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Category: christmas

Christmas Countdown Activity Chain

Christmas Countdown Activity Chain - Kids Craft Project One of the things we love to do at my house is a Christmas Countdown Paper Chain to help countdown the days until Christmas. It’s a neat way to help young kids understand how many days are left until Christmas. We make it an activity chain by putting a “Christmas” activity on the inside of each link – such as have hot chocolate by the fire, bake cookies, sing a Christmas song, etc… The kids look forward each day to tearing off a link and seeing what we will be doing that day.

At my house, now that the kids are old enough, they make the chain. I am still the one who makes the numbered activity list on the computer. That way I make sure that the more time consuming activities fall on weekends.

This project is great because it’s more economical than the normal advent calendars, and the kids can participate in the making of it. However, what I love most about adding the activities to the links is that it helps us to be sure to do fun family activities even when things get really busy as they always tend to at this time of year.

Supplies

  • Paper
  • List of Activities – I like to number mine to correspond to the day so that the more involved activities can be scheduled to fall on a weekend. The kids put them in order based on my numbers
  • Glue, scissors, pencil

Steps

  1. Cut strips of paper for the chain. We usually use the width of a ruler to measure the size, tracing with a pencil and then cut.
  2. Cut your list of activities into strips.
  3. Glue activity strips onto links.
  4. Start with the link for one end of the chain and glue it into a circle.
  5. Take the next link, put it through the middle of the first one, and glue it into a circle.
  6. Continue until the chain is complete

Then, just hang it up and tear off one link each day to countdown until Christmas. Enjoy the family activities!

TIPS

  • I like to number my activities as I type them onto the list so that activities that take more time (like baking cookies or watching a movie happen) will be on links for the weekend. It also gives the kids a challenge to make sure they have them in order.
  • Get the kids to help suggest family activities that they would like add to the chain
  • If you have a little one who is practicing counting, while putting the chain together, have him count while holding the link until it sticks.
  • We usually use construction paper for our chain, but scrapbook paper can make a VERY cute chain.
  • Suggestions for activities (we repeat favorites more than once)- dance to Christmas music, decorate, make ornaments, have hot chocolate by the fire, make a Christmas card for someone, watch a Christmas movie, play a board game, make a reindeer family (hand and foot reindeer), draw a Christmas picture, read a Christmas book, go around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights, make cookies, have Christmas cookies and milk, read “The Night Before Christmas” or whatever else your family might enjoy.

Christmas Kid’s Craft – Reindeer Food and Holder + (Printable)

This  is a fun Christmas Craft of  reindeer “food” to sprinkle on the lawn for Santa’s reindeer to eat, and a cute little reindeer holder to hold the bag of food until Christmas Eve.  Here’s instructions for both projects:

Reindeer Holder to Hang onto the Reindeer Food ’til Christmas Eve

This reindeer holds your bag of reindeer food until Christmas Eve.

Supplies

• 1 piece of construction paper (brown or tan or funky reindeer color of your choice)
Smart and Trendy Printable for eyes, antlers, etc
• Crayons or markers, scissors, glue, tape

Steps

1. Fold the construction paper lengthwise, and cut down the center.
2. Fold in the corners at one end

3. Make a fold about an inch down from that

4. Print the Smart and Trendy Moms Reindeer Food Printable (click here for the printable)
5. Color and cut out the pieces on the printable.
6. Glue the pieces onto the reindeer (antlers are glued behind so they stick up over the back)
7. Tape the bag of reindeer food into his mouth so the reindeer can hold it until Christmas Eve when it’s time to spinkle the reindeer food on the lawn.

Reindeer Food

You leave cookies out for Santa every year. Why not make some “reindeer food” to sprinkle on the lawn for Dasher, Dancer, and the rest of the team?

Here is the recipe:

• 1/4 cup oatmeal
• 2 teaspoons of cake decorating sugar ( It’s coarser than regular sugar. You can also use glitter – it looks pretty, but it’s not as environmentally friendly)
• a paper heart for love (a heart printable is included in the reindeer holder directions)

Add the ingredients to a plastic sandwich bag and shake to mix.
Then on Christmas Eve, you head outside before bed and sprinkle it on the lawn for Santa’s reindeer to eat.

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer

{Snowline – Free Online Game}

My kids frequently come home from school with the names of websites with games that they get to play during free time. There is a free online game at primarygames.com (great site!) that my kids just love to play around this time of year. It’s called Snowline. It’s kind of a strategy, trial-and-error type game. My kids work together to try to figure it out and they even get along while playing it! lol

The story behind the game is that the reindeer had hiccups and have accidentially scattered presents across Europe. Santa is trying to collect up all the presents while the reindeer are taking the day off to get better. You draw lines of snow with the mouse that help guide Santa to collect all of the presents. Each of the levels have different challenges and obstacles and you need to figure out how to draw the lines to get Santa’s sled to move where you want it to.

My kids have a great time redrawing the lines and trying new strategies to help Santa collect the presents. I have fun playing it too.  When someone is playing, we usually gather around the computer and try to offer ideas.  We laugh when things don’t work out quite right, and cheer for Santa as he reaches the finish. It’s free online Christmas fun!
My daughter says that I have to include a tip for the “Snowtrain” level in this post because it’s a frustrating level.  She says once you get the lines drawn, click the “go” button when you see the train because then it’s gone when Santa gets there.  If you don’t time it like that, you can’t get past the train.  ( It will make sense when you get to that level. :-)  )

You can find Snowline here.   Happy Holiday Fun!

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Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclosure

{Snowman Detectives} – Holiday Craft Project

I put together this fun snowman project to do with my daughter’s class in second grade and the kids had a great time!  We called it the Snowman Detectives. Here’s how it works (all printables are included below):

The kids start with the sheet of questions and they answer them about themselves. Then they use the answers to their questions to create a snowman. For example, the question page asks “Have you ever shoveled snow off the walkway?” If you answer Yes, you use the tophat, if you answer No, you put the winter hat on your snowman. You continue through all of the questions using your answers to build you secret code into your snowman. Then, when you are finished, someone else looks at your snowman and uses the Decode Page to see how you answered the questions. For example, they see your snowman is wearing a top hat so they know that you have shoveled snow off a a walkway.
This can be a fun winter project for older kids and younger kids can play too either with parent help or they can just use the printable pieces to color and build a cute snowman without a building in a code.

Here are the Printables:

 Questions to Answer

 

         

Happy Holidays!  Please leave me a comment and let me know how this one works for you.

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Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclosure



{Hand and Feet Reindeer} – Kids Christmas Craft Project

This is a simple and fun Christmas craft project that requires very little supplies.  The reindeer are made from construction paper using your child’s, or your own :-) , hand and foot prints.

The kids love doing this as a family project where we each make one. They love hanging mom and dad reindeer and the kid reindeer on the wall. It’s fun to see the personality that each of us give the reindeer. Some years the kids have made hats and scarves or earrings or used the “googly” eyes from the craft store.

I love these because the kids make one each year, and it’s neat to see how their reindeer “grow” from year to year as they get older.

Supplies

Construction Paper, pencils, makers or crayons, scissors and glue

Steps

1. Trace your child’s foot on a piece of construction paper. (the reindeers face)
2. Trace each of your child’s hand on construction paper. (the antlers)
3. Glue the antlers (handprints) onto the bottom side of the face (footprint)
4. Use crayons or markets to draw the face.
5. You could also have fun adding yarn, sequins, or other embellishments.

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipies, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer