Monday, December 15, 2008

Activity Advent

Memorable Monday Moments:
Christmas Advent Activities

Here's the list of activities we used one year when we did our Gingerbread Garland Activity Advent. Most of them are probably self-explanatory, but I'll add descriptions to some of them. The idea here was to keep things simple and fun - an enjoyable activity for the kids (at the time ages 3-14) to look forward to but not a huge mess for Mom to clean up! By planning ahead, each activity could be assigned to a specific day. For example, "blowing bubbles" could be for a busy day, sandwiched between errands and Scouts, while sponge painting aprons (to wear later when baking cookies) would be on a day that had a bigger block of time available. Any one of them could be turned into a FHE lesson or activity!

Make snowflakes (Just fold paper and cut, then hang on the window, but you can find patterns and ideas here.)
Sponge paint aprons
Play with play dough
Play match-up game (Concentration with Christmas symbol cards)
Blow bubbles
Listen to cassette tape
Color in coloring books
Make graham cracker houses
Make candy cane reindeer
Make paper doves
Make Rocky Road candy (Melt 1 pound of milk chocolate. Stir in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 3 cups mini marshmallows. Pour into buttered 9x9" pan and chill until hardened.)
Play bean bag toss
Make thank you cards for teachers
Play “Winter Chase Game” (For 4 players. You need a checkerboard, dice, and 4 markers. Each player places their marker on a corner of the board. Starting with the youngest, take turns rolling the dice and moving your playing piece that many spaces clockwise around the perimeter of the checkerboard. When one player lands by exact count on a second player, the second player is out. Play continues until there is only one person left. Then do it again!)
Make mini Kisses wreaths (simply cut out a 6-inch cardboard wreath shape, glue Hershey kisses on it, and hang with a ribbon)
Decorate lunch sacks for gift bags
Make pinhole pictures (Have copies of pictures using simple shapes - like from coloring books. Place picture over a piece of construction paper. Using a pin - push pin or quilting pin - poke holes every 1/4" on the lines. When done, remove the picture and hang the colored paper in the window so the sun can shine through. To prevent your table from getting scratched, have a thick piece of cardboard underneath, or even use the carpeted floor. This one does need adult supervision but it's a lot of fun!)
Use paint with water book
Make craft stick reindeer
Make secret good deeds sticker tree (Start with a blank Christmas tree. Decorate it with sticker ornaments by adding one whenever you do a good deed.)
Melt mints into wreaths (I couldn't find a picture of this, but they're pretty amazing to try.)
Sponge paint napkins
Assemble Christmas puzzles
Play with jacks or marbles

Found the picture! Arrange unwrapped peppermint candies on a greased cookie sheet so that the sides touch. Then back at 300 degrees for about 5 minutes until they soften. These went a minute too long, but still worked out okay. Add a ribbon to hang.
Here's another easy craft. Just glue Hershey kisses to a cardboard ring (covered with foil if desired), punch a hole for a ribbon to hang.

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