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In keeping with our ornament tradition, we transformed Max’s foot into a reindeer and a Christmas tree.  I feel bad he did not have one made last year as we were so busy with the new baby and our new home.  So he made two types to make up for it!
The older children did not make any this year.  Instead they made sparkle ornaments with their pictures on them.  I love how they turned out just as much as the footprint ornaments.

I love how these turned out!  I chose to make holly like antlers instead of handprints, since it may have been a bit too hard to get a good print with this squirmy babe of mine.

Here is the link to the adorable ones we made a few years ago.

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We have had many different Advent calendars throughout the years.  Paper chains with daily activities to do, numbered ornaments to count down the days, etc.

This year the children painted a long sheet of paper with christmas colors.  While they were asleep I wrapped up different books I checked out from the library along with different activities to try.  In this fast paced month of parties and celebrations, It is my hope that slowing down to savor a book or a well loved seasonal craft, will help to ground us and bring us closer as we prepare for a very special day.

The numbers are labeled with either a sun or a moon.  That tells the children when the package should be opened.

A few activities include:
Put up our tree
Take a night walk to look at lights
Popcorn and movie night
Go shopping for our local food bank
String cranberries and popcorn

I hope this month is magical for your family, however you chose to celebrate.

While perusing some of my favorite blogs, I read about many families enjoying lantern walks to celebrate Martinmas.  I had never heard of this tradition, it seems like a lot of Waldorf families celebrate this.  I liked the meaning behind it right away and set off to create this new to us tradition for our family.  I did a little research and found out that it was originally a christian celebration to honor St. Martin. Please correct me if I am wrong as I know most things actually started out as Pagan rituals.
I am sure there is way more to it and way more adaptions have been made.

I made it our own, we used this celebration to celebrate the first day of Advent.  We talked about how the winter months are soon approaching and that even though it is dark we need to let our light within us shine…  Here are two families that I first saw this idea from.

The making of a can lantern.

The making of a glass and tissue paper lantern.

Setting off for our night walk.  The weather was just perfect for our near two mile walk.

Enjoying a small treat at the park.  We can not get enough homemade popcorn around here!

The children really got this celebration.  This will definitely be our new way to celebrate Advent. It also inspired us to take more night walks and adventures!

Two last projects for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

We often like to get craft ideas from The Crafty Crow.  This project excited my son, so we set off to collect leaves to complete this project.  We all love how it turned out!

We also love decorating our window with seasonal artwork.  I have seen this idea many times on The Artful Parent’s blog.

We decorated 6 window panes with leaves and contact paper.  The look is quite impressive from the inside.  I was hoping the outside world could enjoy these as well, but the leaves look quite dark from outside.

We made colorful noodle necklaces last week in preschool.  They were so easy to color and the children loved stringing them together.  Madeline who is sometimes too bothered in school to make art actually strung four necklaces!

To make: simply add a few drops of food coloring to a tad of water and let noodles soak for about 3 minutes.  Then let them dry on a paper towel for a few hours.

Here we are modeling our necklaces during our preschool Thanksgiving feast! If you look hard you can see the cool turkey place mats we made.

I found a great project for children to do using pumpkins from this amazing site.   I set this out for my preschool children and they were all so engaged for a week!  My own children could not stop hammering away.  This would keep your children busy over the holidays.

Note, we used a nice big round one for school and then my daughter wanted to move on to a tiny one.  This proved to be more of a challenge!

We set up a pumpkin and gourd still life and set to work drawing.  This was a lovely art project to slow us down a bit.

My girl who is easily frustrated with drawing was able to draw simple pumpkins.  I had a leaf rubbing project set up, just in case.

I saw the idea for these adorable toilet paper tube owls somewhere in blog land.  I just knew this would be a great project.

We lit our first fire of the season.

Halloween 2011.  Family of pirates and one last minute princess!

During our visit to Taos, I bought the kids a friendship bracelet.  Ethan thought they were the coolest thing and I told him I could show him how to make some.  He was amazed that I knew how to do such a thing!

Learning how to braid.  He picked this up really quickly and was pleased with his results.

Madeline even enjoyed twisting string to make a bracelet.  This made for a relaxing afternoon.

As Halloween approaches, I can not help but feel the crafting itch.  We love all things Halloween here and today we finally set out to make some appropriate art.

I love how Ethan’s cat looks in our dining room window.  I saw this idea here.  Madeline tried to make one, but got too frustrated that hers did not look right.

She is so creative and has just recently begun getting upset when her art does not look “right.”  She said today, “I am a bad artist.”  I feel terrible for her.
I think preschool is so good for her in that aspect.  The art is scaled down, were when we do art with Ethan, it is a little harder.  I hope this passes for my little artist girl.

Madeline’s pumpkins within a pumpkin!

Hope you are enjoying whatever you and yours are into!

When I first saw these  sun catchers on The Artful Parent’s blog, I just knew these would look fantastic hanging in our windows.  I wanted to make these with my preschool kiddos as well.

This project proved to be very simple and enjoyable for the children.

To make these you will need: a paper plate or a circle shape, leaves, markers to decorate the ring and contact paper to seal in the leaves.
One thing I did not think of is the fact that the leaves continue to change color due to the direct sunlight.  This has been a great science lesson as well!

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