doughnut pan. They were our own little spin on kingcakes- and instead of adding a little plastic trinket inside the cake, we added strawberries in the center. I think I am going to pull out this doughnut pan more often! Doughnut shaped cookies, brownies, ginormous ice cubes, muffin-tin lunches, strawberry shortcake.. I have officially made myself hungry!

The last Mardi Gras-ish thing we did was had our own mini parade in our basement. Boo decorated her pink little tikes car and scooter with streamers, and we paraded around and made up a Mardi Gras song. It was the highlight of my day! And of course my daughter draws in her journal that the highlight of her day was taking a bath… go figure!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mardi Gras day with your family.
Happy Teaching!

Valentine Traditions: New and Old

Happy Valentines Day! I wanted to jot down a few of our traditions (maybe I will inspire someone out there… but, truth be told, it’s mostly for me to remember what I am supposed to do tomorrow!) Oh, and the pictures are all from last year. In case you were wondering ūüôā

  • The night before Valentines, secretly heart attack hubby’s laptop bag and Boo’s room. I like to write geeky math/science valentines for the hubs like ” I am COMPLEX, but our love is REAL” (based on complex and real numbers) and “Forget hydrogen! You’re my #1 element!”.¬†
  • Pink heart shaped pancakes
  • Snacks in a heart shaped muffin tin.
  • Valentine Tea (this is a new tradition) with heart shaped hotdogs,¬†sandwiches, valentine cookies and punch, and chocolate covered strawberries
  • My made up story called “Heartsie the Fairy and the Grumpy Old Troll”. It went something to the effect that Heartsie wanted to deliver hearts to everyone but the troll didn’t want her to. So Heartsie came up with a day that EVERYONE could deliver hearts. That day is known as Valentines day. A bit cheezy, but Boo loves it! Heartsie comes and delivers hearts to our family (aka a room full of paper hearts). I have my paper hearts cut and ready to spread around the front room!
  • Charlie Brown Valentine movie
  • Valentine baskets with little treats
  • Treats like heart shaped pretzels and cheesecake

Making family traditions is one of my favorite things to do as a mom!
Happy Valentines Day!

Last Minute Valentine Card Ideas

My daughter and I spent the evening making some easy Valentines for family and friends. I thought I would share the ideas with you!

¬†A fun way to showcase your child’s artistic abilities! Trace your child on large butcher paper. I saved all my packing paper from online Christmas shopping- it works perfectly. After cutting out the body shape, have your child draw themselves! It was fun enough for my anti-arts-and-crafts daughter to do. After she was done coloring, I folded up the body and wrote this message:
From the top of my head all the way to my toes I ‚ô• you!
Found this on Pinterest from¬†Brown Paper Packages: Simply have your child make thumbprints (I used a pink stamp pad). Turn the thumbprints into little people and write¬†“Thumb-body loves you“.
I loved this idea I saw on Pinterest and now for the life of me I can’t find where I pinned it…. that’s what happens when you have 2000+ pins! It’s a handprint hug card. Trace your child’s hands and cut. Cut construction paper (or a bright green party streamer- you use what you have on hand!) the length of your child’s arm span. Tape hands and streamer together and you have an instant paper hug. On the top hand I wrote¬†“I love you…” and on the streamer “this much!“This is a perfect card for grandparents that live far away!

Happy Valentines Day and Happy Teaching!
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