Posted on April 12, 2017 by angathome
Usually we are well into our Jesus tree count-down in the lead-up to Easter, along with other special Easter traditions. This year, with the recent arrival of our precious twins, we have been somewhat disorganised and needed something quick and easy. I put together this discussion tray using a bunch of symbols representing parts of the Easter story and over a couple of meals we passed it around the table. The children took turns choosing one symbol and explaining to each other the bible events represented by each.
We usually read an Easter book each day, taking turns to unwrap one every evening after dinner. (We do the same at Christmas.) This year, the special Easter book collection is simply out in a box on the coffee table for the children to read through when we have a few spare moments.
We always try to have a bunny free Easter and this year is no exception, we have just scaled everything back and are keeping it very low key. Still fun and hopefully adding some more special family times to our children’s memories.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.), christian, Uncategorized | Tagged: Christian Easter traditions, Easter, Jesus Tree | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 14, 2017 by angathome
Our precious little twins arrived last Sunday at 33 weeks gestation. After a quick and safe double breach birth our little ladies are going well and will spend the next several weeks in hospital growing and learning to feed. We praise God for answered prayer and the amazing blessing of two new little girls to add to our family.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.) | Tagged: family | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 23, 2016 by angathome
Today’s post is a pot pouri of what we have been up to in the lead-up to Christmas, plus a couple of photos from friends who are also endeavouring to make this period special for their children. I have to admit we are shamefully behind in our Jesse tree readings so they will be stretching out after Christmas day this year, as will the opening and reading of our Christmas book count-down. The many special events we have been attending have made a big dent in our regular routine.
Some of those special events have been acting in the walking nativity “Road to Bethlehem” and the end of year choir and dance concerts.
The Blessing Buddies make their daily appearance. We baked, wrapped and delivered biscuits (cookies) to all the pastors and church workers and gave a gift to our lovely piano teacher.
Special toddler Christmas activities to keep our little one happily busy while the older children work on Christmas crafts.
Lots of special Christmas cooking, which for toddlers translates to simply tasting every ingredient and licking every scoop and spoon used in the process while occasionally actually tipping in an ingredient or two.
My friend Rachel’s nativity and Christmas exploring tray for her youngest and the first of her drawstring bags she is sewing for her Christmas book countdown.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.) | Tagged: Christmas | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 13, 2016 by angathome
One of the traditions we enjoy is to bless a neighbour or friend with a knock and run nativity. Each day in the lead up to Christmas, a piece of the nativity is secretly delivered to their door. The first day comes with an instruction poem (free printable below) letting them know what to expect and asking them to leave out the bag/basket each day for us to deliver the pieces into.
The Blessing Buddies idea for the day was to get started on delivering our nativity; a wooden version that we picked up from Target this year. We chose a bag with handles so we can hook it over our neighbour’s gatepost as we can’t actually access their front door without them knowing we are there.
The children love running across each day to leave the next piece without being discovered and we get to share the Christmas story with someone who may never have heard it before. Each piece comes with a bible verse that tells the relevant section of the Christmas story with a short description of the role that each particular piece plays.
If you do not live close enough to deliver a piece each day, I have an instruction poem for an all at once delivery here that allows you to make one single delivery with all the pieces numbered and instructs the recipient to unwrap one piece each day in the lead-up to the 25th of December.
Click below for a FREE PRINTABLE of the scrolls that you can attach to your own knock and run nativity pieces with 2 copies of the instruction poem – one for bags and one for baskets.
FREE PRINTABLE: knock-and-run-12-days-of-nativity-poem-scrolls
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.) | Tagged: 12 days of nativity, Blessing Buddies, Christmas, knock and run nativity, traditions | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 6, 2016 by angathome
Our little one is enjoying the new and exciting Christmas tray activities that have been arriving each day with the Blessing Buddies. Even during the holiday period, a flexible routine is essential for toddlers. While we break out of our usual day-to-day activities, I still try to make sure that my 2-year-old has some structure to her day and she enjoys doing her table activities after breakfast while her siblings work on their crafts and gifts throughout December.
This tinker tray of loose parts was a hit today as she used it to decorate the felt Christmas tree. After decorating our actual Christmas tree recently she understood exactly what this concept was all about. Of course they don’t all end up back in the tray quite the same way at the end!
Gingerbread men “cookies” to decorate plus a Christmas tree ice block sorting tray to use with the oversized tweezers or spoon. We will make gingerbread biscuits some time soon so this will make more sense to her after that experience.
While not too Christmassy, she loves these mini erasers so I have made them available for decorating the coloured rice Christmas tree, again with oversized tweezers to help with hand strength for pencil grip later on.
The Blessing Buddies have decided it’s too difficult to bring a new activity each day with so many nighttime commitments at the moment so for today’s blessing they set up a “What’s in the Box?” cupboard instead. They will add some new activities to it during December but it gives the children more time to play with and enjoy the special Christmas activities (plus it takes the pressure off me to remember to hide a new one each night!) The other children like to use some of the same activities for table time as well.
So “What’s in the Cupboard?”
The craft at the moment is hand-sewing designs onto plain red tea-towels from Ikea which we will use as gifts. Even our 4 year old is managing a decent running stitch.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.), Workjobs & Montessori activities for highchair, mat or table time(mathematics, language, practical life & others) | Tagged: Blessing Buddies, Christmas, highchair activities, home-made Montessori, loose parts, what's in the box? | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 3, 2016 by angathome
The Blessing Buddies have continued to focus on blessing some of the ladies from our church who are coming for a special Christmas high tea tomorrow. They have had the children making craft gifts, decorating and setting up the room and making the house look presentable for the coming visitors.
Our 3rd “What’s in the Box?” toddler activity for this year is some rainbow coloured metal jingle bells that combine beautifully with these magnetic construction tiles for a new dimension to the children’s play. My 2 year old is just getting the hang of constructing with these blocks so I think she will like this one.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.) | Tagged: Blessing Buddies, Christmas, what's in the box? | Leave a comment »
Posted on December 2, 2016 by angathome
My friend Kristy is at it again with amazing Christmas activities and traditions for her children. Here is a pictorial compilation that may spark a few ideas for your own family.
“Truth in the Tinsel” is another bible based advent count-down to Christmas that is used in the same way as a Jesse Tree count-down. Kristy got together with some friends and did a symbol swap so they each ended up with one complete set for the days of December.
Her daughter is loving decorating the felt Christmas tree each morning before breakfast and her MIL is knitting this amazing wool nativity piece by piece for them.
Kristy’s knock and run nativity is wrapped, labelled and ready to go. Both of us chose the same wooden nativity from Target this year as a fairly inexpensive way to bless a friend/neighbour and share the true story of Christmas with someone who may not have heard it before.
While not necessarily Christmas, this pizza shop invitation to play was so inviting that I want to have a go!
Kristy is super organised and makes up all kinds of amazing sensory tubs and activities for her little ones to enjoy. A little bit of preparation makes for some peaceful times ahead. Thanks for letting me share your ideas Kristy.
Now, all my other wonderful friends/readers who are busy making amazing traditions happen this Christmas at your house – how about some pics to share on my blog? We all feel inspired when we get to take a peak into what others are doing to make this Christmas season meaningful and special.
Filed under: Celebrations, events & festivals (Christmas, birthdays etc.), Guest post | Tagged: advent, Christmas, Guest post, invitations to play, Jesse tree, sensory tubs, toddler busy boxes, Truth in the tinsel | Leave a comment »