Monday, 3 December 2012

Day 1 and 2 Creative Christmas Countdown.

Creative Christmas countdown so far.......

Day 1

It's day two of the countdown and we haven't exactly been sticking to the activities but i guess they can be used  as inspiration rather than to be followed to the letter.

Day 1: The countdown activity today was created by This was a really sweet Gingerbread man card.

I should mention before i begin that Red Ted Art is co - hosting the countdown with Creative with kids. I'm not sure how i missed that it was co hosted so sorry about that.

I deviated from the original design. There was a couple of reasons for this. Firstly i actually made my gingerbread people in advance as i had seen the activities list and thought i would get ahead. I didn't just do this to save me time on the day but because Ninky is only 28 mths he gets bored easily so i find it best to break things down into stages. When the activity came through i realised i wouldn't be able follow the instructions exactly anyway as i didn't have any card strong enough to make the gingerbread men stand up..

So i went about it my own way

Prior to the activity i gave Ninky a big piece of white paper some brown paint, two different textured paint wands and a sponge. He enjoyed slathering the paper liberally with the paint and we discussed the different textures and patterns he had made.


I let this dry and drew round some gingerbread people cutters and cut them out while Ninky was in bed. Older children may be able to do this themselves. Ninky is actually a bit of a whiz with the scissors given his age but he likes to do things 'freestyle' shall we say so i wouldn't have got the shapes we needed.

Then yesterday i set the gingerbread people out with some plain white greeting cards, some buttons, coloured stickers and gold glitter glue.

Ninky likes the book The gingerbread man and is partial to a gingerbread man biscuit when out with Nanny so i didn't need to tell him where things went. I really love the finished product and we will b making many more to send out to family and friends.

The card shown has been sent in to Daddy's work as a very kind lady there sent Ninky a Pepper Pig Annual  recently so deserved a thank you card.

Day 2 Todays idea was a Christmas Oornament Station created by

Again i deviated from the plan. It appears I'm not very good at following along with these ideas but I'm following in spirit.. My reasons today were that we were going to be busy, more on that later and Ninky isn't really at a stage where i can set supplies out and they will survive. I have to set out limited quantities at a time.

So today i set up our Christmas trees, a Christmas Sensory tub and set a basket with our Christmas books out. Ninky now has a little Christmas corner. This makes me happier than i can logically explain.

This year i have bought Ninky his own Christmas tree and some decorations. I spent big bucks on this.....approximately £4. Which as I'm planning on keeping them for as long as they last i don't think this is too bad. He really loved decorating it himself and kept telling anyone who wold listen that he "loved his very own Christmas tree" so cute.

Giving due to consideration to the decorations.

Christmas Sensory Tub

I have seen a few ways to make coloured rice but i've come up with my own (are you seeing a theme here). Most methods include food colouring and rubbing alcohol or hand sanitiser.

I had nether of these things one day when i really wanted some coloured rice so i added some paint instead. I put an amount of rice in a ziploc bag, added a small amount of paint, increasing bit by bit until the desired strength of colour is achieved but the rice isn't too wet. I then put it to dry on a large flat surface so it is spread in a single layer.

For this Christmas tub i added peppermint extract when mixing in the paint.

When dry i put this in a tub with some of Ninky's new Christmas decorations, a scoop, funnel, cupcake cases, a wind up Rudolph, some candy canes, buttons and stars in Christmas colours.

I was amazed by how long Ninky played with this, if i was amazed then daddy was ecstatic, he had never seen him play with a sensory tub before and loved how engrossed he was and how it works on so many levels, sensory, fine and gross motor skills, vocabulary, pre writing, early numeracy, i could go on.

I then set out our Christmas books in a basket by the Christmas tree and sensory tub. These are all last years books for now, I'm on the hunt for some new ones so if anyone has any suggestions then please let me know.

Now on to the reason we were busy today. We took Ninky to his first Pantomime.

I was so excited to be starting what i hope to be a yearly family tradition. We decided to go cheap and cheerful as it was his first time in case he didnt like it and we had to leave.

We went to see Alladin at a local museum and art gallery in Wednesbury, West Midlands. I was so impressed. There was only a cast of 6, it was just in one of the galleries with black curtains and single sheets with scences on for the backing but they put so much energy into it that you couldnt help but love it. The cast were surprisingly talented, this sounds condescending but given the location and price i really wasn't expecting much. I thankfully couldn't have been more wrong. Serves me right for making presumptions. The cast had great singing voices, wonderful comic timing and were generally just fun to watch. The sound ttechnician did a great job, really bringing the whole thing together.

Ninky was wary at first but soon warmed to it, this was helped i think by him plucking up the courage to go and sit down the front with the other children. He was taken under the wing of two 6 year old twin girls and promptly ate all their sweets. We had to buy them some more at the end. He came back a few times when the baddy came on as he was a bit scared but it doesn't seem to have stayed with him as he was booing the baddy with glee on the way home.

This was such a lovely way to spend a morning as a family and something we have agreed to make sure we do each year.

We spent a brief time yesterday at another local museum, The Manor House in West Bromwich, West Midlands at an event called Deck the Halls, where people could go along and make things that will be displayed. This one is an original tudor house that went on  to be a pub and hotel but fell into disrepair. It was taken on by the local council and although they cant afford to get it all repaired they are hosting as many events as they can to bring people and money through the doors so it can be restored it its former glory.

We spent about an hour making an apple pomander, colouring a stained glass window and making a bough wish to hang on their tree. It was nice to have a go at some traditional crafts while supporting an important local historical site. 

Thank you for reading and make sure you pop back tomorrow to see what we get up to on day three of the countdown.

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