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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Count down to Christmas and our Elf on the Shelf returns

You know it's December 1st when you wake up and see this guy hanging around...
Elfie returned...however I think he took one look at all the renovations going on and grabbed onto where the would be chandelier will go and held on for dear life not knowing if he should stay or go. Kind of scary moving into this renovation scene we call a home!

With December 1st came our countdown to Christmas activity boxes. We reused our same boxes from last year as we are in such a mess here I am not sure how we will even get all our activities done! I know they aren't very Christmasy but you can read HERE from last year to see why if you want.
Our first activity was to make snowflakes which we did and they are up on the window but I apparently neglected to take pictures of them. Basic snowflakes...you the the picture :) I did see THESE SWEET BALLERINA SNOWFLAKES after we made ours that we might have to try soon.

December 2nd we found Elfie having a little Cherrio snack. He must have been starving as he was sitting right in the bowl eating them by the handfuls.

Our activities on the 2nd was to make candy cane reindeer and have a candy cane bath. These will be cute on the tree and are a bit different then how candy cane reindeer are made and take a lot of adult supervision due ti the glue gun to hold everything together.

I got the idea for the candy cane bath from HERE. For our bath I found an Aveeno shaving gel for sensitive skin and with no fragrance so it would be safe for Sierra to use. At first it didn't foam up because it was a gel but after stirring it with a paintbrush after adding the food colouring and peppermint oil it puffed up enough :)




December 3rd we found Elfie holding hands with the snowmen candles the girls made last week. He must have been homesick since our snow is all melting.
Sierra and I were sick this day so we opened the days activity which was to make Candy cane playdough and decided to do it the next day when we felt better.

This morning we woke but couldn't find Elfie until after school. He was hanging on the chandelier in our bedroom! Silly Elfie!

We had double the activities to do tonight. Our neighbour Kodey came over and made the Candy Cane playdough with us.







Here the playmobile people are making snowangels
Here is the recipe we used here. I am not sure where it came from but it's my favourite that we have used at daycare for over 20 years so it's tried and tested and I think it's the best!


Homemade Play Dough (makes 4 cups)
takes 5-10 minutes to mix up and about 5 minutes to heat
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup salt
2 tablespoons cream of tarter
2 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
Food coloring, as desired
Directions:
1. In a 2-quart sauce pan, whisk together the flour, salt and cream of tarter. Add the water and oil and whisk until smooth. Add desired food coloring. 
2. Place pan over low heat and cook and stir until it thickens and forms a ball (about 5 minutes increase time for double batches). When it's impossible to stir and looks like a big sticky lump, it's done! :)
3. Turn out onto the counter. Knead the warm dough a few times, and place in a loosely-covered container to cool. Store in a sealed container or ziplock bag when not in use.





After we were finished with the playdough it was time to do today's countdown to Christmas activity which was to make felted candy canes. I saw the idea HERE (which is better explained then what I'm about to write if you want to try them).

First gather your materials. You will need pipecleaners, wool roving in white and red, and a dish of warm soapy water.
Wrap your pipecleaner in white wool roving. My girls did their completely themselves so following the pictures in the tutorial mentioned above will give you better directions :)
Then roll out some red roving very thin and wrap it around the white roving covered pipecleaner.




Add some dish soap directly to the covered pipecleaner and add water and squish and roll it but be careful the roving doesn't ball up and roll off!




 Here is a pic of one before being wet felted and one that was just finished. The wool binds to itself with the warm water, soap and rolling.
 Once dry shape your sticks into candy canes...or put two together for some candy cane love!
We are also starting a new tradition this year of unwrapping a Christmas story each night and reading it together as a family. These are books we had already. I did have to go to the thrift store and pick up a couple more to make up the 24 as we sold off alot of stuff before we moved. We now will have 24 for years to come. Do you have any special Christmas traditions?