It’s only October. We haven’t even passed Halloween yet and I’m talking about Christmas. Hear me out!
First: I want to give you time to prepare.
Second: Danielle will be rolling out her Days of Christmas post in a few weeks.
Third: We are working on yet another round of Christmas posts for you guys this year. I don’t want this to get lost! So save it and pin it!
If you have followed our blog for a while you know that Danielle does 25 Days of Christmas with her kiddos. They love it, it’s a good memory maker, and it really helps the whole family get into the Christmas spirit. Bonus: It helps extend that season a bit. For them Christmas begins December 1st. Which sounds awesome to me!
Earlier this week I took my daughter to Hobby Lobby for her current favorite activity: Walk around and look at all of the Christmas stuff. Danielle asked me if I’m “sure that she’s not Buddy the Elf in flesh.” Because this is the first year she is super excited for Christmas I really wanted to do something like the 25 Days of Christmas with her, however, she’s only 2 and 1/2. I had to adjust!
One thing you will see each day is “Today’s Book.” I plan on having a new Christmas book for each night. My kiddos love their books and this will be a very exciting element for them. I recommend you do the same! After the season is over I will pack the books away with our Christmas decorations and reuse them the following year – possibly with a new addition or two each year.
Here’s what I came up with and hopefully you can enjoy these activities with your toddlers as well! Make sure you read the tips!
Today’s Book: Little Blue Truck’s Christmas – We love this one! It is so adorable and the light up tree surprise at the end is fascinating to your little one every time!
Today’s Special Activity: Christmas Sugar Cookies & The Giving Tin – Last Christmas we shared this cute idea that we found on other blogs. The idea is that you bake special treats and give them away to a neighbor or friend encouraging them to refill the tin and give that away to someone else. If baking with toddlers sounds like an absolute nightmare to you, feel free to purchase some or make them on your own, but have the toddlers help with the delivering!
Today’s Book: Bear Stays Up for Christmas – A new one to us. But it gets great reviews!
Today’s Activity: Thumbprint Reindeer Ornament – In preschool my brother and I made these, and my mom still has them to this day! There are tons of tutorials on Pinterest and different variations – find one that you like best!
Today’s Activity: Christmas movie with hot chocolate and popcorn. The movie is to be determined, and will most likely be recorded so that we can fast forward through commercials and ensure bedtime isn’t affected! ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas is usually the best place to find all of the classics!
Today’s Book: Eric Carle’s Dream Snow
Today’s Activity: Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments – super easy, super cute, and they make your whole home smell amazing!
Today’s Book: Room for a Little One – The illustrations are incredible!
Today’s Activity: Fisher Price Nativity – This is actually coming out of the Christmas budget, but will be presented to them early! I wanted to give it to them early so we have ample time to play with it.
Today’s Book: The Legend of the Candy Cane
Today’s Activity: Growing candy canes! This is a very cute idea that I’m super excited about! It’s simple: Get a few cups (I plan on using Christmas mugs), fill each mug with Oreos or chocolate graham crackers that you’ve crushed thoroughly (to resemble dirt), and you have each kiddo “plant” a starlight mint before bed. After the mints are planted have them sprinkle “Christmas Magic” (red and green cake sprinkles) over the dirt. After the little ones are fast asleep tuck a candy cane down into the dirt. When they wake up they will see how the “Christmas Magic” made their candy cane grow! Save the candy cane for Day 7 activity!
Today’s Book: The Littlest Elf
Today’s Activity: Candy Canes, Hot Chocolate, and a Christmas Movie – Again, the movie is to be determined. And I know we already had one, but what’s one of your favorite Christmas activities? Blanket, hot chocolate, popcorn, and Christmas movies. You know it’s true. And the best part? It costs next to nothing! Build those traditions early. 🙂
Today’s Book: Merry Christmas Mouse
Today’s Activity: Handprint Ornaments. So simple! So cute! Make your salt dough, shape into discs, imprint their hands, make a hole for your decorative ribbon, and bake in a 200 degree oven for a few hours. My kiddos will be making 3 each this year – one for our tree and one for grandmas’ trees! With our move happening very quickly after the holidays this year, we won’t be giving gifts to our parents. This is a cute little token of love and great for grandparents to have a way to keep our children “around” when we don’t get to spend many Christmases together. Make sure you stamp their name and seal with a few coats of polyurethane to help it last year after year!
Salt Dough Recipe:
1 cup flour
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
Mix all ingredients together and knead until smooth.
Bake in 200 degree oven (time varies based upon size of item you are making) or allow to air dry.
Today’s Book: The Sweet Smell of Christmas – It’s scented!
Today’s Activity: Felt Christmas Tree. I’m sure you’ve seen this a few times on Pinterest as well. Hobby Lobby helps make this activity even easier. Purchase a large sheet of green felt, cut out your Christmas tree shape, and attach to a wall with tape. At Hobby Lobby in their cornucopia of Christmas decorations they will have felt ornaments. Purchase a few of those and let those little hands get to work decorating and re-decorating their own tree. Hey! It will give your tree a break for a few hours!
Today’s Book: Corduroy’s Christmas Surprise
Today’s Activity: Buying a toy for a kiddo in need. Now, for a younger one (such as my son) this will be well beyond his comprehension, but my daughter will enjoy it and it is a great thing to start early! Each year the Marine Corps has Toys for Tots (cue me bawling my eyes out to this commercial) and regardless of anyone’s opinions on the program or the recipients that they choose – this program is a perfect example of the USMC that many of us love. Hands down one of my favorite things about the Marine Corps is their outreach and how they take care of those around them. This is small in comparison to the countless things you will find Marines doing in their communities. Marine Corps Reserve unit locations are drop offs for toy donations so we will be purchasing a new toy (for a boy and a girl) and heading that way to donate. You can find Toys for Tots boxes in local stores as well! If I can encourage you to start any tradition at all – let this be it! You don’t have to donate to Toys for Tots. You could even find a family in need in your child’s school, church, or neighborhood and be a secret Santa.
Today’s Book: Clubhouse Christmas – My son would boycott Christmas forever if I didn’t have a Mickey book thrown in.
Today’s Activity: Chickfila lunch with Daddy. Being kids of a Marine, our little ones don’t get a lot of time with their Dad. And it’s possible that he could be deployed next year over the holidays again! So if we have him in the states, safe and sound, we are including him as much as possible! We will all be bundling up and heading out for Chickfila nuggets and peppermint milkshakes. And maybe we will be bringing a few treats back to Daddy’s Marines as a thank you for their hard work. Who knows …
Today’s Book: None other than … The Night Before Christmas. It is Christmas Eve afterall.
Today’s Activity: Christmas lights, Christmas music, and a movie with Daddy. Just as my parents did when we were younger – we will get into our car and drive around to look at the lights for one last time here in Colorado. Our police station, literally right around the corner, puts up a fantastic light display and our kiddos LOVED it last year. We will take our hot chocolate to go, check them out, and then return home for Christmas jammies and a movie. Don’t forget to leave cookies out for Santa!
I hope this inspired you to begin preparations for your toddler’s Christmas! One of the most awesome things about Christmas with kiddos is the opportunity to make it as magical as possible and extend that season for more than a day or two. Do you have any ideas or traditions you plan to start this year? Comment below! We love comments!
And don’t forget … We are working on some awesome things for YOU too this year.
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