From My Notebook


Location, Location, Location

I’m taking a break from Advent and Christmas to share this fun idea from my notebook. Use a set of measuring spoons to show the relationship between geographical concepts. Label the smallest spoon with your address, the next smallest with your city, then your state, your country, continent, and so on. The smaller spoons rest in the larger spoons, showing how they’re all related!

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Wood Block Nativity

SUPPLIES: Wood blocks cut from two-by-fours, from 5″ to 10″, felt scraps, beads, ribbon, glitter, etc, and craft glue.

Decide what figures you want in your Nativity scene and cut a block for each figure. Sand the blocks well, especially if little ones are going to be playing with them. Round the corners for safety as well.

In addition to Mary, Joseph, and Baby Jesus, you may want Wise Men, shepherds, sheep, an angel, and other animals. Copy simple drawings and cut the shapes from felt. Glue to the appropriate block. You can layer the felt or add the other materials for details.


Nose So Bright

This is a silly project, but fun!

On black paper, let your child sponge paint to his heart’s content with white paint. When it’s all done, glue on a red pom-pom– Rudolph’s nose!


A Family Advent Calendar

Make a large calendar grid on a piece of poster board (blue or rose for Advent is nice!). Be sure to leave the squares big enough to write your plans for each day! Plan your Advent season together, writing down special dates, get-togethers, parties, family outings, deadlines, saints’ days, etc. Add pictures to represent different activities. We like to draw 4 little candles in each Sunday box, with one lit the first Sunday, two the second, etc.

Hang in a place where you all can see it, and mark off the days until Christmas.


Snow-Covered Snack Mix

This easy peasy idea is a yummy winter snack. Just mix together yogurt-covered raisins and yogurt-covered pretzels. My kids like to put them in a brown paper baggie and shake them up themselves.


The Empty Manger

Give each child a smallish cardboard box (alternately, you can all work together to fill one “manger”). Decorate it if you wish. Each time a child does a good turn or a kind deed, they can add a piece of straw (even cut up yellow construction paper works!) to the manger. The goal is to make a soft, snug manger bed for Baby Jesus! After the children are asleep on Christmas Eve, add a sweet little Infant Jesus to the bed.