It’s Christmas time already. Time to start thinking about activities to do with your kids this month. We have a full schedule of fun things to do and make this month to really bring Jesus alive to us. I would like to give you some ideas that you can work on with your kids to help celebrate the birth of Christ while spending time with the ones you love. Merry Christmas to you all and may the Lord Bless you in the coming year!
~Things to Do to Prepare & Celebrate for Christmas~
Source: Reformed Church Press
To make your own Jesse Tree, you can do it in many ways. You can take a branch from a tree without leaves and place in a pot and place your ornaments as you make them on the bare branches.. You can also make it out of wood. By making ‘branches’ out of dowels or you can make it out of felt like we did.
I purchased 24″ X 36″ green felt and brown felt. I also purchased Velcro to fasten the ornaments onto since they won’t hang like if it was on a tree.
- I cut the felt in half long wise so it was 12″ X 36″
- I then cut out a trunk from the brown felt and glued it onto the green felt
- I cut out branches and made them big at the bottom and slowly made them smaller as they went up the tree
- The tree needs to hold 29 ornaments.. Which is 28 on the branches and the 29th goes on the top (it’s a star)
- I then wrapped a dowel on the top and glued it down for a handle to hang it up.
- Tied ribbon for the handle on the dowel.
- Placed one side of the Velcro on the branches and one on top so it will be ready for each day’s ornaments.
Christmas Kisses Countdown Craft
For the past four years, I’ve made a Kisses Countdown to Christmas. Each day, my kids would give me a little kiss for a chocolate kiss starting December 1st through Christmas day. For three years I hung them with colored clear wrap with ribbon but last year I wanted to do it differently. I came up with this really easy idea of how to countdown the days of Christmas, get a kiss from your kiddos everyday and they get a piece of chocolate!! We all win!
You will need:
- 12 X 12 solid color cardstock
- 12 x 12 patterned paper (your choice)
- small hole punch
- pen or pencil
- 8 Pipe Cleaners
- 25 Chocolate Kisses per box (1 box per child)
- Measure each corner 1 inch and draw a line
- Do this for all four corners
- Cut those lines you made, then take ruler and draw line across the paper from the cuts in the paper
- This will allow you to fold the side up like this above
- Place glue on corner flaps
- And stick together. I used quick dry glue
- Place 4 Pipe Cleaners evenly spaced across the newly made box
- Once you found where you’d like these, use your small hole puncher or a tip of a push pin will work if you don’t have a small hole puncher. Then push the pipe cleaner through.
- Then cut down the ends that are sticking out of the box so they are short and even. Then you can fold them down to the side.
- Do this with the other side to make a grid. Weave them to interlock them.
- You now have 25 little boxes made from the pipe cleaners.
- Then you will need to write a number in each square 1-25
- Then place your kisses inside each little square in your box
Countdown to Christmas Craft
She made hers on a cookie sheet and I really tried, but I couldn’t get it to work. I had a non stick surface and even when I sanded it down like she mentioned I couldn’t the paint to stick. So I went to plan B.. I took a frame and a piece of sheet metal to make the background.. I love it! It’s very easy to hang now for each year’s use..
- 2″ metal tins -total of 24
- Frame (Mine was 18″ x 26″)
- Piece of sheet metal (Got mine at Home Depot-same size as frame)
- strong magnets
- hot glue gun and glue
- Numbers 1-24
- Pop Dots
- Scrapbook Circle Tags-24
- assorted decorative papers
- assorted embellishments for the tins
- adhesive -Modge Podge
- round punch (mine is 1 3/4″)
- Small brush
- Sponge Brush
- Items to go inside tin- ex. candies, or maybe put an activity on a slip of paper in each tin for you to do each day as a family..
- Punch circles with hole puncher from your decorative paper. I chose 2 different designs but you don’t have to.
- Glue or stick them to the front of the circle tins
- Optional: Since you can see through the tin covers you might want to put decorative paper on the inside to so you don’t see the adhesive
- Glue the magnets to the back of each tin
- Print out or use numbered sticker number to place on the tops of each tin. I used a circle tag and then used a pop dot to adhere to the top of the tin
- Place Modge Podge over each tagged number to give a barrier and protect the paper of the circle tag
- Place embellishments next to the tag if desired.
- Set them aside
- To decorate the sheet metal, pick out three different 12 X 12 pieces of decorative papers.
- Rip or tear two of the designs.
- Glue the middle down to the sheet metal
- Then glue down the other two above and below it and let dry
- After dry, put Modge Podge over the entire surface of the paper to form a barrier
- Let dry
- Optional: Add a label to the top and print it out. Glue it behind another piece of cardstock and then glue to the top of the sheet metal. Let dry
- After dry, place Modge Podge over this and let dry to give it a barrier as well
- Place inside frame
- After everything has dried thoroughly, you can arrange your tins 1-24 on your metal sheet
- Place candies, goodies, activity slips inside each tin as you countdown to Christmas…
- Hang up or set out and enjoy!
~Goodies to Make for Christmas Gifts or to Eat~
- Large marshmallows (3 per pop)
- 6″lollipop sticks
- White chocolate candy melts (available at craft or baking shops)
- Mini M&Ms or candies
- Waxed Paper
- Cellophane Bags
- Put 3 marshmallows onto each stick. The stick should almost be at the top of the ‘head’ marshmallow, but should not poke all the way through.
- Melt white chocolate according to the package directions
- Dip marshmallows into chocolate, working quickly
- Marshmallows need to be completely covered
- Slightly shake off excess chocolate
- Place on wax paper to dry
- While the chocolate is still wet, add M&Ms, candies for eyes, nose and buttons
- Allow chocolate to set
- Peel off waxed paper and place in cellophane bags
- Tie and then you are ready to give as gifts
- Store in a cool place.
~Crafts to do with your kids resources~
- Make Your Own Chocolate Playdough
- Sponge Printed Lights
- Sparkly Pinecones
- Bedroom Door Wreath
- Hand and Foot Angels
- Clothes Pin Angels
- Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees
~Recipes to make resources~
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Crispy Balls
- Chocolate Covered Pretzels
- Chocolate Fudge
- 540 Christmas Cookies
- Snowman Meringues
Lynn is a blessed wife to a wonderful husband of 12 years, a mom to three children, ranging from 15 to almost 8, and in the process of expanding their family through adoption. They are in their fifth year of homeschooling, using a hands on/eclectic approach to learning. You can find out more by visiting her blogs @ Learning By Living and Ladybug Chronicles.