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Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

WFMW — Magic Reindeer Food

Posted by infinitygoods on December 11, 2007

wfmwbluebanner.jpgWhen our son was about 2 years old, one of our neighbors gave him some magic reindeer food. Although we had never heard of this tradition, our son enjoyed it so much that we have continued it without fail each Christmas Eve. Just like many people leave milk and cookies for Santa, we also leave food for Rudolph, Donder, et al, and it is MAGIC no less. According to our neighbor, to help the reindeer find your house faster, just sprinkle a bit of magic food on your front lawn or even on your balcony. If you’ve been good, they will zero in on your house lickety-split and they will find new energy to visit the next house. On Christmas Eve, before your children go to sleep, have your children sprinkle the food. Our first year, I was ready early the next morning with my broom to sweep the food away from our small covered balcony, but the wind had blown it all away. Not one bit has ever been left over, especially now that we have a yard, but I’ve always been ready with my excuse that the reindeer must have been too full should the need ever arise. Just like my neighbor, you can also make them as gifts to young children. It’s inexpensive, easy and fast to make, yet it will bring a lot of joy and good memories to the children. Here’s the super easy recipe.

Magic Reindeer Food
1 pouch of instant oatmeal or about 2-5 tablespoons
1-2 teaspoons of shiny foil confetti (young children are especially attracted to the shiny foil and 1 teaspoon is a drop in the global environment, but if you have “green concerns,” you can use colored sugar sprinkles instead).
Mix the oatmeal and confetti and put it in the center of some plastic wrap, closing it with some curly ribbon to form a pretty pouch. Colored wrap makes it more festive. Hand one pouch to each child. Older kids will want to make it themselves. Children will sprinkle it with glee for the reindeer, loving not only the magic, but also the fact that they are caring for and feeding Santa’s reindeer.

For a list of all the Works For Me Wednesday participants, head over to Rocks in My Dryer.

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If you missed any of my previous household tips, just click below.

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Advent Calendar Chain — An Easy Children’s Craft

Posted by infinitygoods on December 2, 2007

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. If you forgot to buy an Advent Calendar or if you’re simply looking for a super easy craft for your children to make, you can show them how to make an Advent Calendar Chain.

It will save you from hearing all month long, sometimes even several times a day, “How many more days until Christmas?” It will help your children get a sense of the passage of time and days, and it will help them with small motor skills by cutting, gluing and perhaps even drawing.

All you need are paper, scissors, glue and if coloring either pencils or markers. You can also get more elaborate by adding ribbons, stickers, beads, or whatever strikes your children’s fancy.

Good paper choices include Christmas scrapbook sheets, Christmas wrapping paper, origami paper, colored construction paper or if your children are coloring their own, then plain white paper or brown shopping bags for a more country look.

The size of each strip can vary. About half an inch to 2 inches by 5 to 7 inches works well. The narrower strips will look more dainty. The younger the child, the longer the loop should be so they don’t get frustrated trying to get their inexperienced fingers to work the loops.

You’ll need 25 strips. If you use craft scissors with waves or zigzags, it will add some interest to your chain. Your children should number the strips 1 through 25.

You have the choice of going by the calendar year (Dec. 1) or the church year (1st. Sunday which this year is Dec. 2). If your child is too young to write, you can do it for them or give them numbered stickers to place on. This helps with early math sense as well.

Show your children how to cut the strips and how to glue them into interconnecting loops. Most children will use too much glue so show them that a little goes a long way. Explain to them that each day they will be removing one loop from the chain to represent one less day until Christmas.

Two good ways to display the chain are across the mantle or hanging down vertically on a wall. You can even use a Christmas stocking hook. If you hang the chain on the wall, you can have your children draw a picture of the nativity or use a Christmas card of a nativity to place at the top. You could also cutout a large paper Christmas star for the top of your chain.

If you turn on the Christmas lights on the tree, turn on the Christmas music, maybe even sing along, and help your children in a relaxed manner, then you will not only be creating pleasant family memories, but creating traditions that your children will treasure so much they will want to recreate them with their own children.

Don’t forget to praise your children and to take lots of photos. Your children will never be this age again, so enjoy each stage and every step of the way.

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