Friday, December 6, 2013

The Polar Express

The boys were excited for today since they knew it was The Polar Express day.  

The movie was one ABC family last night and I recorded it for them to watch during school today.  But, for once, my boys were up very early!



So early that they beat me downstairs and then were back up playing in Ian's room before I even knew they had been downstairs!

 They finally migrated back downstairs and Ian exclaimed that the elf had moved.  I guess the first time Ian came down the elf had crashed and hit his head on the four wheeler and then the second time he came down the elf was sitting up right on the four wheeler.  He's suspicious that his father might have moved the elf... once again I just shrugged. 


The boys have been asking to write letters to Santa and I mentioned that we were going to be doing that for school today.  (Here's another cute stationary printout for letters and the one we used is Here).  Right away all three of them sat down and got to work.  I was amazed that they each only asked for a single item this year.  Once they finished writing their letters they folded them up and gave them to the elf to take to Santa tonight (hence the folded paper near the elves tires).
   
As soon as they finished writing they dove into math.  Evan had a few Christmas puzzles to put together that worked on counting by 2's up to 20.  I loved the printable puzzles I found and just printed them on cardstock.  I didn't bother to laminate them since I just have Evan and not a whole class of kids but you certainly could.  Evan did great counting by two's and finished all three puzzles pretty quickly.


He used the numbers at the bottom of the puzzle
and had it together in no time!
Ian and Alec had a multiply and color worksheet that they worked on.  I had originally found a polar express coordinate grid worksheet but found that it was way to difficult for the boys since it worked with negative numbers and the grid wasn't labeled.  I was having a hard time figuring out what answers they were asking for so I was glad that I had an extra multiply and color sheet on hand.




The final sheet I had for the older boys was a Polar Express word search.  I thought it would be fun but Ian got pretty frustrated with it and I felt bad.  They ended up setting it aside and having a snack.  They were all dying to break into the gingerbread house and I let them each pick a few pieces (they each chose a tree).  While they were eating snack I heated up some hot cocoa and we decided to watch the movie nice and early today.

We read The Polar Express today and I Want a Hippopotamus For Christmas and the boys automatically started comparing the book to the movie.  They thought I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas was a riot and it gave me a wonderful starting off point for our discussion of  "Why Santa Can't always bring you what you want."  My kids are notorious for asking for non- existent gifts.  Alec in particular has always challenged Santa-- he has asked for things like a mama turtle toy that lays eggs that hatch, a real working creature power suit like on Wild Kratts, and this year he wants a Lego Minifigure that Lego has not yet made.
    
For our crafts today we made North Pole Ornaments and Hot Cocoa Reindeer.  These were both pretty quick crafts (other than waiting for the glitter glue to dry again!).

We filled piping bags part way with hot cocoa mix, added a few mini marshmallows to a sandwich bag and put in on top of the cocoa.  We tied off the bags with string and cut off the zippered part of the sandwich bags.  We glued on googlie eyes, a pompom nose and twisted some pipe cleaners (chenille stems) to make antlers.  the boys were disappointed that I only had three piping bags left since they wanted to make more of these.  We used regular school glue since I thought hot glue might melt the pipe cleaner bags so we set them aside to dry.

When we tied them off
all finished!
For our North Pole ornaments, I found red Popsicle sticks at the dollar store so I had the boys paint white stripes on them and set them aside to dry.  We ended up flipping them over and painting the other side too.  I had cut little signs out of green foam and the boys wrote the words North Pole on them.  Then they used glitter glue to add snow to the sign.  We have the berries cut out of red paper and some green foam holly leaves all ready to go but we have to wait for the North Pole signs to dry.  We'll assemble them later tonight or tomorrow morning I guess.


our bits and pieces

adding stripes and glitter glue
Update: our completed north pole ornaments 

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