Advent Calendar Activities Day 21-24

I know it’s February, but only by now have I managed to finish the last post about our advent activities of 2015. It’s hard to find time to work on the blog next to two kids.

So here comes some Christmassy and snowy projects:

  1. Count snowflakes

    I found this easy snowflake counting activity on a website I’ve been returning to a lot lately: Playdough to Plato

    I printed and laminated the snow scene cards. I gave E. a lot of snowflakes (I had different kinds at home, like felt, Styrofoam or shiny plastic)

    I thought putting the right number of snowflakes on the mat as it is shown would be way too easy for E. so I sneaked in some skip counting in the activity. I gave her the card with only the even numbers on – one at a time (2, 4, 6, 8, 10)

    At the beginning she didn’t understand why, but after having finished with card 6 she asked for card 8. So I knew immediately she understood what we were doing.

    After the activity she played a little more with the snowflakes. She grouped them according to their sizes, then made some patterns with the help of them.

  2.  Body swap

    I prepared this activity last year but she didn’t enjoy it so much. This year it wasn’t a hit either.

    I took the idea from itsybitsyfun.com. If you click on the link you’ll find the printable for free. You just need to print and cut out the body parts and give them to your child to make the snowman, the elf, the reindeer, and Santa. If your child enjoys this kind of activity (mine does not) you can build funny bodies, like one with a Santa head but a reindeer body and elf legs.

  3. Make a nativity scene

    When E. was 1,5 years old I made an advent calendar for her in which she found little farm animals every day and, as we were getting closer to the 24th, also some angels and the Holy Family. On the 24th we made the whole scene.

    November 2013 

    The base I made out of a chocolate box. I glued a brown sheet of felt on it added some shiny felt stars. This is what we called the stable and this is where we placed all the animals one by one every day.

    This year she got all the animals and angels, a Christmas tree too (not so authentic, eh?) to make the scene herself. (Although it was Christmas time, she  insisted on wearing her Halloween Jack-o-lantern costume)

  4. Christmas workout

    As I knew the 24th would be very busy time for us, parents, I prepared something dynamic for E. to run around and drain her Christmas excitement with one of her grandmas.

    I printed the Christmas workout cards and the fun could began. I couldn’t take photos as I was busy with the food and decoration for the evening. But as I heard it E. had a good time.

    http://www.toddlerapproved.com

    Join us next year too. I’m sure there will be some repetition of these activities but I’ll find out some new ones too.

    Have a look at the other advent activities:

    Advent Calendar Activities Day 1-6

    Advent Calendar Activities Day 7-13

    Advent Calendar Activities Day 14-20

Advent Calendar Activities Days 14-20

I know we are past Christmas time but I was busy with giving birth 😉 So here come some more Advent activities we did with E. waiting for Christmas (2015) to come:

  1. Snowflake out of popsicle sticks (Day 14)

    I decided to give some Christmas presents to the nursery teachers (2), the dinner lady (1) and the afternoon nurse (1). In the gift there was a bath bomb, a box of chocolates and something that E. made for them. You can see in the earlier advent post the Christmas baubles she made with pompoms and jingle bells.

    For the other two presents we prepared 2 snowflake ornaments that could be a great decoration for the Christmas tree.

    What you need (for 1 snowflake):
    – 3 popsicle sticks or spatulas (you can buy them in a box of 100 at the chemist’s or in crafts shops but the latter is more expensive)
    – blue and white paint
    – paint brush
    – shiny sprinkle (I had tiny, blue and silver stars)
    – sliver snowflakes (optional)
    – gray ribbon

    How to do it:

    Before she started I glued 3 popsicle sticks together in the shape of a snowflake.

    E. painted the popsicle sticks white and blue. She also experimented to mix the 2 colours to get a light blue hue. She painted both sides of the 2 snowflakes.

    While the paint was wet she scattered some sprinkle on them. This was the time she had enough. She did a great and thorough job with the painting and the sprinkling.

    We needed to wait for the paint to dry, so I put the snowflakes aside to return to them later when they’re dry. She didn’t want to do anything else with them later on, so I needed to finish them. I added the sparkly, silver snowflakes at the end of the stick and also attached a silver ribbon on top so that they can be hung on the Christmas tree.

    Unfortunately, the photo I took of the final result is blurry.

    She helped me put the presents together. She also made a Christmas card to each little packet with stickers and she traced my letters inside but signed them all by herself. This is what they looked:

  2. Roll and Count Christmas (Day 15)

    After the crafty day we played a counting game. I found this activity in the Christmas Tot pack by 3dinosaur. I printed pages 37/38.  I laminated the counting sheet and added green marbles for the counting.

    Opening the activity pack

    I didn’t make the die but cut out the pictures and stuck them on a big Styrofoam die we have at home.

    The whole family played. At the very beginning we all guessed which picture will have 5 counters for the first time. Then we rolled the die and placed the marbles on the mat.

  3. Window stickers (Day 16)

    I didn’t need to prepare much for this activity and still, it was fun. What’s more, this one also involved the whole family.

    I bought (at KIK) winter and Christmas themed window stickers. I just presented to E. and she did the job. Actually she did a great job decorating her windows.

  4. Christmas tree decoration with play dough (Day 17)

    I printed a Christmas tree and coloured it, then laminated it. I put out some play dough, and Christmas related moulds like a candle, a bell, a circle shape for the baubles, a star etc.


    The fun began. E. decorated the Christmas tree and was really proud of the final product.

  5. Christmas patterning  (Day 18)

    I made the Christmas pattern activity back in 2014. We hadn’t got to play with it then but a year later. The set needs retouching and after that I’ll add it as a free printable.

  6. Decorate the Christmas trees with pompoms – counting activity (Day 19)

    I found this counting activity on one of my fav blogs: Welcome to Mommyhood.

    I printed and laminated the tree cards and provided E. with small, colourful pompoms.

    She ordered the number cards then placed the pompoms on them accordingly.

    She wasn’t too fascinated by this activity. It wasn’t too challenging for her, though she liked the pompoms, which she grouped according to colours at the end of the activity.

  7. Roll and build a snowman (Day 20)

    Here is the link to the printable: roll and build a snowman. (ateachingmommy has a Snow and ice pack, which is more than worth downloading including a lot of winter activities for preschoolers)

    You just need to print the snowman parts. It is optional to laminate them but I did as I want to play with it more and probably next year two kids will test its durability.

    E. selected the different shapes and grouped them before the game.

     The hat suited the dog too 🙂

    I presented them with a big die then we could start playing. E. called her Daddy to play:
    – Daddy, come. A lot of people have to play this game.

    So the three of us played.

    We rolled the die and got a body part, a hat or a scarf depending on the number we threw. The first person to finish the snowman was the winner.

    If your little one doesn’t like it if he or she is not the winner, you can build the snowman as a group.

    I’ll be back with 4 more Advent activities you might like and wish to try next Christmas time.

Advent Calendar Activities Days 7-13

Here come the activities of the second week of our Advent:



Christmas wreath from pasta – fail 😦 (Day 7)

  1. What you need:
    * pasta (farfalle)
    * green paint
    * paintbrush
    * glue
    * cardboard ring (cut out of a cereal box)
    * red ribbon/bow
    * glitter sprinkle (I left it out this time as E. loves to spread it all over the flat)

    How to make it:
    Cut out the cardboard ring beforehand for your child. Let the kid paint the pasta green and let them dry. Glue them on the cardboard ring in a circle. Tie a bow (I tied it) and glue it on. You can hang it on a door with some more ribbon.

    In our case E. wasn’t in the mood to finish the wreath after having finished with the painting. She started to paint her apron and hair, then it was time to stop.

    here still happily painting the pasta

    We’ll get back to this project later on as the outcome is so sweet.

    Though we used a lot of English phrases:
    This kind of pasta is called farfalle.
    – I have paint all over my hand.
    – Can I get some more paint?
    – I don’t want to do it any more.

    —o—o—o—o— UPDATE—o—o—o—o— coming soon—o—o—o—o—

    It should have turned out something like this… but better later than never…
    bow-tie-noodle-wreath-christmas-craft-for-kids-

  2. Christmas dominoes + Santa patterning and reindeer puzzles with numbers (Day 8)

    The domino was a great hit. We needed to play it 3 times and the next day when E. was with her Grandma, she showed the game to her and played it in Hungarian several times as well.

    Source: http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/christmas-dominoes

    If she hadn’t been interested in the dominoes, I had a plan B this time. Finally, we did the plan B tasks as well since there was a lot of time before dinner.

    Source: http://gyereketeto.hu/kiemelt/mikulas-minibook (Santa and reindeer puzzles)


    Christmas tree puzzle (Day 9)
    As E. spent the afternoon with her Grandma, I didn’t want to put great pressure on either of them so I’d just prepared all the previous tasks and this extra one. E. showed them all to her Grandma and played with them all afternoon… this time in Hungarian.

    No photos have been taken but here is the source where you can find the Christmas tree puzzle (Part 1)

    Sticker Christmas tree (Day 10)


    I printed out a Christmas tree template from the internet and made some dark green and light green cardboard Christmas trees. St. Nicolas has brought E. loads of Chritsmassy and winter stickers (with owls, snowmen, snowflakes, Christmas trees, presents etc.) so I wanted her to use them in this activity.

    She needed to decorate the Christmas trees but there was a tiny bit of educational twist. I wrote letters on the trees and she had to cover each with a sticker. She needed to use a sticker which started with the same letter (C – candy cane or Christmas tree, B – bell, S – star, snowflake, snowman, G – gingerbread man, A – angel, P – present etc.) The dark tree had letters corresponding Hungarian words and the light green trees the English ones. (We did this task in two or three rounds)

    She enjoyed it soooo much, she was busy with it for 40-45 minutes each time. (Sometimes she asked for a letter so she could cover it with something special (H for holly, for instance).

    As I made the same number of trees as we are in the family, Daddy and I helped out a bit. (Not as if she’d needed any, just for fun. It could be a great family activity.)

    When she’d finished with all the trees, I stuck them up on a ribbon in a line and displayed it on her door frame. She likes it a lot. Mostly the little green bell at the bottom (you can’t see it in the photo.)

    Make a Christmas card for a friend (Straw Christmas tree) (Day 11)


    Again I prepared everything for her beforehand. A A5 size construction paper (yellow) folded in half. Inside I wrote MERRY CHRISTMAS! (in capitals) and signed some spots with crosses where she could stick her stickers (we are in a sticker craze phase). I’d also cut up some straws (red and green) with different length so she can build a Christmas tree in the front (of course I provided her with some glue too.)

    First, she stuck in the Christmas stickers.

    Second, she traced the letters in Merry Christmas and signed the card.

    Lastly, she built the Christmas tree on the front (She wanted to put a star on the top – “Can I get a star? I want to put it on top” so I gave her a golden felt one – this is what I could find.) She needed help with the straws as they were too thin for her little hands. But the final result was really nice. (Here is a very bad quality shot of the card. I had very little time to take photos as B. came earlier and we really needed to focus on finishing the card. But you can get the idea.)

    Christmas ornaments: baubles filled with pompoms  (Day 12)

    (present for the nursery teachers)

    From last year I had two plastic baubles which can be taken apart. I gave E. some pompoms (red, yellow and green – some of them sparkly) and jingle bells (gold and silver). She needed to decide what colour combination she wished to fill the baubles with. It was also her choice which bauble would go to which nursery teacher. (The light/dark green is for R. and the red and yellow is for M.)

    It’s a real easy craft (the only thing I did at the end was fixing the bottom of the baubles with transparent cello-tape and tied a ribbon on it.) Even a 2 year old can do it. What’s more, you can fill the bauble up with anything: beads, ribbons, nuts, fake snow, coloured rice, tiny Kinder egg objects, torn crepe paper etc. – you name it)

    Christmassy pre-writing practice (Day 13)


    As I have already mentioned I found a great Christmas pack for preschoolers (it has a version for toddlers too – see the source information bellow), which offers a great number of activities: puzzles, pre-writing activities, find the difference, memory games – just to name a few). So I printed some of the pages and used them separately, like these two types:
    *Which one is different?
    *Pre-writing sheets in Christmas style.

    Source: http://www.3dinosaurs.com/printables/packs/christmas.php (part 1)

    And also this Santa and stocking matching activity from gyereketeto.hu


      Source: 
      http://gyereketeto.hu/kiemelt/mikulas-minibook

      I’ll be back with some more activities hidden in our advent calendar.
      Here’s a teaser: