Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Santa's Workshop

We had a bunch of craft projects planned for the day so I wanted to start the boys off with a fun and healthy breakfast.  

We made Christmas tree waffles.  I mixed up a regular batch of waffles and added lime Jell-O to it.  It turned it this nice green color and made them a little sweet.  We used some french toast sticks for the trunks.   I used clementines for the stars on top of the tree and sliced banana and blueberries for the ornaments. 

 I've been trying to incorporate more "fun" into our holiday with themed meals and snacks, like the night we watched The Grinch and had Grinch cookies and punch.   I made traditional chocolate chip cookies and added a bit of green food coloring and some mint extract.  The punch was sprite and lime sherbet mixed together.  I wet down the rim of the glasses and dunked them in sprinkles while they were wet to decorate the rim and add a bit of extra pizzazz.


While I was measuring and mixing up the waffles Ian was hard at work on some extreme dot- to- dots.  While at Bunnicula yesterday he was talking to a fellow homeschooler who was showing him some of the dot- to- dots in this book called extreme dot- to- dots.  I had a sampler pack at home from a previous purchase and he immediately sat down and finished one whole dot- to - dot in a hour.  As soon as he woke up this morning he started in on another one.



   
We have a family tradition of buying the kids an ornament every year for Christmas.  The ornament symbolizes something about their lives that year; their first Christmas, learning to ride a bike, the first plane ride, their Halloween costume, etc.  This year, on top of that "surprise" ornament, I'm having them all work on making a memory ornament.

 I saw this on Pinterest and loved that you could add everything about the year instead of trying to find just one thing.  We purchased plain colored balls and I wrote the boys names and the date in gold permanent marker. 

I then had them tell me everything they wanted to remember about this year and wrote it in black permanent marker. 

Then we really got into some hands- on crafting. 

They started with puffy snowmen painting. 

We used a mixture of glue and shaving cream; mix equal parts of each to make paint that dries puffy and white when done.  I had them draw a large snowman on blue paper and once they were painted in we let them dry.  Once dry we added face, nose, scarf and arms out of paper scraps, beads, buttons, and yarn using school glue. 




Once done, we made snowflakes out of coffee filters. 

I folded them up for the boys and handed them some scissors.  I explained that they needed to try and cut out little designs and when we opened it we'd have some beautiful snowflakes.  I demonstrated one and then let them create as many as they'd like.  They made well over 30 and really would've made more I'm sure! 

Ian and Alec really took to those project and experimented with different shapes and sizes of cuts.  Alec finally figured out how to make heart shapes in his snowflake after several tries.  They folded their own snowflakes after a while.  I put them up all over the kitchen and living room windows.  I love how festive it makes the house look!




 We then made melted bead ornaments. 

We took a cookie sheet and lined it with tin foil.  We lined up the metal cookie cutters and added a single layer of cheap pony beads.  We then melted them in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes (though I've seen sites that say anything from 200- 40 degrees so I'd say just peek at them every now and then and take them out when they're melted).  After the 30 minutes they still looked a bit bumpy so I turned the oven temp up to 400 for 10 minutes and then we had nice flat multicolored ornaments. 

The house does start to smell like melted plastic so be warned, it's best if it's a nice enough day to open the windows.  I've also heard you can do this on a grill or use your toaster oven outside.  Once cooled off they're supposed to pop right out, though they did make popping noises as they cool and that made me nervous.  Once cool most of them popped right out.  I only had a problem with the mini gingerbread man, but being so small the plastic beads weren't in an exact single layer so I think it's was just thicker and tougher.

 We'll lightly sand some of the rough edges off these plastic ornaments once I get some sandpaper.   Then, later tonight my husband will drill holes in them so we can add a string and some hooks.  Ian and Alec made several and Ian even made sure his candy cane only had red and white/clear beads.




We also made salt dough ornaments.  We baked them in a 200 degree oven for about an hour.  Once cool the boys will paint them using tempera paints.




  

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