Holiday Crafts + Activities

This year is extra special because we teamed up with Julia from @weneedmoreglitter to share some fun (and easy!) holiday crafts and activities.  She is amazing- each of her posts remind us we can use a lot of what we already have at home to create fun and simple activities with our kids- that truly make their day.  Without further ado, let’s get playing! 

CHECK BACK WEEKLY FOR NEW ACTIVITIES! 

 

ACTIVITY: MELTED SNOWMAN

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 Prep time: 5 minutes  

Ingredients: construction paper, scissors, shaving cream, white glue

Optional ingredients: white or clear glitter

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Mix 1/2 part shaving cream and 1/2 part white glue together until it’s meringue-like consistency.  (Start with 1/2 cup of each and go from there if you want more.)

2.  Cut construction paper in snowman shapes (eyes, nose, hat, buttons, etc.)

3. Spread mixture onto construction paper. 

4. Add snowman accessories however you'd like. 

5.  Add glitter if you would like and let it dry.  

 Please note: It takes a long time to dry, but once it does it’s so puffy and fun and will bounce back when it’s lightly pressed! 

 

ACTIVITY: MAGNETIC CHRISTMAS TREE

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Prep time: less than 5 minutes

Ingredients: construction paper, regular magnets or magnatiles and magnaformers  

DIRECTIONS:  

1. Cut Construction paper in shape of a Christmas tree or in triangles like we did and stack them in a tree shape.

2. Place magnets on the side of the tree and let your babe decorate away!

Insider tip: Great activity to set up while you are cooking so that babe has something to do in the kitchen.  

ACTIVITY: CHRISTMAS WREATH EXCAVATION

Prep time: freeze overnight  Ingredients: bundt pan, water, food coloring, random items such as jingle bells, pom-poms and some Christmas erasers (all from dollar store or target), random tools like water dropper, fork, & hammer if you are comfortable and assisting!  .  DIRECTIONS:  1️⃣Pour water in a bundt pan with some green food coloring  2️⃣ Place random fun items inside  3️⃣ Freeze overnight  4️⃣ Enjoy! Place on a tray with tools 🛠 and watch your kid be entertained for an hour.

Prep time: freeze overnight

Ingredients: bundt pan, water, food coloring, random items such as jingle bells, pom-poms and some Christmas erasers (all from dollar store or target), random tools like water dropper, fork, & hammer if you are comfortable and assisting!

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DIRECTIONS:

1️⃣Pour water in a bundt pan with some green food coloring

2️⃣ Place random fun items inside

3️⃣ Freeze overnight

4️⃣ Enjoy! Place on a tray with tools 🛠 and watch your kid be entertained for an hour.

ACTIVITY: CHRISTMAS CRAYONS

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Prep time: 20 minutes

MATERIALS NEEDED: BROKEN CRAYONS, COOKIE CUTTERS, ALUMINUM FOIL, COOKIE SHEET, OVEN

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 275. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or foil.

  2. Have kiddos unwrap and break old crayons. Fold foil tightly around one side of metal cookie cutter. Fill cookie cutters 3/4 full with crayon pieces. Bake for 20 mins (or until completely melted)

  3. Remove from oven and transfer entire cookie cutter onto a plate and place in freezer for 15 mins. Once crayons are completely cooled they should easily pop out of the cookie cutters and be a new large festive crayon!

    These make a cute DIY stocking stuffer or a kid-to-kid present. Fun for the kids to make them together and for each other and to remind the kids that it is the season of giving.

From Julia of @weneedmoreglitter:

I worked in special education for many years and loved finding ways to connect with my students- mostly nonverbal- through art and sensory activities. Now I am a bio Mama of 2 and a foster Mama and have found so much joy in creating activities together with my children. I was inspired to start @weneedmoreglitter as a creative outlet for me as a stay at home mom and a way of sharing easy and fun ideas to enjoy time with your family. I like to share simple, cheap activities that use mostly supplies you already have in your home and have minimal prep. I'm all about process art, getting messy and making memories!

 

 

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Babies and Toddlers

little gifts for your little one

perfect for the smallest member of your family

reindeer

why we love it: the sweetest little reindeer is so sweet and a simple way to add holiday spirit to your nursery

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nou nou bear

why we love it: so soft and snuggly and my 2 year old carries him everywhere

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wander and roam  

 why we love it: these mats are gorgeous and the right amount of squishy. we love that they are two sided and gorgeous in your space while keeping your baby’s play area padded. our only complaint: wish it came in bigger sizes!

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happy oak toys 

why we love it: we love wooden toys, especially when they can be used for making learning fun.

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hippo

why we love it: comes in blush and gray and small and large. love to give this in a baby shower gift - who wouldn’t love to snuggle up to an adorable hippo

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noah’s friends

why we love it: stuffed animal parties are all the rage and who noah’s friends bring a lot of charm to the party

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jellyfish

why we love it: definitely on our list for new babies! this new product is not only adorable, the octopus “arms” are supposed to remind your new baby of an umbilical cord and help soothe

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tegu stacker

why we love it: we love tegu so were excited to see this new stacking and colorful product. would be a nice start or addition to any collection

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doughnut rattles

why we love it: sure to be a hit at a baby shower - doughnuts are almost always a good idea

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gorilla

why we love it: his long arms truly make him adorable

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pretzel rattles

why we love it: the New Yorker in us obviously loves this rattle toy

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little book of you

why we love it: one of our favorite gifts this year (you’ll also find it under our personalized gifts gift guide) because it is so unique and really makes baby books easy to put together. love that you can read this book to your little one to and tell them everything from where you lived when they were born to what the weather was like to how much milk cost that year

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banana brush

why we love it: super easy to hold and great for teething babies

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wiwurka toys

why we love it: literally almost everything is on our list from this place. perfect and safe way for your little climbers to explore

image courtesy of wiwurka toys

image courtesy of wiwurka toys

bath toys

why we love it: every babe needs bath toys and we love that these next two won’t get moldy and gross

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grapple toy

why we love it: great for restaurants or on the go. this handy toy holds other toys. (now don’t you want to put this on your highchair already?)

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melissa and doug wooden blocks

why we love it:  they will use these for years and years.  We also found it a good toy both our 1 and 3 year olds could play with together and still play with at 2.5 and 4.5 years.   

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Subscriptions

gifts that keep on giving

 

Kiwi crate  

why we love it:  activities are fun and stress free when everything you need comes in one box.  Each month a box ones with a few activities that allow the child to do a fun project and learn something new.  Great gift to ask grandma for and to use on rainy days stuck inside.  

Image courtesy of kiwi crate

Image courtesy of kiwi crate

whimsical woolies

why we love it: my little girl is loving getting a new necklace each month with this fun and playful subscription  

Image courtesy of whimsical woolies

Image courtesy of whimsical woolies

little poppy co  

 why we love it: new bows each month are fun, especially when they are made with good quality like these

Image courtesy of little poppy co

Image courtesy of little poppy co

 highlights magazine

why we love it:  we love the activity pages and let’s be real- this is nostalgic too 

Image courtesy of highlights

Image courtesy of highlights

fancy sprinkles

why we love it:  sprinkles make life more fun.  perfect for the baking enthusiast in your life- a monthly box of sprinkles

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veggie buds club

why we love it:  great way to help kids learn to love veggies and offers fun recipes you can cook together . 25% off all subscriptions on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

 

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Move

TOYS THAT ENCOURAGE MOVEMENT

way to play road

why we love it: it’s waterproof, so perfect to play indoors and out. we also love that kiddos can build the road however they like. this is on our christmas list this year!

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kinderfeets wooden balance board

why we love it: my son is always moving so this is awesome. he rocks and rolls, he uses as a slide and as a bridge for his cars. one of our favorite toys at home

*the one we have is currently unavailable but we found this similar one on amazon for $99 (we don’t have it but reviews are good)

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banwood bikes

why we love it: could your babe cruise in a more adorable style? stay tuned for pedals coming early 2019 if balance bike isn’t your thing.

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scooter

why we love it: we’ve been using micro kick board scooters since our firsts were one and a half years old! So easy, so fun and so adorable. (and so convenient for city living!)

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 sarah’s silks giant play silk + clips

why we love it: transform any space into a playscape, chase the rainbow, really can do anything with this multi use playsilk. clips help hold it in place

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 calm mind kit 

why we love it: we all need a break and a way to help learn how to control our emotions. this is an amazing teacher curated starter collection to do exactly that

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Pretend Play

TOYS FOR IMAGINATIVE PLAY

sarah’s silks swords  

why we love it: the softest/friendliest play sword you will find for your little knight in shining armor.

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loog mini guitar

why we love it: just look at it. perfect for a little rockstar

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rainbow building tray  

 why we love it: these blocks could be used for anything including rainbow city road, a tall tower, etc.

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candy lab toy cars

why we love it: these cars are made from gorgeous solid beechwood and water-based paint that are sure to go on a lot of adventures

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goose grease peg dolls

why we love it: these dolls are used time and time again. they are adorable and my son loves them!

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swoop bags

why we love it: after all the pretend play is over, throw it in this amazing bag and call it a day.  literally you will gift yourself time back in your day.

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hape kitchen

why we love it: not too big and under $150 with a serving area.

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tegu toys

why we love it: perfect for all different ages. One of our fav toys for young toddler and older toddlers to play with together.  Easy to use and so fun to create! 

 

 

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cubebot

why we love it: perfect for busy hands and the cutest robot around  

 

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Make

CAN CREATING GO OUT OF STYLE? (NO).

kwik stix

why we love it: this is always a favorite and a go to gift for us! they can (and are) used on literally everything.

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easel (crate and kids)

why we love it: gorgeous and holds up fine against little boys (you know what we are talking about!)

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melissa and doug mini easel (small space option):

why we love it: perfect for small spaces, two sided and magnetic.

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confetti crayons 

why we love it: an attractive combination of colors

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kid made modern craft box 

why we love it: everything you need to jump start your craft collection

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scratch and scribble

why we love it: Fun and different take on coloring

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meteor monsters

why we love it: molding dough that doesn’t dry out in a travel size

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magic puffy pens

why we love it: add heat and your artwork puffs up into 3D works of art

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omy reuseable wall stickers

why we love it: they glow and the dark and can be moved around easily without damaging walls.

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omy coloring placemats

why we love it: perfect for restaurants while you wait for food. tons of details to color or for playing eye spy.

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omy gel crayons

why we love it: smooth crayons and love to throw these in the diaper bag for on the go since they have caps

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omy giant coloring poster new york and california

why we love it: a fun way to learn about two towns dear to heart

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kinetic sand

why we love it: this is an awesome toy to play with, buy a few bags and a container to play in and add construction toys and sand toys - your 2.5+ will love it.

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boogie board scribble and play

why we love it: perfect for travel, rainbow swirls and great for doodlers or learning how to write and ABCs.

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Give Back

This Holiday season, we are focusing our philanthropic efforts on helping people affected in Northern California in #CAMPFIRE because it is so close to home. Tara’s parents live (but are okay) in the affected area and Emily’s husband has been on a hotshot crew (Wildland Firefighter) in Northern California for the last 11 years. Needless to say, we want to do as much as we can. Below you’ll find some ways to help if you so choose, we (and so many others!) will be forever grateful.

Wildland Firefighter Foundation

 https://wffoundation.org/

Some of the firefighters fighting the fire actually lost their home in the fire too. The best way to help wild land firefighters is by donating to the foundation below.

Boys and Girls Club of Chico

http://bgcnv.org/donate

The Boys and Girls Club can always use donations, especially when resources are sparse.

 

Pleasant Valley Baptist Church

https://www.pvbaptist.org/campfire

Has around 250 evacuees and currently needs monetary donations and visa and gift cards

Neighborhood Church of Chico

http://www.ncchico.org/camp-fire-information/ 

Another evacuation center that needs monetary donations, vida and gift cards, bleach and antibacterial wipes, new socks and new underwear

How do items make our gift guide?

We aim to share sensory rich toys that encourage creative play, using your imagination, exploring through movement and endless open play. The toys should be able to be used in more than one way (in most cases) and add activities to your home not clutter.

Advent Calendars

We love countdowns - and there is nothing like the countdown to Christmas! Below you’ll find some of our favorite Advent Calendar ideas - and all you have to do is click on the image to purchase.

Pip Sticks Sticker Advent Calendar - Sticker Lovers click HERE

image courtesy of pipsticks.com

image courtesy of pipsticks.com

Meri Meri Advent Calendar - Train (recommended for 6 and up)


Meri Meri Advent Calendar - Woodland Creatures



Petit Collage Tree Advent Calendar

LEGO City Advent Calendar (recommended for 5 and up)