Reusing Christmas Cards

Reusing Old Christmas Cards for Kids to Make New Ones

In January, I take down all of the beautiful holiday cards that were sent to us and sort them into two piles.  Cards with photographs in one pile and regular cards in another.

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All of our photo cards for the year now get put on metal rings like this, we so enjoy flipping back through them each year.  All of our other cards go into a big collection box that gets pulled out each year for our kids to use!

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My kids make cards for a few special people in their lives and we use these old cards to cut from!

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They choose cards that have pictures, phrases, or verses they like and cut and glue to create a special card for their special person.

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This one was for her gymnastics teacher.

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I save old Christmas scrapbook paper for them to use also.  We have done this for years, some years they have even just made collages for fun.

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So, don’t throw away your cards, save them for crafting with next year!

Advent Fun 2013

Advent 2013

I have purposely documented our daily Advent fun together this year on Instagram!  The secret reason I did this wasn’t really to share, but to keep myself accountable!  I am not always the best with follow-through on long term projects, like Advent.  My daily photos helped remind me and kept me from slacking off.

Since we traveled this year, I closed up our Advent activities on Dec. 19, so we doubled up some things that were intended to last longer. Dec. 19 ended up being a pretty crazy day and at the last minute I decided to pack up the very last Advent bag and bring it with us on our trip.  We opened the final bag on Christmas Day and read our Christmas Eve and Day Jesse Tree devotions together.

We used the brown bag set up this year and in the bags I kept ~ Jesse Tree ornament, Christmas ABC, and the Christmas joke.

Each school day the kids also got a new Christmas sensory bin surprise, and we also did our Birth of Jesus study for 7 of the school days. It was a low stress year, easy to do each day and for the most part, I kept my attitude in check.  I am mostly thrilled that the kids learned a lot, the Birth of Jesus study was reason for that!

Here’s a peek into Advent 2013 , thanks to Instagram!

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Resources we enjoyed this year…

Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers

Christmas Crafts for Preschoolers

This year I planned crafts for my girl since she loves crafts! She is very picky, however, so I chose carefully.  I used my Christmas Pinterest board and let her choose what looked fun to her.  I know better than to just pick what I think she will like.  I had tons of reindeer crafts pinned since she LOVES reindeer, but to my surprise, she had zero interest in any reindeer crafts!

Many of these ideas came from other blogs and the original idea is linked in the title of the craft, so be sure to visit the blog I got the idea from to see more inspiration for the craft!


~ Paper Christmas Tree ~

I had old scrapbook paper and cut up a huge pile for my kids to create trees with!  I helped Ladybug one by one as we measured together and trimmed the edges.

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She chose to used stickers for her ornaments.

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I am so glad we did this, it turned out so cute and she had a blast making it!

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~ Bead Wreath ~

My girl loves beads so I thought this would be a great day.  I was wrong.  It took her awhile to get into this craft, but once she did, she loved it.

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~ Name in Lights ~

This is an old idea from back in my Kindergarten teaching days!  Would you believe she even used leftover lights from my Christmas box that I used when I taught K over 10 years ago. They are just colored light pieces, and black rectangle pieces stapled with a loop at the top for stringing.  All shapes were cut free hand out of construction paper.

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She chose to use only pink, purple and red ~ her favorite colors. She wrote the letters of her name and then I helped her string them on in the correct order.

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She insisted it was a necklace and had me tie it up so she could put it on!

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~ Bead Candy Canes ~

We have made versions of these before, this year we added Perler Beads to the options, she loved that!

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She chose the colors, which is why we have a glittery purple pipe cleaner. 

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We trimmed the final candy canes down to the size she wanted, and hung them on our tree!

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See more of the crafts I let her choose from pinned to my Christmas Theme Board!

Christmas Theme Pinterest Board

Just Color! Santa Elves and Reindeer

The idea behind Just Color! is simple ~ theme packs all focused around coloring. There are mostly coloring pages, and a few coloring activities. The coloring pages are all in one download to make it easier to download and print all at once, in case you have coloring monsters like I do!

I just added a new Santa, Elves & Reindeer Coloring set! My girl LOVES reindeer this year, so that’s why this set was added!

Christmas Coloring ...Santa Elves and Reindeer_thumb[2]

Remember, if you want to make a mini coloring book, you can always scale down PDF files! If you have any problems downloading or printing these or other PDF files, see troubleshooting tips here.

We also have 3 other Christmas Coloring sets…

Just Color Nativity[3] Just Color 12 Days of Christmas s[2] Just Color Christmas[1]

 


Looking for more Christmas Theme fun?

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Birth of Jesus Review & Giveaway

Grapevine Bible Studies The Birth of Jesus

{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used in this post, I also received a free copy of the Birth of Jesus student and teacher eBook}

We have used and loved Grapevine Bible Studies for years!  This year we decided to use the Birth of Jesus mini study for part of our Christmas learning.  We already had the Beginner Level Birth of Jesus Study eBooks and Dianna from Grapevine kindly sent me the Traceable eBook {student and teacher} to review with Ladybug!

I don’t print my manual, I load it into iBooks and use my iPad, as shown below.  I also use my phone with the Bible app ready to go with our verses for the lesson. This helps me stay more streamlined in my teaching and works better for me.

The Birth of Jesus Grapevine Bible Study for Kids

 

I made each of my kids a mini book with their drawing pages inside.  I printed the beginner pages for my boys {ages 7 and 11} and printed the tracer pages for Ladybug {age 4}

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Each of my kids has a different color rectangle on the cover to easily grab the right one.  I made a few extra colors and left the names off in case you’d like to use them too.

 Download the covers here!

The Birth of Jesus Bible Study Covers

This study is 7 lessons, taking your kids through the events and people surrounding the Birth of Jesus; Mary, Joseph, The Birth, Shepherds, The Temple, The Wise Men, & Herod.

I set my kids up like this each day, using our lap trays from Michaels and our color coded school supply buckets.

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I stand at the dry erase board and teach them from there.  Stick figures make me happy.  Even I can draw them!

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I love how simple this study is, and that it is only 7 lessons.  Yes it is simple, but it is powerful.  The discussions that have stemmed from our lessons so far have been phenomenal!  I am so very thankful we decided to use it this year. It is one of the only things we can successfully learn together with the age range I have {ages 4, 7, 11}.

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My favorite drawing from the study so far is definitely from my oldest son, who manages to make his drawings quite unique! I shared this on Instagram here!

Birth Of Jesus

 

This particular Instagram post got some questions about how we explain the concept of “virgin” to our young kids.  I answered over in the comments of the Instagram post if you’d like to see!

Birth of Jesus...Mary

 

It is not too late to use this study this December, since it is only 7 lessons you have plenty of time!  You can purchase it today and get started almost immediately as there is very little prep work! 

Buy it now and if you win the giveaway you’ll get your money back

Be sure to use the 20% discount code too: DecBlog.

Enter to win the eBook version of The Birth of Jesus Student and Teacher manual below in the Rafflecopter widget.  You get to choose the level if you are the winner.  This is a fast giveaway, ending Friday 12/13/13, so I can get the prize out this weekend for the winner!

a Rafflecopter giveaway