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Advent

Advent

Jesse Tree Tea Party

If you remember, we are doing a Jesse Tree this year for Advent. The girls have been loving it. Well we desided that we would host a tea party that highlights the different parts of the Jesse Tree using food! We started with creation and moved all the way through the bible to Jesus’ birth! The kids love all the foods and preparing all of it is an amazing reflection on the season for the moms! My mom was so creative working out what the food should be! I wanted to share this with you in case you were looking for one last way to share the true meaning of the season with your kids! Here are the foods we used!

DSCN8922Creation
(Blue Jello with cool whip for water and sky)

DSCN8921Adam and Eve’s apple.
(apples and gummy worms)

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Noah’s Ark
(Rainbows and Animals Crackers)

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DSCN8925Abraham and his Descendants
(His descendants would number the stars. So we had star shaped pasta)


DSCN8927Issac and Jacob
(The the sticks repersent the sticks for the offering of Issac and also for Jacob’s Ladder)

DSCN8928Joseph and the Coat of Colors
(Bread with peanut butter and sprinkles)

DSCN8929Moses
(The Flaming Bush and the 10 commandments {Which are cookies})

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DSCN8931Root of Jesse
(Carrots)

DSCN8933Star of David
(these were filled with chicken salad)

DSCN8935Joanah and the whale
(Goldfish crackers)

DSCN8936The angle
(Chocolate cover pretzles or angle wings)

DSCN8937Mary
(York peppermint m&ms)

DSCN8938Joseph
(Potato Straw for the Stable he found for Jesus to be born in)

DSCN8939Baby Jesus
(Lil’ Smokies with crescent rolls)

DSCN8942Before we ate, we read the stories from the bible and put the symbols on the jesse tree as we went. The everyone got to eat the food we made!  DSCN8946

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This is such a great, fun, and pretty easy way to help kids understand the plan of God through out history! Christmas is after all about the birth of our savior. I hope that you all are having a fun, and blessed season of advent! Let me know if you do or have done anything like this before with your kids! I would LOVE to hear all about it!

Advent Plans

Well it is advent and in the mist of all the Christmas fun that is flooding the world right now, it is time to prepare. Prepare for the real celebration of Christmas. So what are we doing this year? We are doing the tried and true Jesse Tree. For those of you who don’t know what that is, let me explain. Starting with the story of creation, we follow the plan of God right up to the birth of Jesus. Kinda like a great lesson of salvation history! It is called a Jesse tree because Jesse was the father of King David, the family the savior came from. It is a beautiful way to prepare for the season of Christmas and the girls are really excited about it. Traditionally there is a symbol for each story to hang on a tree. I didn’t do a tree, but I made a board with tags that had the number of days. The I used a free printable for the ornaments. Instead of printing them and cutting them into circles, I cut out the pictures and mod podged them onto some natural wooden circles that I had. They turned out really pretty and it is a simple daily plan! All we do is read the story and hang the ornament! Want to see what it looks like? Here is it is:

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What do you think? I think it looks pretty good. To make the board I glued tow pieces of foam core board together and then covered it with burlap (using hot glue). Hot glued ribbon on it to make it pretty and tacked on the tags with the numbers using tacks and it was all done! See easy! There are lots of ideas for making a Jesse Tree on my advent board over at pintrest! Be sure to stop by there! So now it is your turn. What are your favorite traditions and ways to get ready for the holidays? I would love to hear them! Leave a comment! Happy Advent!

Gingerbread Babies!


Gingerbread Baby
 


Today was a busy day here! I have a cookies exchange tomorrow with my sister in laws, so it was baking day here! The girls wanted to make gingerbread so badly! So I decided that it would be fun. After lots of taking about it, shopping for just the right sprinkles, we made our batch. The hardest part of it was waiting for the dough to chill. While we waited, the girls traced cookie cutters to make paper cookies. I pulled out all of the glitter bits and the girls decorated to their hearts content. After that we watched some videos of our favorite Gingerbread Boy story on Jan Brett’s website. Jan Brett wrote a very sweet and beautiful version of this story and it is by far my favorite! On her website, she has some videos of her reading the story to some children and of her cooking gingerbread babies! What I thought was really cool was that she decorated the cookies before she baked them! What I thought was brilliant was that it saved me the trouble of trying to frost them, and the kids got to have all the cookie fun right away instead of waiting for the cookies to cook and cool first! It was the most relaxing and fun time I have had making cookies with the kids! I rolled, they cut, and then they decorated! Simple and fun!

 

 
Yummy! I love days where we are having fun together! I really hope that you are all enjoying the season of love and joy! I know we are! Happy Holidays!
 


Advent Trays and Fun!

Well, as promised, here are some of the trays I have out in my Atrium right now for the season of Advent! I really have been trying to find new ideas for trays that will not only provide some new skills and a way to connect with the scripture that we hear during this time of year! Here is what I have come up with this year:

Straw Transfer

Make an Advent Wreath
(The kids take the wreath pieces and stick them in the clay, then add the candles)

Flipping Stars

Spooning Sparkles

Pouring Purple Beads
(Purple is the color of advent)

This is our prayer table set up for Advent!

We havent had very many works our in our classroom this year, but the other day, Pup and I did a fun extension with the red rods and the knobless cylinders! We made a tree and it was pretty cool!

 
What do you think? I have made a bunch of works in previous years, and here are some link for you to pop around and find some ideas!
 
 I would love to hear how you celebrate this time of year in your classroom! Share your ideas in the comments! Happy Schooling! I am linking up over at the Nativity Blog Hop! Stop by and find some more amazing ideas!
 


The Imagination Tree

A Year of Crafts~ Advent Calenders

Today we had our very last Year of Crafts Day! I think it was pretty good!Since it is the very beginning of advent, I thought it would be fun to make advent calenders! However, I have two kids and my friend has four, that makes a lot of calenders for each of us to hang up! So I found a way to use envelopes and turn it into a book! This way each kid can open an envelope everyday, but it will only take up a tiny bit of space! Perfect! I started with 24 brown mailing envelops for each kid, and some pretty scrapbook tags, stickers, buttons, beads, and rhinestones to make things pretty! The girls worked really hard, but after about ten, they were pretty tired! They finished them up though and I filled them with a bible verse for each day of the week! The verses are a part of the e-book Truth in the Tinsel. Each day there is a thought about the bible passage and a craft to help the ids ponder the meaning or the characters! It is a really great book and I think that the kids are going to love! Here are some of the “pages” in their books!

 
After all that work, the kids were STARVING! 😉 So I made a really sweet, pintrest inspired, nativity lunch! They loved it and it looked great! You cant ask for better then that!
 
Pretzel Rod Stable
Potato Sticks Straw
Hot Dog Baby Jesus’ in Crescent roll swaddling clothes.
Star Fruit Star

And of course, rice krispie sheep!
 
So there you have it for the last of our year! It was an amazing experience and fun! But dont worry…this year we are doing something new! Think storybooks and cooking! 😉 I hope you are having a great start to your advent season! Christmas will be here soon and its time to get ready! I cant wait!


Christmas Traditions!

Well, we are already for Christmas here! Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas in our home! The girls are just beside themselves with excitement, especially with all the gifts wrapped and under the tree! I cant wait to see their faces when they open their presents! In our family, we celebrate Christmas together on Dec 23. We open gifts and then we all head out to a nice restaurant to have a special Christmas meal! On Christmas eve, we go to my Mom’s house to open gifts and have dinner there.Then on Christmas morning the girls open their stockings filled by Santa, then we head to Mass and, after Mass we head to my in laws! So we have a really busy few days, but at least its spread out so its not so hectic! I really love the holidays and all the special Christmas moments that we have! I will have some pictures of the girls in all their Christmas excitement as soon as I can. But if I don’t get to the computer before Christmas I want to wish you all very blessed holiday and all the joy and peace that the Infant Jesus came to bring everyone on this very holy day! So hugs to you all! Peace and Smiles!

How do you spend Christmas?

Build a Bear Chirstmas fun!

Yesterday my sister took the girls to the Build a Bear store for their early Christmas gift! They were so excited!!!!! If you haven’t been there, it a place where you choose your animals and help stuff it. Then you pick out an outfit to make it special! It is a busy place full of fun and bears! 🙂 Both girls had an amazing time picking everything out!

Picking out their bear

Bunny had to have this!

Pup’s Bear is getting its stuffing!

Here she is kissing the heart to give the bear love. The heart goes in the bear before its sewn up.

Here is Bunny adding her heart!

After that it was time to fluff them all up!

Here is Pup with her Bear! She named it Teddy!

Bunny named hers Emma!

They were both so happy! Thanks to Aunt for all the fun she got them! They have been playing with them non stop since yesterday!!! It was a sweet Christmas Memory that I’m sure they will remember for a long time!


Taking Time Tuseday~ Ornaments

Today was a wonderful Tuesday for our craft time! We were able to have a few friends over and make some ornaments! We have been making ornaments to sell at our church for a donation. The funds we raise will go to help a charity. I am hoping that this will be a nice simple way to help Bunny think about helping others out! Our friends came over today to help us out with this! I had everything all set up to make the trees we worked on yesterday, and a new paper ornament that I found on, you guessed it, Pintrest! Here is a link to the ones I found. I had all the paper pre cut into strips and ready to go. The girls had to measure out the strips using the ruler (great math work). They needed one 6″ piece, two 7″ pieces, and two 8″ pieces. Then next thing they needed to do was put the medium pieces one on either side of smallest strip, then the largest on either side of the outside. Next we line up the edges and staple the end. To finish the we lined the other ends up and stapled it. This allowed the longer pieces to bow out to form an orb type shape! However it was a little trickier then we thought it would be. The girls needed quite a bit more help then I thought. They did a great job, but after a few of then they switched gears and started making cards using the left over bits of paper! So I finished the ornaments while they made some beautiful cards! I figured we can sell those too! Here are some pictures of out work today!

Here is our tray!
Yes that is glitter paper!!! And you can also see my example ornament.

Here is Bunny measuring so carefully!

She showed her friend how to make the tree ornaments!
She did a great job!

HL wanted to glue felt and paper! He inspired the card making!

The card making was a hit!
 In fact I left the card stock and scraps out on a tray for Bunny to work on some more this week!

Here are the finished cards!

This one was made by CM. I love this one!

Bunny did this and I love the gifts at the bottom of the tree!

HL made this one and I love the sticking out arms! There is one on each side! Too Cute!

Bunny made this one using the cookie cutters!
So that is what we did today! All the kids had fun crafting and of course playing!!!! It was really wonderful to have some fun with out friends and to take the time to do something that could help others! I have a donation button on the left hand side of my blog if you want to donate to Bunny’s Christmas Donation! Happy Christmas Crafting!


Montessori Monday~ Advent Week 3~ DIY Ornaments

Its Monday again and that means its time for my Montessori Monday post! I have a few new trays that the girls are really excited about and they are of course Christmas themed! I love being able to help bring the Christmas joy into our school routine! So here are the new trays for the week:

Flipping Cookies
(This idea is from The Work Plan)

Tracing around cookie cutters
(This idea is from Montessori Moments. I didn’t put it on a tray since they can take it to the table where the pencils and paper are all ready to go!)

Christmas Ornament Tray
(This idea is one I found on Pintrest here. I modified it a bit so the girls could do it all on their own!)
Materials:
5×5″ pieces of paper
pipe cleaners (cut in half)
beads
star stickers
(I found some self adhesive wooden stars at Hobby Lobby)
Circle inset
Scissors
Directions:
Have the child trace and cut 2 or three circles
Then the child makes small cuts around the edges to add dimension
Next cut a slit to the middle of the circle
Fold the edges around to make a cone.
Staple it together
Do this for all the circles then cut a small hole in the top of the cone
Take the pipe cleaner and fold a knot in the end
Push it put the under first cone
Add a bead, then the next cone. (another bead and cone if you have 3)
The fold the rest of the pipe cleaner into a loop and add the sticker star!
Super easy and fun!
The girls were so excited to try out the new works and they also had fun working all the older works too! (I did shut them in the school room with me so that they could work better, Pup and Bug keep running around the house). I love watching them work and learn! Here are some of the works I was able to catch!
Pup wanted this work right away!

Bunny wanted to trace the cookie cutters. She worked on this for a long time and loved it!

Bug joined her and did one of each, and was she proud of her work! She is still working on holding a pencil and writing, so this was right up her alley! She loved it!

Bunny cut all of hers out!

After they finished the tracing they all wanted to know how to make the tree. So I gave the presentation and they got to work right away!

They all loved their trees and I think that we have a new tray that will be alot! I loved that Bunny was able to do all of it alone, and Bug just needed help with the stapler!

Tadpole was really working hard on this for a while.

While I helped Pup, Bunny was helping Bug with her letter sounds! 🙂

She did a great job with sounds. I gave her the sound “o” today. We’ll see if she remembers it later! 🙂

While I was working with the other kids, Pup did all of this on her own! 🙂

Here is Bunny working on the reading work I made the other day! I added some new sentences for her to try! It was really hard for her and I wasn’t able to give her a ton of help since Tadpole needed me too. She was able to read one whole one alone, but she really was frustrated and upset that I couldn’t help her. I hope that doesn’t make her hate the work.

The chalk board with water was a HUGE hit again!!!! They all loved it! Pup and Bug both practiced shapes and a few letters! It is such great writing practice!

Bug and Pup wrapped gifts and they did an amazing job!
 I was amazed at how well they did! All I did was rip the tape off for them! Christmas here they come!

Bunny built the trinomial cube outside the box today! She was so proud when she finished!

Pup was proud of her gift wrapping too!

After a while Bunny did more trees! We have a plan for all these ornaments that we have made. We will have a new ornament tray tomorrow!

And Tadpole really made a leap in development! He knocked down the pink tower, and then…..he built what he knocked down back up!!!!!! Yeah!!!!! I am so happy that he is getting it!
So that was our day today! Join me tomorrow for another ornament craft and some taking time fun! If you want to see more Montessori work, please be sure to visit Deb at Living Montessori Now and Nicole at One Hook Wonder for their Montessori Monday Link up! I liked up there! Happy Schooling everyone!


Hot Cocoa and Happy Moments

Today my hubbie took us all out for a walk in the very brisk winter- like air! It was so great to get out for a few minutes and to feel the cobwebs blow out of my brain! We didn’t stay out long however, since the breeze was SO cold! We headed instead to get some hot cocoa! The place that we got it from has the best hot cocoa that I have ever had! It must be made with whole milk and have a million calories in it, but is worth every drop! It is also worth every happy moment I had with my family! I love it when my hubbie makes us all get out together! It is so easy as it get colder to just stay inside and never get out! It is amazing to take time to be together! These small moments are the ones that mean the most!


Peace and Smiles to you all! I hope that you all have many happy moments too!
garriott.francina@mailxu.com loverichstacie@mailxu.com