Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Getting Creative with Kids: Holiday Edition

Little Miss is 2 1/2 years old. She is at such a fun age for getting into crafty activities with her mama. It's only a week into December, so we haven't busted out all the fun for the month, but I wanted to share a few of the things we have been up to together to get into the (crafty) spirit of the season.

Due to my late inspiration for creating our own Advent Calendar (will definitely try that for next year), I have been doing an easy Color a Picture a Day printout courtesy of a blog I discovered recently called Elsie Marley. She's been doing a PDF a day of her own simplistic wintery-inspired coloring book pages which I have been giving to Little Miss every morning to color after she eats her sacred oatmeal. Sacred only because she does. not. ever. deviate. from. this. breakfast. I've been taping them up in the playroom/office/guest room/rumpus room (I should probably just call it the "multi-purpose room" like they called that big front room in grade school, but I like slashes. Lots of 'em.)

She is *way* into coloring lately. So much so that the other day when my back was turned she colored all over the walls in the hallway. And as her sweet daddy was cleaning them off (and *after* she got off her punishment), she proceeded to sneak into the playroom/office/guest room/rumpus room, pick up a crayon, and color all over the windows. All this to say, this is an activity that is right up her alley and she is excited to do it every day.

A few weeks ago, I put in an early order to get some Busy Bee Bags to prepare myself for a month of fun activities to do with Little Miss. I discovered this sweet little company maybe a year or two back. Little Miss was way too young at the time to be able to participate in the activities they provided, but I got a big bag of craft-making fun for my niece for her birthday (and have been excited to try them out with my own little girl ever since). They're very fun, open-ended little crafts that are great for little people. For the easily sidetracked, disorganized, or just plain busy mom (or dad), each bag provides all the materials needed to make a particular age-appropriate craft. That means no rummaging around for a glue stick, or little person friendly scissors, or crayons, or paper, or whatever it is that you might need. In general, I'm a pretty organized gal, but the degree to which this is brainless is a huge relief when you have a toddler whose energy and exuberance need to be diverted off of her sleeping 4 month old brother and onto something else. A few days ago, Little Miss made the fun antler headband (from the Special Edition Christmas Busy Bee Bag) that is being modeled by the lampshade. She's been wearing it around at random and tends to don it when we start working on a "fun project" together (like coloring, watching her newest DVD, reading books, sweeping the floor - - ok, maybe just "projects").

You may have noticed that the baby I made for her way back when is sporting some new duds. I took advantage of Joy's liquidation sale (back while it was still going on) and snapped up a sweet homemade velour bunnysuit for Little Miss' baby. She LOVED it, and it was a perfect fit. :)

Earlier this evening (read: not early enough to start such a project without running into Little Miss' bedtime), my husband and I embarked on a completely misguided attempt to make a gingerbread house with her. This is as far as we got:
This was after I, a) did not read the directions thoroughly before beginning, b) messed up by putting the icing in the plastic tube BEFORE I put in the frosting tip, and c) got Little Miss excited about making a gingerbread house only to realize that you have to construct the house to the above point and let it dry for *at least an hour* before you can move onto finishing it.

In short, she had to go to bed before she was even able to help with any part of it. Oh well. Lesson learned, I guess. Hopefully the icing will still be good and we can work on it together tomorrow sometime.

What about you? Working on Christmas cheer with the kiddos? Do tell.


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