Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Advent Activities

This year I wanted to try an idea from Pinterest, wrapping stuff and letting the boys open one each night, starting December 1st. I thought it would be fun to let them open something each night, but more importantly it would help us spend time together, instead of turning on the tv after dinner each night! I mostly didn't wrap toys or anything like that, only activities, or things that represented activities. Sometimes I couldn't think of anything creative, so I just drew a picture and put it in an envelope (like a snowman, with the word "Pizza" above it)... Anyway, here is the stash:


Day 1: Coloring pages
I started out simple, with just some pages I found on Google, so they could color. We hung them on a door by the kitchen, and added stuff to it, so they could remember the fun stuff we'd been doing.


Day 2: Paper chain
We made it really long, and draped it around the tree. Cormac helped a little... Russell, not so much. Actually Russell just observed on quite a few of these, due to his destructive tendencies... But he still had fun!

Day 3: Activity books
I picked up little activity books for the boys. Russell likes to color, when I can get him to stop eating crayons. Cormac is crazy about mazes, so he mostly flipped through and just did those. Both had fun!

Day 4: Grinch movie night
We had roast beast, Who hash, Grinch greens, Who pudding, Seasick Crocodile Shakes, and Christmas trees. Cormac really loved it when he realized the food was tied into the movie. He kept saying, "I had Roast Beast! Just like in the movie!"


Day 5: Roll-a-reindeer Game
I found this on Pinterest. Cormac rolled a die, and got to add a piece of the reindeer with each number. He glued it all together, and we put it on the door with other stuff we'd made. Russell kept pointing at it and saying, "Dee! Dee!"

Day 6: Tortilla snowflakes
We cut a tortilla as best we could, to look like a snowflake. Then we buttered it, put cinnamon and sugar on it and baked it. Cormac only had a bite, but Russell liked it.


Day 7: Letter to Santa
We found the address for Santa, and his elves even wrote back! Cormac loved getting mail, and loved that it was from Santa. I need to save the address and make sure we do this one again next year!


Day 8: Paper snowflakes
This time we used paper, and made snowflakes to hang on our sliding door... made it look more wintery  :)

Day 9: Fort
We made a fort and read Christmas books inside it. I wrapped little finger lights from the dollar store, and the boys were crazy about them, and then kept asking to read more books, so they could keep playing with them. They played with them for days... definitely one of their favorites.

Day 10: Sugar cube castle
Russell mostly ate cubes while we made it, but Cormac had a blast helping us build a castle. He insisted making a "prince" to live in it (but I didn't get a picture of it).


Day 11: Elf movie night
We had beef and cheese sandwiches, smiling potatoes (smiling's my favorite!), elf hats, red and green apples, and coke. We also made spagetti cookies, topped with candy!




Day 12: Snowman pizza
His face melted off a little, but we made a pizza shaped like a snowman. Cormac helped me roll the dough out, and got completely covered in flour somehow. He brushed most of it off, but I still took a picture.


Day 13: Tape painting
So this was a Pinterest fail. I saw someone use regular masking tape on paper, paint over it, peel it off and have a negative painting... The masking tape just ripped up the paper. So next time I'll use painter's tape, like I thought I should have... But Cormac liked painting anyway!

Day 14: Shopping for siblings
We took the boys to the store so they could pick out presents for each other. Scott and I split up with them and kept their purchases hidden! Cormac helped wrap his, and we put them both under the tree.

Day 15: Name Snowmen
The boys made snowmen out of circles with letters on them, to spell out their names. We put them up on our basement door and Russell pointed at them over and over, "no-ma! no-ma!"


Day 16: Snowman pancakes
I hope it's obvious that these are supposed to be snowmen... The boys loved eating them, saying they were biting off their heads, lol.


Day 17: Neighbor treats
We took treats to our two neighbors. Cormac liked knocking and being the one to hand over the treats. Russell liked running up and down the sidewalk with his dad.

Day 18: Polar Express night!
We invited Shea, Gretel and Julissa to watch the Polar Express with us. We ate snacky food and had hot cocoa, of course, and (Keebler) Elf cookies! The little ones got tickets to ride the train, and bells at the end.



Day 19: Christmas lights
We drove around looking at lights and saw some great houses. The pictures don't do them justice!




Day 20: Decorating cookies
We obviously don't make cookies much, because when Cormac unwrapped cookie cutters he had no idea what they were... but once we made them, the boys had a lot of fun frosting and decorating them. They didn't really care to eat them, though.




Day 21: Beaded candy canes
We put beads on pipe cleaners and bent them into shapes, mostly candy canes. Russell even got a few on... but I also found one in his diaper later, so apparently he snuck one while we weren't looking. Stinker!


Day 22: Stickers and books
Ok, not very Christmasy, but I needed some simple activities here, too! I got them little notebooks and stickers and they had a fun time putting them in their books -animals and robots.


Day 23: Lollipops
Another easy one, just Christmas-themed ring-pops. Cormac had a Santa and Russell had a snowman.


Day 24: Banana snowmen
We used banana slices to make snowmen, and it was a yummy evening snack.



Day 25: Decorating Christmas trees
We used ice cream cones and green frosting, and candies. The boys loved it, but it was hard to get them to stop just eating the candy! Scott definitely made the best-looking one.




And can I just say, it was extra hard to get good pictures of the boys during all of this?? They were so amped up for each activity, I just couldn't get them to hold still! But I tried, and I guess that's the best I can do  :)  Anyway, I might cut this back to the 12 days of Christmas next year, we'll see. It really was fun to have them looking forward to an activity each night. And we spent more time together, without the tv. Win-win!  Plus, I didn't feel like I was spoiling them, since they didn't really get presents, just a few trinkets to enable us in our fun-making. Oh it was also fun to see Cormac guess what we were doing, based on what I'd wrapped! Some were wicked obvious, but most really weren't. Good times, and I hope I have the time/energy to do something similar next year. Yay family memories!!