Thursday, November 29, 2012

Our elf has returned

Our elf, Jingle, showed up 4 days ago.  My boys have been so excited ever since.  This morning we found them at 4 am with flashlights trying to find Jingle.  They were quickly put back to bed.
This is the 3rd year Jingle has visited us.  It is one of the traditions we look forward to the most.  We love seeing the crazy stunts our elf pulls.
The first day we woke to Jingle hanging on the boys Santa picture.  He had brought along his book and left us a note in Scrabble tiles.  My oldest son wrapped a toy for Jingle and left a note asking, "Do you make presents Jingle?"
 The next morning we found Jingle zip lining from our ceiling fan to the window.  He had left a note answering my sons question and thanking him for the gift.
 Jingle was then found helping my husband make coffee.

 My boys made a Lego tower for Jingle to play on.  This morning we found Jingle sitting at the top. 
I wonder what crazy tricks Jingle will pull next?
Do you do Elf on the Shelf?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving!
 We will be busy celebrating with family today so won't have time to do crafts.  Instead I thought I would share one that I made.  I made these Pilgrim hat place cards a couple years ago. 
 I took small clay pots and painted them black.  Cut a piece of black foarm that was a tad bigger and glued to the bottom.  I then painted the "band" of each hat a different color and glued on a yellow foam "buckle".
 On the back of each hat I wrote the name of the person.  It has been a fun way to show each person where to sit and added some color to our table.
Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!  I hope you enjoy spending time with friends and family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 9

We made some hats to wear tomorrow while we are eating our Thanksgiving meal.  We made a Pilgrim hat and two Indian hats.  Our feathers were a little smaller then I thought so they don't show as well as I would like.  The boys are still having fun wearing them and don't realize that the feathers aren't sticking up all that much.
 My Pilgrim and Indians.
 We also did this Thanksgiving Mad Lib that I found here.  It is fun to hear the funny stories we come up with.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 10 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 8

My boys have been curious about the meaning of Thanksgiving so I found this cute poem and craft.
As I read the poem I gave the boys the beads to string on.  We didn't have a black, brown or red bead so we colored them to help represent the colors.
We are doing a turkey trot on Thanksgiving day so decided to make some fun hats for the boys to wear during the walk.  We found the idea here.
I cut out brown paper strips and measured it to their heads and secured with a staple.  We took two lunch sacks each and stuffed them with newspaper.  We pushed the newspaper down a bit and twisted the tops of the bags.  It took a little bit of work to make them look like turkey legs.  We then took squares of white tissue paper and put of the end and secured with black pipe cleaner.  I then stapled it to the sides of the headband.
 It turned out cute and the boys are looking forward to wearing their hat to the event.
 I had two more foam crafts so I let the boys finish those off today.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 9 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Thanksgiving Mantel

I just realized I have not shared my Thanksgiving mantel.  One of my favorite things about holidays is decorating the mantel.  I try to change it a bit each year so it looks new.  This mantel cost me $2.  The rest I have received free, been given or had for many years.
 The glass jar on the end I have had for a couple years.  I use for almost every holiday.  I bought it at Michael's craft store with a 50% off coupon.  The little pumpkins were given to me.  The shiny orange pumpkin I got free at a yard sale.  The scarecrow I received free from my old CVS store in Arizona.  They were taking them down and were going to throw them away and gave them to me since I was there.  Right place at the right time.  The black plaques with all the circles are usually up on my mantel so I just left them there.  I got them at a yard sale.
I found the Autumn sign at a yard sale this summer for $2. 
 The big pumpkin I got at a yard sale for free and the flower pens were a gift from a friend.  I thought the colors went well with my fall decor.
Did you decorate your mantel for Thanksgiving?

Monday, November 19, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 7

My youngest son is really into Play-doh.  He could play it for hours so when I saw this recipe I knew it would be a hit.  It was easy to make and my boys have been playing with it for two hours now and showing no signs of stopping.
Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie play dough:

1 cup flour
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup salt
2 Tbsp cream of tartar
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water
orange food coloring (I just used equal parts red and yellow)
Mix all the ingredients except water and food coloring in a medium sauce pan.  Add food coloring to water and gradually mix into other ingredients.  Mix well.  Stir over medium heat 3-5 minutes until it forms a ball in the center of the pot.  Remove from pot and cool.  Once it cools, knead it bit and play!
I started out giving them a few cookie cutters but they quickly got out the Play-doh toys.

 While we waited for the dough to cool so they could play with it we made a special lunch.  We had chicken salad on sandwich thins.  We alternated apple slices and chips for the feathers, carrot for legs and beak, apple peel for the wattle and finished it off with candy eyes.  The boys loved it!
We will be back tomorrow with Day 8 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 6

My boys love to paint so today I just let them be creative.  I cut a tree trunk out of construction paper and glued it on a piece of white card stock.  I gave them each some fall colored paint and cotton swabs to use as brushed.  I told them to make trees and left it at that.  They spent about 15 minutes painting and each came up with their own paintings.
 My 3 year old made a tree with some random scribbles on the side.  Not sure but it may be a monkey?!?
 My six year old made a tree with a squirrel on a branch and a turkey next to it.
I love watching them be creative and see what they can come up with.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 7 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 5

Today I am sharing a craft we did at our Cub Scouts den meeting.  It took a little prep work but the boys enjoyed it and it helped them practice their writing and spelling.
You will need:
2 paper bowls
toilet paper roll
orange paint
construction paper-black, brown and various colors for the wings
a little black container like you use for to go dressing
googly eyes
red balloon
push pin
Glue the opening of the two bowls together.  This should make it kind of like a circle.
Paint the bowls and the toilet paper roll orange.  Once dry glue the tp roll to the bowls.
Trace around your child's hand and cut out.  Glue to the bottom of the tp roll.
Cut out various colors of construction paper to make the feathers.  Have them write things they are thankful for on each feather.  You can use as many or as few feathers as you want.  Turn the feather over and tape a toothpick to the back so it is sticking out the bottom.  This is what you will use to stick into the bowl.  We used a push pin and made the little holes on the back bowl and then stuck the toothpicks in.
Glue googly eyes on to the front of the tp roll.  Cut the top of the red balloon off and then glue on as the wattle.  Cut triangles out of yellow construction paper for the beak and glue on.
To make the hat cut a circle out of black construction paper and glue on the black container.  The glue the black circle to the top of the tp roll.
That's it!  It doesn't stand up well so we just lean it against something.  It is really cute and my son is very proud of it.  I am sure it is something he will choose to keep and get out again next year.
Hope you had a great Saturday and we will be back tomorrow with Day 6 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Friday, November 16, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 4

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is less then a week away?  This year has just flown by.  I am still trying to decide whether I want to spend the time cooking a huge Thanksgiving meal or just ordering one from the store.  I love cooking the meal but wondering if the time it takes to make it is worth the effort.  Hmmm, guess I better hurry and decide.  I may not be prepared for the actual Thanksgiving feast but at least I am having a good time doing some fun crafts with my boys.  It has become a good time to talk about Thanksgiving and gets them to show interest and ask question. 
We started our craft time by doing a simple color page I printed from the Internet.  I like to have them start by coloring so I have time to get the other crafts ready.
 I found this Kool-Aid Pumpkins crafts here.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out but had all the supplies so decided to give it a shot.  The boys enjoyed it and after several washings still have red fingers from touching the Kool-Aid.
Start out by putting plastic report covers down.  Spray them with spray starch and sprinkle Kool-Aid all over the starch. 
 Once the Kool-Aid is sprinkled use a white piece of card stock and lay it over the Kool-Aid. Rub it gently to get the Kool-Aid to stick.  Peel it off and let it dry.
 Once the paper is dry, draw a picture and cut it out.

While we waited for the starch/Kool-Aid to dry we decided to have a snack.  I saw these teepees on the Internet somewhere and thought the boys would love it. 
We dipped the bottom of the teepee in some melted chocolate and then into some sprinkles. I cut the tip off the cones and used some more chocolate to stick the pretzels to the top.   
We will be back tomorrow with Day 5 of our Thanksgiving countdown.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 3

Today has been an unexpectedly busy day but we were able to squeeze in a couple of crafts.  The first craft we chose was Coffee Filter Tie-Dye Turkeys. This was a fun craft.  My boys loved seeing all the colors blend together when we added water.
Start with a coffee filter and add some color.  We just used some markers we had around the house.

 Once you have colored the coffee filter, fold it in half three times like you would when making a snowflake.
 Stick the tip of the filter under some water.  The filter absorbs the water then just run your fingers up it to help spread the water.
 Lay the wet filters out to dry.
 Once they are dry you can add the turkey body, beak and wattle.  I just cut the parts out and my boys glued them on.  We love how these turned out.
 I had purchased a few foam crafts from Michael's Craft Store so I let the boys put together a couple of owls why the coffee filters dried.  These are fun, easy and my boys can do them by themselves.  That is a win-win in my book.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 4 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 2

I woke up this morning not feeling well so we didn't do all the crafts I had planned but we were still able to get through a couple of them.  I started out by giving them a coloring worksheet to keep them busy while I cut out the pieces for the second craft.
 When the boys were done with their coloring pages we cut them out and glued them to construction paper.  This was a great craft for my 6 year old who is off track from school.  It let him practice his coloring and reading the instructions so he knew where to color.  He really enjoyed it and worked hard to make sure everything was colored correctly.
 Our second craft was a Turkey Snowflake found here.
I cut out the circles for the snowflakes, beaks, wattles and feet.
 Start by folding the circle in half three times.  It should look like this.
 Cut out shapes just like you would when making snowflakes.
 Then you glue on the eyes, beak, wattle and feet.
 My boys loved making this turkey.  I had to help my 3 year old cut out the shapes but my 6 year old was able to do the whole project himself.
 For snack we made fall trail mix.  I just added pretzels, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips and some Halloween candy to a baggie.  The kids love to mix up the goodies in their own bags.
You can also add other dried fruits, marshmallows and other types of chips to change it up.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 3 of our Thanksgiving countdown.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 Days til Thanksgiving- Day 1

My kids are constantly asking me to do do crafts.  While I like crafts, I get tired of coming up with ideas.  Thank goodness for Pinterest.  I was able to find some new and fun crafts to do with my boys. 
For the next 10 days I will be sharing the Thankgiving crafts that we do as well as some fun snacks and activities.
We started out our morning with this coloring page.  My oldest loved being able to use lots of colors while my youngest just colored the whole thing red and brown.  We then cut them out and glued them to construction paper.  Once they are dry we will hang them on their bedroom doors.
Our next project was T for Turkey found here.  I cut out everything ahead of time so all they had to do was glue.  We started by gluing the feathers to the back.  Once it was dry we flipped the "T" over and glued everything else on.  
 My oldest likes to combine a small and big eye when he does crafts.  These will be hung on our pantry door.
 I picked up some Thanksgiving necklaces from Michael's Craft Store so we did those as well.  This was a great opportunity for my little guy to practice stringing beads.
 I think they turned out pretty cute.
For our snack we made a Turkey Sandwich
 It was a fun morning and helped get us in the mood for Thanksgiving.
We will be back tomorrow with Day 2 of our Thanksgiving countdown.