As you know, we are staying with my husband’s aunt as we await the completion of our home. There is a sweet 2-year-old that lives with her & my daughter & her have become two peas in a pod. My daughter has been taking on a big sister role. She has been trying to teach and at times gets a little bossy, but it is adorable to watch. They spend a lot of time drawing and reading together & I spend a lot of time doing both with them as well. Every time they draw together my little one always asks her friend “What are you drawing?” The answer is usually the same “a house”. She loves to draw houses.
Houses are fun & easy to make and with the holiday season approaching, when I think houses, I think gingerbread.
The idea was that I wanted the girls to make gingerbread house ornaments out of Popsicle sticks. My first design I liked, but it was more time-consuming than what I had wanted for a simple craft & I did not want to repeat it several times.
I made these simpler houses instead.
I asked the girls what color they wanted their houses.
I cut squares out of construction paper in the color of their choice & glued Popsicle sticks around them like shown.
I cut out a triangle for a roof & lined the sides with sticks as well.
I glued the square over the triangle as shown.
I glued a loop of yarn around the back of each for hanging. When all the glue was dry. I gave both children their houses & let them decorate. They used buttons & markers.
They both made lovely ornaments.
My daughter wanted to hang hers right away. We do have a tree yet, but we hung it on the door knob for her.
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I realize that it is not even Thanksgiving yet. It’s not that I have anything against Thanksgiving because I have a lot to be thankful for, but I am overjoyed for this upcoming Christmas season. I understand that most do not like how early the holidays seem to come more & more each year, but for me I can’t wait, especially after having our daughter. Christmas is magical. The Christmas carols, the twinkling lights & the smells are all divine.
I am one of those people that have gotten into the spirit a little bit early, but I don’t care. My daughter doesn’t know any different. To her it is Christmas time already. This weekend we put on some Christmas carols & filled our house with the delicious smell of gingerbread. My daughter loves baking with mommy & she loves eating it too. One of the great things about gingerbread is it has the same consistency as Play-Doh. This of course made my Play-Doh obsessed daughter happy.
You will need star cookie cutters. Using different sized cookie cutters, cut out about 10 cookies. If you do not have 10 different cutters, you can improvise.
I had 5 cutters in various sizes. I cut two of each size, cutting one a little thicker than the other. I worked the thicker star out carefully using my fingers to make it a little bit larger than the first star.
On the smallest star I added a small point for the top of the tree.
Bake your cookies according to the recipe.
Make your icing while the cookies bake.
1 cup of confectioners sugar
2 Tbsp of milk
1/2 Tsp vanilla
Stir your ingredients together until smooth.
Stack the cookies from biggest to smallest. Use the icing to hold the pieces together. Stagger the star points so that they lined up every other cookie.
Drizzle icing over the top of the tree & add M&M minis or another candy of your choice.
As I said already the gingerbread dough has a similar consistency to Play-Doh. I let my daughter use the leftover dough to craft her own cookies.
She crafted these as birthday cakes for me & her. The birthday cakes looked a bit like a pile of something else that I don’t want to say, but otherwise they still tasted delicious. Mai iced up her cookies and they passed her taste test. The only problem was trying to wrestle away all of her cookie creations from her so that she didn’t eat them all.
We also made these cute little trees imparting the same concept of stacking the stars as with the cookie tree.
We cut out 10 different sized stars using foam sheets & cut out a hole in the middle of each big enough to fit around a toilet paper roll. Cut only a small hole in your top star & loop a pipe cleaner through it to for the peak of the tree. Attach 2 small foam stars to either end of the pipe cleaner. Paint a toilet paper roll & a Dixie cup (The Dixie cup will be used for your base. Let dry. Glue the toilet paper roll into the cup. Stack the stars from biggest to smallest over the toilet paper tube & glue the top star over the top of the toilet paper roll. Let dry & let your child decorate the tree with craft pom poms, yarn, cotton snow etc.
My daughter as many of you may well know, is named after my mother. Mai is a less than common name, which is one of the things I love about it. She will always be unique. We have a lot of personalized & monagrammed things for her. I cannot see the letter M without thinking of my little munchkin. So when I was shopping at Michael’s and saw a giant wooden M for sale, I had to scoop it up. Her room is purple with golden & neutral tones, so I chose colors to compliment her room. What you will need: A wooden letter Different colored yarns Elmers glue Scissors Glue gun
Purchase a cheap wooden letter from a craft store or make one yourself.
Form a circle using the glue. Starting from the center begin circling the yarn around itself.
Continue to circle around until you cover the glue circle.
Snip the end of your yarn off and form into the circle.
Working off the edge of the first circle add another glue circle and repeat the circling method.
For circles that are not full because off cut out edges, form half circles around each side cutting off the ends at the edge.
Continue this pattern, making circles as big or as small as you desire.
To fill in uncovered spaces around the circles, fill in with a different colored yarn following the same lines as your circles.
This guest post is brought to you from Hefty. I am happy to welcome Katie from Hefty to the Pinterested Parent today.
Valentine’s Day will be here before you know it! Little kids love to join in the celebrations of Valentine’s Day, so here are a few more ideas for celebrating with them:
Wear Red One of the easiest ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day is to simply dress your kid in red or pink. There are always shirts with hearts, too!
Valentine’s Day Breakfast If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, then you can try cutting toast out in the shape of hearts. Just add some red jelly or fruit preserves for a touch of the signature Valentine’s Day color.
Make Cookies for a Neighbor You and your child could make cookies together for an elderly neighbor. The neighbor will appreciate the thoughtful gesture on this holiday, and you and your son or daughter will have fun making the cookies together. You can give the neighbor the cookies on disposable dishes so you don’t have to worry about getting the plate back later.
Decorate the House Take foam plates and decorate them by using crayons or cutting hearts out of red and pink construction paper. You can bind multiple plates together by using ribbon. Thread the ribbon through holes that you make in the lips of the plate. This decoration could then be hung up above a fireplace or on a wall.
Make Cards Homemade cards will surprise your family and friends, and your little ones will love giving them out. Construction paper, colored pencils, doilies, crayons, glue, and stickers will all help to make fun Valentines.
Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!
Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Hefty®. Visit www.hefty.com to find products like trash bags and more that can help you out with your busy life.
I’m a New Englander. Tonight, marks the first snowfall of the season for us. There is a love /hate relationship between snow with most New Englanders. Every year, I get excited when that first snowflake drops. It just does not feel like the holidays with out it. That first snowfall is so beautiful. It is perfect and untouched. It makes the ground & the trees glisten and it just invites you to come out & play in it. Then the problem is you do, then realize that it is also cold & wet and that you would rather be inside by the fireplace sipping your cocoa.
Last year was my daughter’s first winter. We couldn’t wait to take her outside & pull her around the yard in her sled, but once we got out there, I immediately began to worry about the cold. We pulled Mai around the yard a couple of times, took this happy family picture & then went back in the house where it was warm.
I said to myself, “Next year will be better.” ” She will be older. We can build a snowman.”
Well the year flew by & here we are already into another winter. As the snow is touching down on the ground, I am already daydreaming about taking our daughter out in the snow again.
I know myself though & the paranoid mommy in me will probably do the same again this year. It made me think, I wish I could bring some of the fun of the snow into the warmth of our home.
I have seen a number of felt projects in my travels though Pinterest & other bloggers. I have seen the felt Christmas trees, advent calendars & a clever felt gingerbread house. Why couldn’t I make a felt snowman?
Let me just warn you ahead of time. I am not a seamstress. Sometimes I see some of the other posts on here, of recipes, family anecdotes, photos & crafts and it makes me feel a little inadequate. I am not a chef, I am not a writer, a photographer or a very good sewer.
I am a mommy, with big ideas, a tight wallet & all the best intentions, so occasionally my projects come out less than perfect. This would be one of those times.
White Felt – I used about 2 yards
Black & orange felt (or colors of your own choosing)
Needle & thread
Sewing machine (optional, you may sew by hand if you do not own one)
Fiber fill (I used 2 30 oz bags)
Bean bags (I filled Ziplocks with rice)
Decide how big of a snowman that you want. Draw out your circle on the felt.
Cut 2 of the same sized circles.
Sew the two circles together by sewing around the edges. Do not sew all the way around. Leave a large opening unsewn.
Stuff fiber fill in the open end.
Here was mess up #1. I originally made the snowman just with the fiber fill stuffing thinking that this was going to be stable enough to stay upright. I was wrong. I reopened the bottom of the snowman & filled the bottom with homemade bean bags of Ziplock bags & rice.
a piece of cardboard to fit the shape of the bottom of your snowman.
Place inside the bottom of the snowman with the bean bags on top.
Sew the bottom shut & then go and get a manicure because your nails look horrible.
If you are actually a seamstress, I am sure that you could bring a more polished look to this idea. The snowman is lumpy & I made a lot of sewing mistakes but my little girl loved her snowman. She was placing the button & coal pieces all over the place & thought that the scarf was his dress. She hugged him & tried to feed him some of her milk. Sometimes, imperfection can be beautiful…