Give them Advent Memories…

How many advent calendar fillers are you hunting for this year? Has it caused you grief? Cost you a fortune? Lacking inspiration? So I ask you this….Why all the sweets? All the silly little gifts? Apart from the cost and stress in finding them….do they really give your children anything valuable? Maybe a bit of excitement, but then they end up binned.

This year I wanted to do something different. I wanted to make advent memories. Advent fun. Advent surprises and treats – but in the shape of activities we will be doing as a family!

The idea is simple – either make up the activities yourself (or with your partner) or ask your children what activities they love. Then write 24 little notes – these can include:

  1. Television Dinner Treat (let your children have dinner and a film!)
  2. Swimming trip
  3. Walk in the woods with hot chocolate at the end
  4. Cookie Baking Session
  5. Crafting Session
  6. Cinema trip

I am sure you will have your own ideas!

Write them up, get little clips and make your fronting numbers – I used glue and glitter but you could just as easily stencil and draw or stamp images…many choices!

Hang the line somewhere easily accessible and open a new adventure and memory every day!

(PS – The quick ones have noticed I have not included the Sundays below….these days we give ours a gift – just so they have a little parcel now and again)

Advent Fun

Happy First Sunday of Advent! For me, Christmas can now begin…bring out the decorations, mulled wine, music, cookie baking and crafts!

Christmas is such a special time, I treasure it. The scents of cinnamon and cloves and spruce in the house, the children’s excitement, the candles lit everywhere, more smiles – it seems everyone has that little bit extra time for one another.

It is becoming our family’s tradition to make our own advents wreaths – however these are not necessarily very traditional in their looks!

It all starts with a walk in the woods to collect bits – oh such wonderful things you can find! We let the children loose with baskets and they come back with all their treasure – which may look dull, but put together and with a bit of gold and glitter they transform!

This year we were able to get holly in our own garden…love holly!

We left all the bits to dry out for a few days and then spray painted some of the items…

Clay bought (you can also use oasis but harder to find!) – we spent Saturday morning together – creating! Everyone to their best ability – outcome not really of utmost importance! Rather the togetherness!

All you do is mold the clay into a circular shape and place a candle in the middle. Then cover the clay with spruce, fern, moss and holly – add in acorns, pine cones, berries – any decorations to be honest… The result is lovely (usually!) and we then light one candle each Sunday – as well as the every day one…

Enjoy!

My 6 year old has been at it for a few years now so is getting really good!

My 4 year old is getting there…

My 2 year old loving it and keeping it simple…

And this is mine…still learning!

Halloween Games

Have a laugh with these! Adult and child friendly!

Whether you are hosting a party or simply want to spend an afternoon having a good time with the family these will come in handy!

  • Apple bobbing – play this game using a large bowl (should probably be done outdoors if possible but it is fine to place the bowl on a table in your kitchen or livingroom). Stay with your children for this one as you don’t want them drowning! Players, without using their hands, must dunk their heads into the water and try to retrieve the apples using only their mouths. To make it more tasty, and fun, add some red food colouring and squash to the water….If you are the competitive kind – split your family and friends and go head to head! Whoever gets the apples first win!
  • Hanging Apple – alternative to bobbing for apples! For those who really worry about the mess of the water! Hang apples on a branch or from a door frame by string. Again, without using their hands, children try to snag the apple using only their mouths.
  • Pin the nose on the pumpkin – instead of on the donkey! Let the children make the pumpkin shape with cardboard and make different shaped noses to pin on it! Scary, funny….let them have fun making ones up.
  • Eyeball and spoon race – like egg and spoon but with a ping-pong ball painted as an eye! Make an obstacle course in your garden or in your house!
  • Mummy wrapping – couples work together to beat out all the other couples playing. Using toilet paper, one person wraps and the other person is the mummy. The first team to wrap their mummy completely from head to toe is declared the winning team. Adults can play this too – except to make it harder blind fold the one wrapping!