Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Christmas Countdown 2.0 (Week 1)

As promised, here's a look at the first 7 activities we've done as part of our Christmas Countdown this year.

Day 1: Deck the Halls
Fa-la-la-la-laaaaaa...... Decorating at our house means that I get out the snowflake and Nativity window clings and let Ry stand on his little stool and stick them to the windows. Then, peel them off. Then, stick them on in a different order. Then, peel them off. And repeat.

Then, after he goes to bed, M and I decorate the rest of the house, because I want to actually get the ornaments on the tree without them breaking or being eaten or thrown away. (Ry's newest 'game'. "I help!" he says as he 'cleans up' and throws Mommy's socks, bills, crackers, makeup, etc. in the trash can.)

I confess, I expected to do a LOT more re-decorating of the tree this year, but he's been really good and apparently listened to my lecture (See the pretty tree? Let's keep it pretty and leave the ornaments on the tree. No touch, understand?) We've only had to put ornaments back on once.  Knock on wood.

Day 2: Mom's Choice

I was having a down day and not feeling too well, so Mom's choice was something on the quieter side. I chose to share my favorite Christmas movie with Ry this year - A Charlie Brown Christmas.  It never gets old. Ry's probably a little young for the story and he didn't really get it what it was all about, but he laughed and danced along with the music and seemed to really like Snoopy.

Day 3: Felt Christmas Tree
I think I expected Ry to be more excited about this than he was. It may be that he lumped it together with the rest of the decorations ("no touch") in his mind so it took him a few days before he actually played with it more than once. He's like, "That's nice, Mom. Where's my Legos?" We'll see how much use he gets out of it in the next few weeks.

To make the wall tree, I cut a tree shape out of green felt (about 36 inches tall) and taped it to the wall with double stick tape. Then, I used scraps of colored felt to make "ornaments", candy canes, and a star for the top. I glued some pom-poms and other bits of felt to dress it up a little. I think it came out kind of cute!

Note, I put originally put Velcro on the back of the ornaments so the pieces would stick better, but they ended up sticking too well and when Ry tried to take the ornaments off the felt tree, they pulled the tree off the wall. Hmmm... So I took the Velcro off the ornaments and found that the felt sticks pretty well to itself, so no Velcro needed.

Day 4: Find and Fill Nativity
I got the idea from No Time For Flashcards and adapted it down a little for Ry this year. He's a little young for the scavenger hunt portion, so we just set up his Fisher Price nativity set while I told him who the characters were and how they were important to the Christmas story.

Mom fail moment: He got the nativity set last year and has played with it several time since, so I thought it would be no big deal to do this activity. Our set plays Away In A Manger when you press the angel on the top and apparently, he wasn't expecting that, so it surprised him and he cried. (Probably had a lot to do with it being close to nap time, he can get a little cranky or teary eyed when he's tired.)

He wasn't interested in having anything else to do with the nativity set for a day or two after that, but he's warmed up to it now and I even caught him playing with it by himself yesterday. Next week, I may try sitting with him and removing the characters one at a time and see if he can name them and put them back. Note to self - try this again earlier in the day!

Day 5: Make Cookies
I whipped up some cookie dough and rolled it out, then Ry helped cut out the cookies.  He thought that was fun, but not as much fun as eating the raw cookie dough. "Why bake?" seems to be his motto. I used this gluten free, dairy free, egg free recipe and topped it with some whipped carob icing.

Got to admit, he was as big a fan of the frosted, finished cookies as he was of the raw dough. Kids... there's no accounting for taste... :)

"I don't have cookie dough in my mouth!" Right...

Day 6: Christmas Signing Time
If you know us, you know we're big fans of Signing Time, a series of videos that teaches babies and kids how to use sign language.  It's really helped increase Ry's vocabulary and it's much easier to understand him when he speaks and signs together (although it gets easier to understand his speech as he gets older).

Anyway, I bought the Signing Time Christmas Collection and it was a big hit! We reviewed some of the signs we learned last Christmas and a whole lot of new ones.  I also loved the Christmas (Bible story) musical drama at the end of the video, with the whole drama interpreted in sign. Beautifully done. Best holiday purchase this year, hands down.

Day 7: Christmas Tunes Dance Party
This was a lot of fun. We cranked up our Christmas station on Pandora and I got out our jingle bells and we danced around the living room. Ry has been walking around randomly saying "Jingle Bells" ever since.

Bonus, he was so tired out afterwards, he took an extra long nap. Hmmm... maybe we should do this more often...

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1 comment:

  1. Lots of fun ideas. I especially love his "cookie dough" face!


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