Sunday, December 2, 2012

Christmas Countdown -- What to do while waiting for St. Nicholas?

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Christmas in the United States is a huge holiday especially in the eyes of a child.  All that magic and mystery around Santa Claus and toys, lights and music ... the build up for the "Big Day" and the "Big Man" is almost unbearable (especially when spiced up by the marketing chumming of the Holiday waters with a Prequel Sales Frenzy to Black Friday on Thursday, Thanksgiving night)... it is enough to make a child's heart burst with anticipation and excitement and Scrooge-like madness.

"How many more days?"  "How many more days does that mean?" are questions that never seem to be answered in their infant minds
Pinned Image until that moment is finally real and the curtain of doubt draws back and reveals the splendor of childhood paradise at the foot of the lighted Christmas tree on Christmas morning.

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Well, to help the little ones cope with this adult craziness and frenzy of Holiday preparation, I will begin a short series of countdown projects that will perhaps help to ease the waiting and to help a child remain focused on the upcoming holidays.

These projects will take a little time initially to create but will become well-loved heirlooms for the future and will provide many hours of sanity for the parents as well as time spent in the Land of Imagination, Learning and Play for a child.

Traditional paper Advent calendars are fun but for occupying the attention of a child, they are very short-lived or are they?

Advent calendars come in many guises and one that will work for busying little guys is a simple collection of drawstring bags with brightly painted numbers on the front of 1 through 24. 

 Inside each bag there could be an inexpensive collection of supplies to help the little one get started on several projects, one for each day like:  
drawing a picture for Santa, drawing pictures of what your wishlist is for Santa, supplies for cutting out snowflakes to place on the windows in a child's room;
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a felt Christmas tree on the wall that a toddler can arrange and rearrange ornaments on for his/her very own. Pinned Image  A stack of Christmas storybooks, wrapped and ready for the child to choose one or more to unwrap each day and then have a Christmas story read to them during the day and definitely before bed.

A little homemade felt Christmas tree with felt ornaments for them to arrange and rearrange to their heart's content.
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Or supplies for an indoor snowball fight ...

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A Christmas Nativity of characters attached to magnets for a child to play with on the fridge or on a metal board.  Pinned ImageYou could also make other characters (from the Nutcracker or Santa Claus and the elves from the North Pole).

A deck of cards (many are made for young children and can be found in the Dollar stores) provides hours of concentration and memory games etc.

These are some great sites to check out for DIY instructions for some of the projects above and more wonderful projects ...

These are just a few ideas to get you started and can be adjusted for older children.  I have pictures and suggestions on my Pinterest boards "Advent Calendars" and "Christmas Decor Ideas" ... Just check it out for some more ideas.  When you click on the pin picture, you can follow it to the original web page and get instructions.

That's all for right now!  Start planning and watch for my next blog post for some more countdown ideas ...
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