Wednesday, November 30, 2011

NOEL blocks

We made these blocks at a Relief Society activity earlier this month. I love how they turned out! They took about 2 hours from start to finish.


Here's how you make them:
Cut 4 blocks of wood to the size you want them (these ones are 4"x5.5"x1.5") and roughly sand them down.
Paint blocks and letters (can be found at Michael's and other craft stores) the desired color.
When dry, sand edges of blocks and letters to give a distressed look.
Cut scrapbook paper slightly smaller then blocks and rip edges.
Mod podge the scrapbook paper onto blocks.
Use hot glue gun to attach letters.

That's it! And you could obviously use any word: joy, christmas, the last name of your family, peace... whatever you choose.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Christmas dice game

I found this idea at Pre-K Pages and decided to make my own printout to use. It's the perfect game for a toddler who is learning his numbers. John and Dan both loved it and understood it enough that they could play by themselves (they played it one afternoon while I snuck in a quick power nap!) You simply take turns rolling a dice and cross the numbers off as you go. The first to have his numbers crossed off wins! Try it with your toddler!


Click on the image below and print your own!

Friday, November 25, 2011

The best toy

The best toy is one that can be used in a lot of different ways. One that encourages imagination and creativity. One that can turn into a sword, a cave, a race track, a car, a train, a kitchen, a bed, or a target for shooting Nerf guns at. One that doesn't cost a single penny and that can simply be thrown in the recycling container when fun has been had and interests have changed. The best toy is a BOX! We have a big stash of them in our basement... moving boxes, shoe boxes, diaper boxes... that can be pulled out when the kids need something new to do or play with.

A diaper box turned into a race track with a tunnel for the cars.

A moving box made into a small kitchen.

Do you think my kids would be happy if we just gave them boxes for Christmas??? I'm pretty sure they would be just as happy with boxes as they would with any other toy... tempting...

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Establishing a routine

I feel like my kids behave better and are all together happier when they are given direction and know what to expect. Lately I have been trying to find the best daily routine that will help things go as smoothly as possible. Without a routine things can get awfully chaotic around here! And with the time change and with days getting shorter, we spend most late afternoons and nights indoors so have had to make some adjustments. After trying some different things (what to do right when the kids wake up, when to end play time, when to cook dinner, what to have the kids do right after dinner, right before bed, etc), I have finally found a routine that works best for us. For now at least! It seems like whenever I feel like I have things down something happens and my world is turned upside down again... like what we'll be bringing home 4 months from now :)

Here's what our daily routine looks like:

* Read books to whoever wakes up first until another little body joins us
* Breakfast
* Clean up breakfast while the kids play
* Get dressed, make bed
* At this point, up until dinner, our days vary a lot and are very flexible. Sometimes we'll meet up with friends for a playgroup, go to the library, go to the grocery store, play in the basement while I exercise or work on some project, go to the park (although our park days are almost over... sad!), color, play with playdough... whatever we need or want to do
* John goes to school from 11:45-3:30. Joe takes a nap and I get some one on one time with Dan... reading books, doing puzzles, making preparations for dinner, baking cookies or bread... I quite enjoy this time of day!
*Dinner around 5:30 or 6. I've been trying to do all the prep work and cleanup earlier in the afternoon so that all I have to do for dinner is put something in the oven or open the crockpot. This has helped a TON. The kids are usually a little tired and always hungry right before dinner and demand a lot of my attention. Being prepared for dinner is probably the thing that has helped the most with things running smoothly at night. Especially since I'm usually on my own (Pete hasn't been getting home until 7 or 8... thus the need for a good routine!)
*After the kids bring their dishes to the sink they head down to the basement or wherever they've been playing all day to clean up while I clean up dinner. This is also another part of our routine that has worked GREAT. We usually make it a race, and the kids have become mighty fast!
* Pajamas
* Brush teeth
* Read books (John has to read 20 minutes each day for school)
* Read scriptures
* Say prayers
* To bed! Phew! If I can get the kids to bed by 8 I consider it a success. That leaves 2 hours or so for me and Pete. Then it's off to bed for me and time to do it all over again!

What things do you have in your routine to help things run smoother?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Family artwork

Over General Conference weekend, Pete, the kids and I worked on creating some art to put in the kids' bathroom. I found these frames at a garage sale for $1 each, then painted them red with some leftover paint from another project. I saw some similar artwork at a children's hospital and used that as the inspiration. Pete drew the smaller one for Dan to color, and I drew the bigger one for John. But half way through coloring, the kids decided they wanted to work together so they could finish faster (I don't think they understood that that wouldn't save any time in the end... oh well). I love how they turned out! The kids LOVE to color, so this was the perfect project to keep them somewhat busy so we could listen to Conference. And now their bathroom displays some very cheap (yet priceless!) artwork.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...