Christmas crafts don’t always have to be ‘perfect’ to be adorable. Toddlers and preschoolers love to learn by using the things around them, especially through art. This Christmas Process Art Mila created was a great reminder of that!
There’s a huge pressure to have the most perfect crafts online. It seems kids have to follow instructions step-by-step to create the best craft. When you give them the power to create on their own, they can create something even more spectacular.
I’m not going to say Mila and I haven’t been doing specific crafts together, but she needed this free project to showcase her creativity.
All we used to create this beautiful piece of art was from other Christmas items we had at home:
Red and Green Washable Paint
Gold Acrylic Paint
To set up this activity, all I did was pour the paint and tell Mila to use these objects to paint.
She did ask for a paint brush and I did let her use it to push the bells around. Then she used it to paint after trying all the objects. She really went to work when she could use the brush at the end!
As much as it was a process art activity, I did not want to put a limit to her creativity. I think she had fun feeling the different textures and she loved shaking the bells too. It puzzles her why the items don’t paint as well as the brush… but that’s what it’s all about!
When she was finished, we talked about what her artwork symbolized and what we wanted to title it. She said it was just about Christmas and it didn’t need a name. So, it’s left untitled, but I did have her sign it and I dated it. I told her it reminded me of a Christmas tree, just REALLY close up. It honestly just makes me smile, like all of her artwork does.
We love making art as Christmas gifts… and will probably do it again this year! Let me know in the comments… What’s the best Christmas or holiday present you’ve received? Handmade or store bought?
A new month means there’s new things to explore and discover. This month, we’re doing a Christmas Sensory Play. The most fun part of this sensory bin is everything is bought from the dollar store!
We love Christmas and all the joy it brings to us. I think Mila is mostly excited for snow and Santa to bring presents. To combine that happiness and interest, I thought this Christmas Sensory Play idea was the best of both worlds!
This sensory bin is filled with:
Different types of fake snow
As I said before, I got this entire bin at the dollar store! Everything was pretty cheap and easy to put together. All I did was dump the three different types of fake snow in the refrigerator organizer.
If I could give one fake snow suggestion, I’d tell everyone not to get the small foam balls. They get EVERYWHERE and stick to everything. We could have done with just the glitter snow and the medium sized foam balls. It would have worked just as well.
Anyways, then I hid chocolate kisses underneath so Mila could find surprises.
The next things I added were the jingle bells. I had a ton of different sized and colored bells. This is important for one of the activities that I’ll explain.
To make it a little more festive, I added five, felt Santa stickers. They’re so cute!
There’s seriously a ton of activities you can do with this Christmas Sensory Bin.
The first is just letting your child explore the sensory bin. There they can find the chocolate kisses, feel the different types of snow, or use their imaginations. Mila loves when I don’t give her directions and she just does whatever.
One activity that I directed her in was sorting the bells. You could have them sort by color or size. This provide a ton of different skills.
I also had her count the Santas too. There’s a ton of math that kids can do that will help!
In all, this Christmas Sensory Bin is festive and educational. Kids will love it and you’ll love that they’re learning and having fun.
Do you have any suggestions of Christmas play? I have a few, but I’m definitely up for more ideas. Also, what are you most excited for this Christmas season?
It’s officially time to start getting festive. Our Christmas tree is up and indoor decorations are done. With all these bucket list items getting crossed off, we had to do another… write a letter to Santa.
I mean.. there’s less than a month until Christmas, we HAD to make sure he knew what Mila wanted this year.
The letter to Santa is very important in the eyes of kids who believe in him. When Mila realized that Santa was going to see her letter, she had that look Ralphie did in A Christmas Story.
It was all very official business.
After brainstorming her thoughts for the letter out loud, she decided it was time to write. Since Mila only knows how to spell her name at the moment, I got to help her out a little in the writing and spelling part of this.
Her letter to Santa states:
How do you do? Thank you for giving me Christmas presents. I would like a big doctor thing.
She’s a lady that knows what she want! Hopefully she’ll actually become a doctor one day since that’s the only thing she wants at the moment. Besides becoming a mommy like me… her words.
Anyways, I wanted to share this big moment because there’s a lot of learning going on in this simple letter.
Not only did she practice her writing skills and can prove she can remember and write her name, she drafted and wrote a letter! That’s pretty big for a three year old. Just because she didn’t physically write it, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any thought or work put into it.
It also showed her emotional intelligence with the thank you’s and asking Santa how he was doing.
These are all social skills that are all important to learn… simply by just writing a fun letter to Santa! Learning really is everywhere you look.
Fingers crossed Santa gets her letter in time. She used special stamps to help it travel quickly.
I’ll keep you all updated on if he does.
You can find the ‘Letter to Santa’ template at The Letter Vee. Some of the other stamps come from Three Little Crumbsnatchers, she also has the cutest Christmas activities you can print out for free. I’ll be posting them this December, so keep your eyes peeled.
Does your child or did they write letters to Santa? I’m thinking of recording Mila too. I think it would be cute to look back on. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a fun idea or not.
Quirky Turkeys don’t always have feathers, sometimes they have spots. At least that’s what Mila says. This easy craft is perfect if you run out of feathers or just want to give your child a simple turkey craft.
Plus, It turns out really abstract, which makes this one of my favorite turkeys of the year!
As I’ve said over and over again, I try to find crafts and activities that are easy for Mila to do by herself. This gives me time to clean or cook a dish for Thanksgiving. It also promotes her being independent and in turn it helps her with her confidence. Little ones need all the confidence to get by in the world.
For this activity, we only used a few things. That means it was SUPER simple to set up for her… and me!
To start off, I made a turkey head and face. I used cardboard from a box, googly eyes, and random scrapbook/construction paper that I had leftover. Your child could have also made a turkey face too.
Then, I unscrewed the tops of the bingo markers and told her to make the turkey’s feathers with them.
I actually love using bingo markers in crafts and activities. They aren’t very messy, unless your child goes wld with them. They also are pretty cheap. I found these at the dollar store and we’ve had them for quite a while. Plus, there’s a lot of different colors you can find!
The only other thing I instructed Mila to do was to fill up the background. You could also have your kids sort the colors or do different numbers of dots for more learning.
When I look at her last quirky turkey of the year, I keep seeing a rainbow in the background. I don’t think she meant to do it like this, it just feels really symbolic. All her turkeys this year have been so great. As always, I’m just so proud of her.
This is another activity you can easily do before Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving Day. I hope if you do, your child loves it as much as Mila did!
What are your favorite turkey or Thanksgiving inspired crafts? If you have any links, please feel free to post them in the comments. I’d love to share and maybe do them next year too!
If you’re looking for more crafts that Mila and I have done for Thanksgiving, here they are:
Since Mila loved her Googly Eye Headband at Halloween, I knew she needed the perfect hair accessory for Thanksgiving.
With a little imagination and a lot of feathers, I came up with a Turkey Feather Headband.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again here, feathers are to Thanksgiving as eyes are to Halloween. They make all Thanksgiving crafts and activities just a little more special. The best part of each… they can both be found at dollar stores!
Another similarity… I got almost all of the items to make this headband at the dollar store too. Everything besides the yarn!
Fluffy kitty headband
To start, I took off the ears of the kitty headband and hot glued them back on. I put them bottom on the band and close together. This way the feathers stick up.
Then I wrapped the band and the ears with yarn. This took a little bit of time, but make sure to use hot glue where the yarn starts and stops. I didn’t have to hot glue the entire time. Thankfully because that would have burnt my fingers.
After it’s covered in yarn, I stuck feathers in by the ear part through the yarn. I made sure to add a little hot glue so the feathers didn’t fall out.
I ended up using a ton of feathers, especially since I covered the front end back of the headband. At first I just had the front done, but I think having both made it more complete and full looking.
When Mila saw it, she instantly fell in love! Of course she wants to wear it to preschool one day this coming week!
I’ll try to make a clip with a few feathers too.
Maybe now she’ll want to dress up for Thanksgiving Day. We usually take a cute outfit AND something comfortable to wear. Especially after eating all the turkey!
No matter what, I think this Turkey Feather Headband will be making an appearance.
Let me know in the comments whether you dress up or down for Thanksgiving. I’ll let you know what Mila ends up deciding to do.
In this house, playing with your food is encouraged; especially when it helps with learning!
This Pumpkin Pie Counting Paper Plate Activity is perfect to help kids get excited about Thanksgiving, number recognition, and counting. All in one activity.
Last week I got Mila’s first preschool assessment. Overall, she did amazing! Sometimes I forgot that she’s only three and a half because she’s so smart and social. It makes me so proud to be her mom.
These assessments also gave me an idea of what we need to be working on at home.
One thing I’m not good at are numbers. Math definitely wasn’t my favorite subject in school, so sometimes I forget to add it into our play.
In her assessment, she counted to fifteen and only recognized a few numbers. I know she can count to 20, but I honestly didn’t know about her letter recognition skills. So, that’s what we’re going to try snd do more of.
Since the holidays are right around the corner and we’re excited for pies, I thought this activity would be perfect.
All you need for it is:
Orange, white, and tan paint
To make the pumpkin pie paper plate, you first need to paint it. I used tan paint for the crust and orange for the filling.
The orange took me two coats of paint and three for the tan.
Next, I cut the plate into eight slices and wrote the corresponding numbers on them with white paint.
After it was all dry, I added some decoration to make it more sparkly for Mila and gave her cotton balls to count with.
She had a lot of fun counting the cotton balls, but I saw her work out the different numbers in her head too.
It was amazing to see that even if she didn’t know the number at first, she would count around to figure it out. Hopefully the more she sees them, the more she’ll know!
Either way, we had fun pretending it was a pie and eating it too. I love how fun learning is with her.
What are some ways to help kids with number recognition?
This year Mila has been much more vocal about what she’d like to receive under the tree this year. It’s been so nice to have that feedback and assurance of what she’d actually like from me and Santa!
Instead of keeping these big secrets to myself, I figured I’d share with you my Preschool Girl Gift Guide.
Mila has been obsessed with necklaces and bracelets. No matter if she’s accessorizing for preschool or just wanting to pretend to be a princess, she has to have them on! We have a huge range of ‘nice’ accessories and play ones that we keep separate. I plan on getting her a few more for Christmas too!
Right now, our favorite Etsy store to get accessories from are Sloane and Daisy.
She has the most adorable bracelets and necklaces for any time of the year, seasonal ones, and PRINCESS ones. We are obsessed with the princess ones right now!
Besides her preschool bracelets, we have a ton of different play bracelets too! It’s so much fun to watch her pretend to be a princess with them.
You can get these play bracelets from a ton of different places.
Amazon has a ton of different sets. My favorite one just for her to wear around the house are these. They’re cute, but if she loses them, it’s okay! We also love this princess set, to dress up with. Mila is obsessed with crowns and they’re cute too.
Clothes and Shoes
Mila is at the age where she thinks clothes are cool and always gets excited when she gets clothes in the mail! There are so many cute small shops and businesses that we love to shop from.
I usually try to link where we get Mila’s outfits in social media posts, but here are a few you should definitely check out if getting.
Adelynn Mae has the best holiday shirts, hair accessories, and buttons. You can use MILA10 for 10% off too!
Reverie Threads is another amazing shop that Mila and I shop from frequently. They have a wide range of outfits that are dressy and comfy for her.
Ten Little has the best fitting shoes for kids. They send you ways to measure your child’s feet and have the cutest styles too.
Stitch Fix is another option to get your little (or you) that you can continue getting throughout the year! There’s a ton of different styles that you can either keep or send back. We love getting out Stitch Fix box and if you follow this link, you can get $25 off your first fix and we’ll get $25 our next one too!
Pretend Play Items
The items Mila has asked for the most this year is pretend play items. Whether it’s baby dolls with accessories or something big like a doctor’s area, pretend play items are a hit!
First, I’d like to state that pretend play does not need to be expensive. There’s a ton of ways we use pretend play to get her engaged. I just splurged a little bit for Christmas this year to surprise her! Another big way I’ve saved in the past is by looking on Facebook Marketplace!
Anyways, here are some of the items Mila has asked for this year…
Hopefully with her wishlist, she’ll want to become a doctor one day!
Currently, Mila has been challenging herself with puzzles, matching games, and building blocks. I think she likes the brain work out!
Previously, I’ve shared different puzzles through Mila’s activity boxes. Some great puzzles you can get are name, alphabet, and number puzzles. They’re great for letter and number recognition. Mila also learns better when she can pick things up. I feel like when she actually can feel the letter, it helps her mentally grasp that information.
Another amazing business that Mila and I are working with is PicassoTiles.
We were able to get this Magnetic Face-Board Dress Up Puzzle Book, pictured above. Mila absolutely LOVED it! She played with this set for hours and loved following the cards to dress the characters up. She also went off script and made new outfits too. I loved how it gave us opportunities to talk about different cultures too.
PicassoTiles toys make great gifts for kids of all ages. Make sure to check them out!
Mila and I are getting so excited for this holiday season. Although we’re trying to hold off most of our activities until after Thanksgiving, we’re feeling the pressure!
A good middle ground was to make our Christmas Bucket List 2021.
This isn’t the first time Mila and I have made a Christmas Bucket List. During her second Christmas in 2019, we made a similar one! We had a ton of fun getting to every item, but she didn’t grasp it like she will this year.
Bucket lists are fun because you can prepare for an upcoming season and list what you want to do. Then, any extras are just added fun.
All of our Christmas Bucket List items are easy to do and most will just be at home.
Here’s what we came up with:
Decorate the Christmas Tree
Put up decorations
Drink hot coco
Write a letter to a santa
Have treats for Santa and his reindeer
Sing Christmas songs and dance to them
Christmas movie night
Eat a candy cane
Go look at Christmas lights
Make wrapping paper
Make gingerbread houses/people
Make an ornament
Wear Christmas pajamas
Take family photos
Christmas on the Square
Have a Merry Christmas
I can’t wait to celebrate Mila’s FOURTH Christmas season with her. She’s already so excited for Santa and the magic behind it all. And… she already wants to cross the items off.
Even though we paused our list due to the pandemic last year, I figured we needed to bring it back and make it our tradition.
As always, we’ll be sure to share our holiday experiences, crafts, and activities. Stay tuned.
All I did to make the physical list was unrolled craft paper and drew on it with markers. It was easy to do and it feels like we have another huge and interactive Christmas decoration for the year.
What would you add to your Christmas Bucket List that I missed? Let me know in the comments.
The holiday season goes so quick! I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving Treats and how to make them festive. Eventually, I came up with these Rice Krispie Turkeys.
All made from leftover Halloween candy, these turkeys are cute and perfect for Thanksgiving.
All I used to make these turkeys are:
As I mentioned above, everything I used to make these came from Mila’s candy stash. We got a ton of mini Rice Krispie treats and this seemed like a fun way to use them. There was always an abundance of candy corn left from the Fall Scarecrow Snack Mix.
I ended up cutting little slices of a twizzler to make the turkey’s wattle. Yes, that’s what it’s called.
Then, of course, we used eye sprinkles to complete the look.
To assemble, you simple just press everything into the Rice Krispie. It’s not too difficult. One tip I’d give you is to use your hands to hold the shape of the Rice Krispie while pressing everything else in.
That way none of the ‘feathers’ or eyes fall out.
To complete the look, I added a craft feather to the back. I think it looked adorable. I’d suggest wrapping washi tape around the feather so it doesn’t stick to the Rice Krispie.
Another added bonus of this fun Thanksgiving treat is that Mila loved helping make the faces too! This could end up being a really fun activity for Thanksgiving day with the family. Im always looking for kids activities to keep them busy and smiling.
Either way, these Rice Krispie Turkeys are tasty, easy to make, and will be perfect for your Thanksgiving Day.
What foods or treats do you make for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving? Let me know in the comments.
Are feathers the googly eyes of November? I think so! This Fine Motor Turkey Activity is the BASTE way to play while prepping for Thanksgiving.
Another huge positive for this activity is you only need two things: feathers and a colander.
You can make a turkey face too if you’d like.
You can find feathers at any dollar store for only a dollar and you get a ton of them. You can use them for so many other crafts and activities throughout the year too. They also make for a great sensory object.
For this Fine Motor Turkey Activity, all I instructed Mila to do was make a turkey out of those materials.
Mila had fun sorting the colors and making the turkey look ‘silly.’ It gave me time to make dinner and it would be a fun race for the kids on Thanksgiving Day.
I truly believe the simplest activities make the biggest impact.
As usual, Mila did an amazing job and I know other kids would like this activity too.
I love how this activity could be used for little kids too. It’s a great sensory activity that works on motor skills!
For older kids, you could do a timed activity where they either need to put all the feathers in OR take them out the quickest. It’s simple for kids of all ages.
What sort of activities do you do during Thanksgiving? Or does your family play any fun games?