Monthly Archives: December 2012

Christmas Traditions

Our Christmas TreeThis year, Eva my eldest invented a new tradition in our household.

Decorating the tree at Christmas is the first stage of building the excitement for the big day so I put it up quite late to try and keep things calm for as long as possible. We actually put it up a week before Xmas day which felt a bit early and even more so when looking after them during the week that followed as the girls were simply buzzing! I’ve never seen Eva so EXCITED on a daily basis!

 Anyway, we set up the tree and spent a good couple of hours decorating it with the much loved old decorations, a few new ones and lots of new handmade ones by the girls. I am slightly OCD with it – as I ‘help’ the girls whilst they decorate, but in fact I am surreptitiously moving things around to create the look I want 🙂

Here are a few of the girls decorations they have done using painted pottery, the lollypop decorations we did the other week and my favourite, Angela the Angel from the Woolly Mammoth craft packs we subscribe to. I love our tree this year, there is so much to see on it!

 Xmas Tree Dec Toddler Crafts Star Snowflake Handprint Eva

  Handmade angel for toddlers

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Whilst we are doing this Eva is going on about singing songs when we have finished, which she soon developed in to sitting around the tree singing songs ‘like when you camp and sit around the fire’. To be honest I just wanted to finish and have a cup of tea- its tiring work directing children without them knowing it, keeping them focussed and containing their excitement! The tinsel kept finding its way around table legs or childrens necks, heads, arms and the poor star on top the tree, well that was stood on, carried around, dropped – the glitter covering it definitely got a few war wounds this year and obviously both of them wanted to put it on top of the tree, so that was interesting – My husband and I took a child each whilst they held on to a point of the star each and we lifted them up so they could do it together – that would have been a great photo opportunity seeing as I had to have my arms at full stretch to reach plus holding the weight of a child, think my face probably took on the resemblance of a tomato for a few seconds!

When we were finished, we indulged Eva in her idea with my hubs, Greg, playing Christmas songs on the piano and the girls and I sitting around the tree singing along and it was really lovely! We are going to make it a tradition every year once the tree has been decorated! Well done Eva!! 🙂

Do you have any Christmas traditions that you do every year without fail?

Wishing you all a very HAPPY and HEALTHY New Year – Bring on 2013!

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Ribbon & Light Garland

Ribbon Garland

 
One of the things I love about Christmas is the glow of lights especially with the dark and cold of our british winter so any excuse to use them!

Ribbon Garland

 
 
 
 
 This is so simple a child could do it!

I just cut each ribbon 8 inches long and tied it to the set of lights with a simple knot.

I used battery operated lights so I could hide the battery box and not have wires trailing to the plug socket.

 
 

Ribbon garland

 
 
I used all sorts of ribbon scraps. I wanted to have a red and white theme so I bought some ribbons specifically and used some I already had. It needed a bit of bulking out so I cut up some strips of felt to make it fuller.

Ribbon and Light Garland

 
 
 
 
It really cheers up our fireplace and I think would look good in any colour combination for any occasion.

Lolly Stick Christmas Decorations

Toddler Xmas Crafts
Just a couple of quick ideas here – we’ve been crafting all week and the girls are really getting in to the Christmas spirit.

We made these easy decorations using lolly sticks but you could use twigs or thick card.

Lollypop snowflake
 I hot glued the lolly sticks into a cross shape then added another straight through the middle.
The kids dotted big-ish blobs of glue with a paintbrush and then picked out and added their buttons. I cut some felt and added it to the back with hot glue.

Lollypop TreeFirst we coloured the lolly sticks with green felt pen.

I then hot glued the sticks in to a triangle and the girls dotted glue and added sequins, pom poms and jewels.

I added some wool to the back for hanging.

lolly xmas tree
 
We hung them up on our tree and I’ve got to say I love our tree this year. There are lots of the childrens decorations on it now which makes it really special to me.
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you don’t have buttons, you could just use glitter (usually our first choice!) or use silver sequins or even paper circles – any small embellishment could work.

Top Tip: Fix scratches in CD’s/DVD’s with TOOTHPASTE

CD & toothpaste

 
 
Just a quick top tip this week. Never throw away your scratched dvd’s or cd’s until you have tried this first!

All you need is a CD or DVD that doesn’t play properly and some childrens toothpaste! It needs to be childrens as adults is too abrasive.

 
 
 
 
 
Scratched CD

With a couple of munchkins running around its inevitable that CD’s or DVD’s will get scratched at some point and when they do instead of throwing them away just grab their toothpaste.

This CD is quite scratched and although it played it kept jumping all over the place.

 

Rub toothpaste on the CD

 
All I do is rub the childrens toothpaste all over the CD in small circles with my fingers then rinse it off with warm water and dry it carefully with a piece of kitchen towel. I had to repeat this again with this CD but then it played beautifully. For really badly scratched discs you may have to do it 3 or 4 times.

 
 
 
 
Apparently you can use a bit of banana and a bit of its skin to do the same job but I have never tried it. Its definitely worth a go though!

Kids Christmas Tree Garland

Getting stuck InI know its only the 1st December but we are soooo excited about Christmas in our house that I thought we would make a start on some decorations that the girls make themselves and hopefully can bring out each year until they are literally falling apart plus we needed cheering up as we have been unwell all week.

This project was brilliant. The girls loved decorating the trees and I loved the end result. This is what we did:

Cut Triangles

 
 
 
 I cut some triangles out of green card – I had a few different shades but just one shade of green would be just as great. I also cut mine different sizes but again I really don’t think that is important.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Setting Up

 
I set the girls up in a bit of a production line but they ended up just doing one at a time. I put pots of glitter, gems, pom poms, wool, sequins, anything I could find that they could use to decorate the trees. 
 
 
 
 

Glue and Sparkle

 
For a few of the trees I put the glue on so they could specifically create a tinsel effect with sparkle. The reason being I knew once the girls got started the trees could potentially all look the same so I thought it would distinguish a few as actual Christmas trees. 
 
 

In Progress

 
In fact I needn’t have worried as they loved the effect and my 2 year old exclaimed ‘They’re really great!’ about 3 times and then they both did their own tinsel lines on a few. They both really impressed me with how creative they were, I gave them a few ideas (of course, I can’t help butting in!!) and they crafted for aaaaagges! 
 

Once they were all done, I left them to dry and put the garland together when the girls were in bed.

Painted on Glue 
I decided to put discs of red card in between to make the garland longer (plus I have ajust bought a 2inch hole punch and reallly wanted to try it out :D….win!) So I decided on the words Happy Christmas and took a paintbrush and painted a letter in glue on each circle.

 

Glitter Letter

 

You can never have enough glitter, right?!

I just sprinkled glitter all over it, tapped it off and left it to dry.

The girls could have helped with that bit if they hadn’t been asleep.

 
 

To put it all together all I did was use a large needle and some festive red twine.

Sewing the Garland

 

Then I just sewed in from the front, around the back of each item and then back out to the front in roughly the same place opposite the first hole.

Like this —————————————>

 
 

A couple of tips here:

  • Layout your peices in order across the floor and sew them there, it doesn’t take long and you can instantly see your next peice to thread.
  • Make sure you leave a reasonable length of twine on the needle so that you have enough twine to hang your garland up.
  • When I threaded the needle and pulled a good couple of feet through (for hanging) I didn’t cut the twine, I just left it on its roll and cut it when I had finished the sewing. This way I could make sure I had enough.
  • I found it easier to pierce the card with the needle from the front in both places first, then sew, that way when you come through from the back you already have the hole in the right place.

Here are a few of their decorated trees. Its great when you do these things, to see just how capable little ones are and I learn things about them every time. My little two year old was so colour co-ordinated which I haven’t really noticed before. She had to have all the same colours on her tree or two colours that matched together! You can tell which ones are hers! And the older one copied every technique I showed her, for herself. It makes me very happy to have such great crafting sessions together.Christmas Tree made by kids

Here is our finished garland in place in the hall, its a really bare area so has brightened it up and I couldn’t get a good photo of it but trust me, it looks absolutely adorable! I love it!!

Christmas Tree Garland