Saturday, November 23, 2013

Activity Advent Calendar

A friend of mine on facebook posted this idea last week and I've been working away on my own activity advent calendar ever since. I had pictured creating something simple - paper notes clipped to a string with clothespins. However, I decided to act on the crafty urges that usually hit me around Christmas time, and before I knew it I had embarked on my most ambitious hand-stitched craft ever!

I really wanted to make a calendar that was focused more on giving than receiving, so here are the 25 things I came up with.

  1. Write a letter to Santa (Send to: Santa Claus, North Pole, H0H 0H0, Canada and he'll write back! No postage required!)
  2. Put up Christmas decorations
  3. Write and mail Christmas cards to your friends and family
  4. Make your own Christmas board game 
  5. Open new Christmas pajamas
  6. Make a gingerbread house
  7. Decorate our Christmas tree
  8. Bake Christmas cookies for your friends and neighbours
  9. Deliver cookies
  10. Make a Christmas gift for your grandparents
  11. Make room for new toys! Pack up toys you don't play with anymore and donate them.
  12. Watch a Christmas movie
  13. Deliver mini candy canes to Senior's home
  14. Invite friends over for apple cider and Christmas board game - Annapolis Royal
  15. Breakfast with Santa - Clementsport Legion
  16. Christmas shopping for your cousins
  17. Make your own snow globes
  18. Look for Christmas books at the library
  19. Wrap presents
  20. Home for the holidays! Make a Christmas craft on the ferry
  21. Family Christmas carol sing-a-long
  22. Go skating
  23. Invite friends over for a Christmas party - Fredericton
  24. Christmas Eve! Hang up your stocking and make cookies for Santa
  25. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Board games

Had a wonderful visit with Freddy friends a few weeks ago!

I love that moment as a parent when you suddenly realize your 'baby' is capable of doing something you had no idea they could do. Like the first time Cale did a summersault in front of me, or when he burst out singing the entire alphabet when I was just getting ready to tell him about the first 3 letters! I definitely give credit to his daycares for secretly building his skills, but I think it is probably true that your first child can do a lot more than parents realize.

Our most recent discovery - board games!! Alan and I both love board games, but for some reason, I didn't think Cale would be able to partake for another year or so, until my aunt Colleen gave Caleb a great activity book recently that featured a Halloween version of 'Chutes and Ladders' called 'Broomsticks and Slime'. Cale wanted to try it, and sure enough, board games had suddenly become part of our family fun.

 I wanted to find other age appropriate games, so I purchased Candy Land for $9.00, and - voila! we had 2 games in our repertoire! We were telling my parents about this on skype, when my dad gave the best suggestion yet - why don't you guys make your own board game? This was an absolutely perfect activity for a wet Saturday at home and after an hour - Caleb's Pirate Island was born. He made the initial path lines, I filled in the squares and together we came up with the rules. As this was a pirate game, we included things like:

Caleb's Pirate Island
 You ran into a storm - Miss a turn
You forgot your map - Go back to get it (Caleb's idea)
You saw a whale - Roll again
You made a pirate friend - Roll again
You found a treasure - Take the shortcut (Caleb's idea)

It is actually quite fun..and it has been interesting to see a bit of a competitive side come out in Cale! But he is learning that the most important part is to have fun and last night he told me: "Mom, I won the game and you didn't win, but that's ok, you did a good job anyway."
I love Cale's pirate - complete with a hook and peg leg!