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Showing posts with label calendar. Show all posts
Showing posts with label calendar. Show all posts

Fun Facts about Advent Calendars


It is hard to believe it is time to pull out the Advent calendar. I thought I would continue our Fun Facts Series and share some fun facts about Advent calendars today since it is the first day to open a door on yours. Be sure to check out our Fun Facts about Advent

Diversity Calendar

Disclosure: I was sent a free digital copy of this product for this review. All opinions are my own and I received no other compensation. I am providing links for your ease.

Do you try to teach your child(ren) about different cultures? I find it so hard to keep up with all the various holidays and celebrations that there are around the world, but also find it important to teach Hazel about it all. I like to supplement what she learns at school and add more about other cultures and religions so that she will have a better understanding of the world. After all if we all had a better understanding of each other perhaps we could live in peace. Well Becky Morales of Kid World Citizen has made it easy for everyone with her new Diversity Calendar of Multicultural Holidays for Academic School Year 2016-2017. It is available at Teachers Pay Teachers for $3.50 for a digital download.

March Happenings


This month promises to be a good one. However the beginning is a bit crazy. A good friend has her young son (less than one) in the hospital, and I have been helping with her older son's care, so if I miss a few days this week you will know why. This month will be filled with fun activities, crafts and reviews plus a giveaway!! I know I am excited for spring and cannot wait for it to get here. We will continue our Hawaii escape posts until then. I am also looking forward to Easter and the preparation of it with Lent. We will also continue our Friday Fruit Explorations and Hazel has been asking to do some under the sea discoveries, so expect to see some of that as well. It is so fun to have her at an age where she is asking questions about things and we can do some research together on them.



Now for our monthly clubs and posts. This month  for Virtual Book Club for Kids, the author is Marcus Pfister. Do you know his books? They are amazing. The first book I was introduced to of his is The Rainbow Fish. My sister had given it to us as a hand-me-down. She had bought it for my nephew when he thought he should be given things by strangers because of his cute looks. It is the perfect book to deal with that issue. So many of Marcus Pfister's books help teach life lessons. A little about Marcus Pfister: he was born in Bern, Switzerland and still lives there. He became a graphic artist. In 1986 his first book, The Sleepy Owl, was published. Then in 1992 when The Rainbow Fish burst into the international book scene, he stopped his work as a graphic artist and focused solely on his book authoring career. (Source)


Hazel and I have been enjoying so many of his books and we are having a hard time choosing which one to pick for the club post. It will be one on this collage though.

Update: Here are our posts: Ava's Poppy and Hopper Hunts for Spring and an older one on Rainbow Fish.




March begins a new season for Around the World in 12 Dishes. It is hard to believe we have been through a year of it already. We had so much fun joining in this journey, that we have signed up for another year. Here is this year's schedule:



Our first stop is Iceland! This summer my sister happened to take a trip to Iceland, so I have a few of her beautiful photos to share!!



I also wrote an introduction to the country for the Around the World in 12 Dishes blog, so I will not be sharing as much of the country's background here and will just provide a link for you to the introduction. That will give me more space for our crafts and such. Here is the cover for this season's passport pages. You can begin your exploration of Iceland with the placemat and passport pages. Join us the week of March 17th to see our Icelandic adventures!

So stay tuned this month for St. Patrick's Day crafts, Lent crafts, spring crafts as well as our fruit explorations, under the sea crafts and explorations, Iceland, Marcus Pfister, and a few reviews including some on The Octonauts. I hope you will join us!!

Advent Calendars -- Start of Advent


December first is the start of Advent this year. It seems fitting since most Advent calendars start on the first. But this year, the first is also the first Sunday in Advent when you light the first candle of the Advent wreath. I personally love Advent. It is a time to prepare. The church uses the color purple for Advent. We are preparing for the coming of Christ. Now my parents gave us a beautiful wooden Advent calendar a couple of years ago. The only problem is we have to fill it each year. This year I decided to go with a crafty theme. I always try to focus it on the nativity to make sure the true meaning is getting through to Hazel and that it is not about gifts and commercialism.






This year I am organizing a huge event at my church for next Saturday. It is called a Night in Bethlehem. We will have a live nativity (with real sheep) as well as a marketplace full of crafts for kids to make to see what it was like in Biblical time. My focus this week will mostly be on this, but I will be trying to get some posts up. Anyway, I needed to find some peg dolls for one of the crafts and discovered Casey's Wood Products. They have very reasonable prices for wood products and you can buy the wood projects by the individual. I bought some nativity figures for Hazel. I am using these this year in her Advent calendar with a few other added crafts.
I am going to let her decorate them if she wants to. However for the first I found this great miniature Advent wreath craft. I wanted to use purple candles so they would be like the ones we have in our big wreath, so I "painted" some white birthday candles with melted crayons. I saw how to do it on Catholic Icing: Make Pink and Purple Advent Candles.


The best part is that we had all the supplies at home. I invaded Steve's tool room for the nuts and of course the recycling bin for a lid.  I am going to let Hazel make it tomorrow. I just put it together for a quick picture.

Since the first candle is for hope, we will make a hope craft on the second day. For her  calendar I printed out the themes my church uses and put one in on each Sunday (or Monday for the first one) so we will have ornaments for each theme. Love and Peace are easy ones to find. We actually have a peace dove ornament that we made from salt clay a couple of years ago and I made a quick beaded heart ornament when Hazel was making beaded candy canes.

The hope and joy ornaments will be a bit harder. I picked up a joy rubber stamp at Joann the other day for $1. I may do some clay ornaments similar to what we did for our Christmas in Kenya craft with the stamp. For hope I am thinking about doing something like this snowball ornament on Just Crafty Enough but use the word hope instead of joy. I have some letter stickers and may try them instead of vinyl. I also love the idea of twig ornaments that you can see on First Home Love Life. If you want other ideas for ornaments and Christmas decorations you can see what I have pinned in my Christmas board.



Now for Hazel's Advent calendar I try to make the gifts tell the story of Christmas. I always start with an angel, so I bought some angel peg dolls. This is what will be in her door for the 3rd. We will make an angel from it and share it with you. The fourth will be the Mary figure (alternative craft at First School) and the fifth will be Joseph. Then on the sixth we will do another angel craft. I think we will be doing the Easy Paperclip Angel Ornament from Crafty Journal. Steve promised to bring home the paperclips for me since he has some at work and not at his desk at home. If you want other ideas for angel crafts, I have an Angels board. (I started this board when we were participating in an angel swap for inspiration.) I should also mention Activity Village has some alternative crafts for the entire Nativity including a nativity mobile.

For the next day we will do a donkey craft. Even though a donkey is not mentioned in the Bible it is in so many of the stories, that I like to include it. I bought these clothespins at Casey's Wood Products, but Oriental Trading also has a similar donkey craft. After the donkey we will do the star and then the sheep and shepherds. Then we will do the camels and wisemen. We will also make a popsicle stick manger. Finally on the 23rd we will make one of the simple nativity ornaments I have pinned and the 24th she will get the "manger" which Casey's Wood Products called the bathtub since they did not have any mangers left, I bought something that would work.

That is our plan for this year's Advent calendar. Another idea I had was inspired by the Christ the Savior is Born Advent Calendar on Sunlit Pages. I went through our old Christmas cards and used a fancy punch to punch out nice pictures and/or words. I took a picture of four that could be used to represent the Advent themes. The idea was to put numbers on the back and add strings and hang them in similar fashion to her Advent calendar. You would get a nice picture for each day.  Perhaps that will get done next year.

For today, this is all we are going to share. If you want more ideas for Advent calendars please check out my pins in my Advent board. There are many various ideas there! I would love to hear what you do for Advent. Happy Advent!!


Happening in September here at Crafty Moms Share

It is another busy month here at Crafty Moms Share. September is National Sewing Month. We are helping promote the Waverize It! Facebook Contest sponsored by Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts and Waverly Fabrics. To do this, I made Hazel a ukulele case so she can take her relatively new ukulele anywhere she wants to. She has already played at our public library and Trader Joe's Store. She has been asked to play at school and church as well. She loves playing it. You can learn more about it all here including some videos of her playing.



September is also Hunger Action Month. I am joining a group of wonderful blogging moms to help No Kid Hungry try to end hunger for our local children. My first step was to put together some story time food drive ideas and I sent them to local libraries and preschools. I hope someone is using them. You can read about them here and feel free to use them or send them to people as well. We also hosted a butterfly party where we asked guests to bring a can or two of healthy food for our local food pantry. Stay tuned for more ways we are helping and please accept my challenge to help in your local area as well!!



September also is the month of the first anniversary of the amazing group of bloggers Multicultural Kid Blogs. Stay tuned for more events to celebrate this as well.
September 15th to October 15th is National Hispanic Heritage Month. I am joining some of the bloggers in Multicultural Kid Blogs to celebrate this as well.

Around the World in 12 Dishes is "traveling" to New Zealand this month. Hazel and I have already started enjoying some New Zealand stories.



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The Virtual Book Club for Kids is continuing for another year. There are a few changes. This year the blog hop will begin the second Monday of each month and there is a change in who is hosting. This month's author is Bill Martin, Jr.

 Hosting the Virtual Book Club for Kids this year are:



I hope you will join us for all of these fun-filled events this month!! Plus we will have our regular events--Fairy Tales in Different Cultures, Flamingo Friday, Sharing Saturday, Math Lessons, and Virtual Flat Stanley!


Advent Calendar Round-Up

As I posted the other day, Advent is one of my favorite times. I have wonderful childhood memories of my Advent calendars as well as the Advent wreath on our dining room table. For my post on Advent wreaths visit here. However here is one that Hazel made this morning. It is made from a printable at First School.

A few years ago, my parents gave us this beautiful wooden Advent calendar for a Christmas gift. I absolutely love it and Hazel gets so excited to open a door. Last year I filled it with needle-felted nativity figures and this year we filled it with Nativity story stones.
Now when we were teenagers, my mother made my cousins an adorable quilted Advent calendar. I am hoping to make one at some point. I bought the fabric last year, but haven't gotten around to it. So sometime in the future I will make one. However there are many simple and creative ones that you can make that have been shared the past month or so on Sharing Saturday. Here are some of them.

First two I couldn't get pictures from:
From Life on the Gravelly Road has a wonderful homemade one with each card having a scripture reading and a fun activity.

From Mummy Mummy Mum! has a wonderful felt ornament tree Advent calendar.

Now for some that I could take pictures:

1) From Little Wonders' Day: Easy Door Advent Calendar
2) From Wesens-Art: Star Advent Calendar
3) From Making Boys Men: Magnetic Advent Calendar
4) From S.O.S. Mom: Advent Calendar
5) From Wesens-Art: Advent Calendar
6) From Living Montessori Now: 40+ Advent Activities Round-Up

A Few More...
Here is one from an Advent Workshop at our church last year:
For each of the 24 days before Christmas you glue on a holly leaf to make a wreath.

From Catholic Mom: 2012 Printable Advent Chain each day the chain has a kind activity for the child to do and the instructions suggest paper color to tie in the colors of Advent.

Do you have any more DYI Advent Calendar ideas? I would love for you to leave a link in the comments!! Or even better share at Sharing Saturday!



Advent Wreaths


Advent is one of my favorite times of the year. Advent in Western Christianity is the time to prepare oneself for the birth of Christ or for Christmas. It is a time I think we need to do less and spend more time with friends, family and God. However our society is one of making it all about the parties, the sales and the things that must be done and often one does not enjoy or prepare as well as we should.

In the church Advent starts the fourth Sunday before Christmas, December 25th. So Sunday is the first day of Advent. An Advent wreath is often used in churches as well as homes to help with the celebration of Advent. Each week a new candle is lit to represent different parts of the coming of Christ. The first candle is a purple one and is hope, the second also purple is peace, the third is pink and is for joy, and the fourth is purple and is for love. The candle in the middle is white and is for Christ. It is traditionally lit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Typically the Advent wreath is made with evergreens. I remember my mother always having one with greens. She actually had a pottery wreath holder that held water for the greens with holes for the greens around it and the four candle holders built in. I bought the metal one pictured above and do not add the greens since we do not have a real tree. However there are many simple ones you can make as well. For example, pictured below is an Advent wreath we made at church during the Advent Workshop a few years ago. It is a Styrofoam wreath wrapped in green crepe paper and then with fake greens and berries glued on and the candles just pushed into the wreath.
The evergreens symbolize everlasting life and the circle symbolizes God's love with no beginning and no ending. (Source) Purple of Advent represents penance in the church. (Source) The pink candle represents joy. The tradition of the pink or rose colored candle for the third Sunday comes from the Catholic Church when the Pope was known to give a rose at this mass to help break the solemn mood of Advent. (Source)

There are many crafts for children having to do with Advent and Advent wreaths. Here are a few I found.
Another favorite part of Advent is the Advent Calendar. I will share more about this tomorrow. The calendar starts on December 1st. Hazel opened hers today and got a Mary story stone. I have all the Nativity story stones in hers. I try to give her something to play with as we tell the story.