Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

If you are looking for a last minute gift, or a fun project to do on Christmas day, making play dough is easy and so much fun!


– 1 Cup flour (non self rising)
– 1/2 Cup salt
– 1 Cup water
– 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
– 1 1/2 teaspoons of cream of tarter
– Cinnamon, pure vanilla, or peppermint (optional, but gives the play dough a nice smell)
– Food coloring (optional)


– Mix all of the above ingredients in a pan over low heat.
– If you would like to make a specific color, add food coloring of your choice.  We add the food coloring immediately after all of the other ingredients, when it is still on the stove.  If you do this step after you remove the play dough from the heat, be sure to wear gloves.
– Continue mixing constantly until play dough becomes a ball.  It doesn’t have to cook very long.  it will probably be ready in about five minutes.
– Remove dough from pan and place on wax paper.  When it cools down, you or your child can knead the dough for a few minutes.

– If giving as a gift, place in small plastic containers that have caps.  Add the recipe and tie with a ribbon.

– Michelle


As you may know, I love doing crafts with my daughter.  I especially love doing holiday crafts.   The best part about these handmade holiday bows craft is that it uses recycled materials.

This craft may be a challenge for younger children when folding the strips of paper.  Some kids will be able to cut the strips of paper themselves and some will not.  Let kids use their creativity on this by choosing what paper they want to use, if they want to use crayons to color, glue pom poms to it, or however else they choose to design their bows.


– Strips of paper.  We used a Target catalog for one bow and old calendar pages for the others.

– Stapler

– Glue

– Small piece of cardboard (from a cereal box) for the back of the bow (optional)

– Different cut out shapes (you can use magazine or old calendar pages for this step to) that can be used to cover the staple (optional).  Stickers can also be used.


– First decide what you are going to use for your bows.  This is a great step for young children to participate in.  They can choose pages from magazines, catalogs, or calendar pages.

– Cut long strips from the pages.  Our strips were approximately 5″ long.

– Take one end of the strip and fold it back to the middle of the strip, then the other end will fold up to the middle of the strip.  Your strip should resemble an 8.  Adults and older children only can staple the center of the strip.  If you’re doing this with younger children, they can use glue or tape rather than staples.

– Repeat the above step using 3 more strips.

– Glue two of the strips together (as pictured below).

– Glue the 3rd strip as pictured below.

– Glue the 4th strip (as shown below).  Then glue another shape or small picture to the top so that it covers the staple.

You can also cut out the center of a paper plate, and let kids glue these bows around the outside of the paper plate to make a very pretty wreath.

– Michelle

Oh, jingle bells, what fun it is to plan letter activities based on the holiday.  We put the lyrics to Jingle Bells in the letter J, printed and cut it out, attached a bell, and it’s J is for Jingle … Bells (or bell, since we only used one).

I gave this J to my daughter to color after I printed and cut it out.  She had much more fun finding and pointing out the letter J’s in the lyrics then she did coloring it.  She then helped me by punching holes, and attaching the bell and the ribbon through the J.

As far as the bell, you can most likely buy these at a craft store.  We took one off of a Santa decoration that we had.  It was hanging off of his hat, and I thought he would still look cool without the bell.  So we used it for our project.

And Oh, what fun we had with this letter J project (the most fun part was running around singing Jingle Bells).

For more letter J activities, please see:  Letter of the week:  Letter J activities.

– Michelle

This week we’re working on the letter H, and in sticking with our Christmas theme this month, we decided on H is for Holly.

I printed out a large letter H on the computer.  I then used the template at DLTK to make the Holly.  We used red pom poms for the berries.  My daughter glued the holly and berries to the letter H.  We then decided after to paint the letter H green.

I wasn’t going to put a face on this Holly, but my daughter insisted on the face (again template from DLTK). 

While working on this project, we talked about Holly as a Christmas decoration, and although I don’t have a great deal of knowledge about Holly plants, I do know that the berries are poisonous.  So we also discussed that these are called “berries”, but these aren’t the berries that we know and love to eat (or I love to eat).

For additional Letter H activities, please see:  Letter of the week:  Letter H activities.

Happy Holly … days!


Phew, that’s a long title and even a tounge twister, but it’s the perfect title for our project.  And I love doing projects that require only items we already have in the house.  We made gingerbread people paper bag puppets (really, just try it five times fast) using:

– Small brown paper lunch bag
– Googly eyes
– Construction paper
– Craft stick
– Scissors and glue
– Cotton balls or small pieces of paper towel (optional)

First we cut the bottom part of the paper bag off.  Then made a gingerbread shape on the bag and cut out the gingerbread shape (using the two layers).  We added some googly eyes, a mouth using construction paper, some pom poms on his or her belly.  Then added a flower to her head. 

When the front was dry, we added glue around the outside of the gingerbread person, and also added some torn up pieces of paper towel between the two layers.  I wanted the gingerbread person to be or appear fluffy, and we didn’t have any cotton balls, so we used paper towels.  We then glued the top and bottom parts together.

Let children be creative with this project, and give them a lot of different things to choose from.  Then you can have a puppet show or use your puppets to sing some gingerbread songs (and if you know of any, please feel free to share).

– Michelle

Books we love:

I love Christmas, so forgive me if I inundate you with Christmas activities.

Here is our Christmas tree banner bulletin board.

I traced the trees from a template in the Mailbox’s Big Book of Patterns.  I cut out eight trees, and my daughter made the circles using one of our punchers, which I think was her favorite part of this project.  I wrote the numbers 1-8 on each of the trees, and my daughter glued the correct number of circles to the trees. 

We added a trunk and a star (made with another one of our punchers).  I punched holes, and my daughter helped put the ribbon in.  We then hung it up as part of our December bulletin board. 

– Michelle