I know that for most the concept of actually making icicles is strange to say the least. You don’t make icicles you avoid them, maybe pick them and use as popsicles but you don’t need to make them they are everywhere. Well not here below the Mason- Dixon Line. We do not get icicles and have to make them, and only if the temperature drops below freezing at night. This way the kids can experience them or and learn how they are formed.
Take an empty milk or cream container and poke a hole (or few on the bottom), so the water can drip from it
We tied a string around it so we hang it on a post
and wait for the cold weather to do their job.
You could make them more fun by adding some flavor or color to it. Make sure to check them first thing in the morning right after the freezing night since they can melt pretty quickly and don’t forget to enjoy other winter crafts.
I love my kids preschool and just wanted to share some amazing things my kids have brought home for the Holidays. First me have this fun hand wreath on white felt, perfect to hang and decorate with red dots and bows.
How about these adorable cards made with foot and hand prints. Apparently when making this card the kids were asked “What do the Reindeer use to see” and my eager son answered “eyes and nose”, “nose?”, “to light up the way”… silly boy
They painted beautiful trees and decorated with glitter and decorations. Talking about decorations my daughter found a White House Christmas ornament and her older sister told her the President resides at the White House to which he answered: “I want to go to the White House, that is where the presents reside, I want to tell Santa to give me presents.” Oh Boy
So maybe from now on I should just hang these ornaments on the Christmas Tree.
Holiday break has officially started which gives parents ample time to figure out what to do with their kids for the next two weeks, maybe even longer if you have been snowed in for the past few days. If you decide to stay inside other then braving the cold you can make your own ornaments or if you are more adventurous a Nativity Scene.
Salt Dough (recipe here) is very popular in Poland since it is inexpensive, durable and versatile. You can purchase amazing ornaments and pieces from notable artists. The ones above where a gift from an artist friend of mine, beautiful right?
Since I am not that skilled I tend to focus on children crafts instead.
This way I can make my semi attractive artwork and say they were made by a toddler or tween. Just don’t ask me to draw since at this moment I am certain that my very talented 3 year old can draw better then I.
She can also make her own ornaments by using a cookie cutter and rolling balls for ornaments.
My son on the other hand is more like me, not an artist
more like a bulldozer, but since this dough works like play dough it is fun either way
We dig up our play dough set and used some of the containers to measure perfect circles
or rollers to give our snowman a nice even snow cap print
or just roll it in place staring in the distance
we made some ornament balls
some reindeer, don’t forget to make holes for string, sorry in case of the reindeer that was my only choice. Make sure to make the hole a little larger since it will close up a bit during baking.
Then free formed by hand another Santa and Snowman.
Bake in 350 degree oven until slightly golden (about 20 min). You can store the dough in wrapped in plastic for over a week in a fridge so no need to use it all at once.
When cooled paint with acrylic paints. My daughter however used Crayola washable paints (for obvious reasons) and they did start to crack a little on the surface when dried. You can always use markers to draw on them, whatever works for you. When finished hang on the tree, the walls, fridge, wherever you feel festive.
The winter has started all over the nation, snow coming down heavily in the north even have reached places like Virginia and we are able to enjoy some winter wonderland. So as long as it is freezing and I don’t have to use my no space left freezer we made fun Christmas Ice Lanterns.
You will need some holiday greenery trimmings, a plastic or cardboard container (milk box), cup and tape.
Rinse the large container and trim the greenery
Next place the greenery in the container
and place the cup inside it. In actuality it is easier to place the cup inside first and then maneuver the greenery by squeezing it between the two walls.
This way you can place your berries in exact places
other then having them float on top or sink to the bottom
tape the cup to the container and pour water between the two containers
there is this funny thing called pressure so if you do not tape them, or don’t tape them well, the cup will be pushed up
place outside and wait till they freeze.
You are on your own with time lengh.
Run hot water over the container and loosen it up. Pour some water in the cup and remove when loose.
Now that they are ready place in your favorite spot, hoping that it will not warm up enough to melt it.
place candle tealights inside the ice structures and light up
They will look even more beautiful in the night. One thing to keep in mind is that they will melt a bit between days and nights especially in the south so place them where you want them because moving may not be an option later.
It is officially the Angel Season. I am talking about real Angels the ones in heaven singing Hallelujah. What ones where you thinking about? So we decided to make some angels around here. They can work as Christmas ornaments with addition of some string. Candle holders without the match, or figurines.
There are few ways to make an Angel. First you make about 3.5 inch circle and cut it out.
Somewhere above the center of it you try to draw a symmetrical head, and if you are like me you don’t succeed. No worries the kids are still young and if they are older they can do it on their own.
Draw a little loop for a neck and straight line to the top. Make two lines from the middle to the center about 3/4 of the way in.
Cut around the head. I left that it in one piece so I can use it as a stencil. I am not really good at drawing so unless you have a good free hand drawing coordination this trick may be helpful.
Fold the two side pieces together to create a skirt.
Glue of staple the two skirt pieces together.
Before or after the assembly you can have your kiddos decorate them with fabric pieces, old Christmas paper, candy wrappers, glitter, anything and everything really.
Since my kiddos are really small we kept ours simple. Even with the simplicity of cupcake liners we have gotten ourselves a fallen angel, or maybe a ballerina doing a dip.
So instead we made some from paper plates with funky design.
When using harder material make sure to make the wings big, about half of the circle.
Here they are next to each other.
or if you don’t like print, here is one turned around.
Finally we decided to recycle our old cereal boxes and use those instead, just in case we need plates for entertaining.
Therefore ending up with a cute Angel that is ready to say hi and maybe even become a finger puppet. I am sure you can do a much better job decorating then a 3 year old.
It is time for Saint Nicholas and we have been listening to stories and carols from all around the world just to get into the Holiday Spirit.
Story Nory has some amazing free stories to download from traditional ones to fables. Our favorite at this time of the year is Christmas in Iceland. Did you know there is no Santa Claus in Iceland? Yule lads called Jolasveinar (say that three times) come baring gifts throughout the 12 days of Christmas. Here is a little clip to learn more.
In Netherlands Sinerklass is accompanied by helpers with black faces and traditional Moorish costumes, they are called ‘Zwarte Pieten’ (Black Peters). Zwarte Piet lets Santa know if a child has been good or bad. Sometimes, it is Zwarte Piet’s job to discipline the naughty children. They arrives from Spain by steamboat in the middle of November. Here is a beautiful animated film from Netherlands.
It is so hard to find books about different Holiday Traditions. Therefore I was really excited to see this book that just published about Polish Christmas Traditions:
It is a Charming Story Polish- American Children and their Christmas Celebration and it is written in English for everyone to enjoy. For more information click here.
And as you search the internet about other Clauses, you may be able to find them under these names:
It is Holiday Season and we live in Virginia, which pretty much means no white Christmas for us. It can also mean that there will be no snow till spring, and rarely enough to build a snowball, not even a miniature snowman. Luckily for us we can drive for two hours to beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and enjoy fake snow there. So to make me feel a little bit more like Christmas or to feel better about eating 50 holiday treats yesterday with no signs of Holidays outside we made these super cute Crystal Trees.
All you need is Liquid Bluing, Ammonia and Salt. I found liquid bluing in Kroger laundry isle next to the pre-treater, starches and bleach. It is small so you may need stare at the shelf for a bit. PersonallyI don’t know what it is but my husband the architect looked up the chemical structure of it. You know just in case. Apparently mixing ammonia and bleach is not a good idea, so he just wanted to make sure I was safe. Don’t ask me I’m not a chemist, but if you want to revisit your high school chemistry class here it is.
Mix 2 tbs of each in a jar: bluing, salt, water and ammonia. Shake well
On a cereal box, or other cardboard box draw two trees. Didn’t I tell you I can’t draw?
Cut them out and make a slit half way through, one going bottom-up and one going top-down.
Slit one inside the other so they resemble a tree
or forget the entire step and use a pine cone, sponge or whatever your heart desires
Pour the liquid in a saucer place the trees on it and pour the liquid. The liquid was really nice and blue when poured but after about 12 hours (overnight) the crystals where created but the blue turned, well not so blue.
My kids loved it, tried it touch it over and over. Unfortunately they did not call it snow since it has been a while since they saw it. They called it whipped cream. Mountains here we come.