Tag Archives: activities

Christmas To-Do List : {Making Memories}

Our Christmas to do list usually starts before Thanksgiving. Gasp! Yes, we usually try to see Santa before Thanksgiving. My previous post shares are reasons behind visiting him before Thanksgiving.

The rest of our holiday activities usually kick off the first weekend in December, with a trip to Disney on Ice. My girl loves it! Her favorite Disney princess is Snow White! It may have something to do with the fact that, it was her birthday theme this past year. Nevertheless, it made this year the best Disney on Ice ever, because Snow White and the seven dwarves  made an appearance! Or as my daughter likes to call them – the 7 D’s!  She attended the show all decked out in her Snow White attire!

The rest of our weekends are usually spent doing different holiday activities – everything from pancake and pajama breakfast, to seeing Christmas plays, cookie decorating, and going to all the small town Christmas events.

My Pinterest searches are usually brimming with holiday cheer starting in July. I am always on the lookout for fresh new ideas and activities. There are always things I’d like to add, but of course that would mean doing away with a few others. Anyone else have that problem? You see so many cute suggestions or ideas, that it becomes hard to narrow down your holiday list?

One holiday activity I would love to add would be taking the girls on the Polar Express train ride. I think they would love it! Or even the possibility of attending the Polar Express pajama party at our theater. Of course that would mean giving up Disney on Ice. Decisions, decisions…

Another suggestion that came in this year from a fellow mama, was visiting Santa at the Macy’s in Chicago. She made it sound like it was the most magical experience ever – so of course it’s on my wish list for upcoming years. Anyone ever taken your child there? We’ve never been. It would definitely be a little bit of a journey with two little ones. But it just sounds like a truly wonderful experience.

One of our regular traditions is to go back to my husband’s hometown and attend their Christmas festivities. Unfortunately with the weather being unpredictable, it meant we were unable to attend this year.  We were all a little bummed… Luckily with my list of ideas we were able to do a few activities in place of our travel plans.

We had a Polar Express movie night. Complete with cookie making and hot chocolate!  I didn’t want to make it too complicated. So we just used the premade sheets of cookie dough and the packets of hot chocolate mix. We had the best time! ! I hope to make this a yearly tradition!

Our second activity (making a Gingerbread House) was fun, but won’t be winning us any awards! The house completely fell apart before it was even half way decorated, but my girl had a blast! Especially eating all the decorations. My friend Kelly, said we need to purchase the pre-made houses! Thanks Kelly! I will definitely do that next year!

What are some of your favorite Christmas activities? Do you find it hard to pick and choose which ones to do each year?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

 

Education before Preschool

“Can you recommend any educational workbooks or other items for toddlers?” This is a question I received often as an elementary teacher. My answer was always the same, “Children at that age learn the best through play and conversation.”

Now that I have a daughter of my own, I can honestly say that I still whole-heartedly feel the same way. Interacting with your children is the best educational tool you can give them right from the start and it doesn’t cost a cent.

Here are some tips for educational interaction:

• Reading books to your child from birth
• Point objects out to your child and explain what they are, whether you’re at   home or out for a walk – “Can you hold the red ball?” “Do you see the green leaf?”
• Talk about what you are doing – “I am pouring a cup of flour into the mixing bowl.”
• As you are playing with them you can ask questions about their toys – “What color is this puzzle piece?” “What is this called?”
• Attend your local library story time for their age group
• Do age appropriate arts and crafts projects with your child

This past summer my daughter really enjoyed using sidewalk chalk. She would request I draw shapes and letters. As I drew them, I would prompt her, “What letter is this?” “What color am I using?” “What shape is this?”

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Education doesn’t always have to involve sitting at the table with workbooks. Even with my own elementary students I would consistently make an effort to find out of the box activities to simulate learning. Dena has a great post about how she is educating her son at home. I plan on trying out her shape activity with my daughter this winter!

As a mom, I now realize from my own experience that my answer won’t completely satisfy every parent, myself included. This past February, as I was filling out countless preschool waitlist forms, I had a mini “freak out.” Even though preschool is a year and a half away, in my mind it didn’t feel like enough time to make sure she is prepared. When in truth she is very prepared. Through reading and play she has learned her colors, shapes, numbers, alphabet, and counting.

But I will admit – through my own panic of feeling as though preschool is fast approaching, I myself, began searching for educational tools. Any teacher will tell you their two favorite places to shop for classroom items is the Dollar Tree and Target’s dollar section. So this summer, I found myself making a few trips to check out their inventory. I found some great items that we use a few times a week! So if you are looking for those additional educational tools, I recommend shopping there!

What fun, educational activities do you do with your children?

Copyrighted By: Boldly Bravely You

Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree
Dollar Tree
Target
Target