Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter Holy Week



For your convenience, below is a link to my Holy Week outline which has tips for celebrating each day of Easter Holy Week with your children. It includes scripture references, discussion points, and activities. It is still a work in progress as my children grow and I discover new and better ways to make this time of year meaningful, but I hope that you can use it as a spring board for your own families and that it will offer some helpful suggestions of how to keep your Easters centered on Christ. Thanks for stopping by! 

Click here:




Also, here are some other great sources:


A Christ Centered Easter Week
 (Source: mybellemichelle.com)  This is a 

great resource for activities  to do with young children each day of Easter 

Week (Holy Week).






30 Christ-Centered Easter Crafts and Activities (Source: beinglds.blogspot.com)




Why Do We Celebrate Easter Flip Book (Source: theredheadedhostess.com)





A cute little advent of activities and scriptures for young children. (Source: lds.org)




Lastly, just in case you have not already seen it, please check out this short 

but powerful video clip HERE,  about the true meaning of Easter. I 

promise, you won't regret it.



Happy Easter!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Winter Wonderland Unit




I had so much fun this month sharing on Instagram some of the things my kids and I did to celebrate winter this year!! I think January is such a fun month and I hope that my posts were helpful to those of you looking for some new ideas to celebrate and enjoy winter with your kids.  If you aren't already, you can follow me on instagram @allseasonssweet! I'll be posting fun ideas and tips for mamas (and daddies) and their kiddos monthly to help make the seasons sweet  =)


I am a huge fan of not only doing enriching and educational activities with my kids, but I love centering those activities around a common theme or unit. That is because children absorb and retain more of what they learn when they learn in categories and can make connections between common ideas.  For more information about units and their value to both children and moms see my tab above  or click HERE!  Units take very little time, preparation or creativity, I promise!, but the results are definitely worthwhile I believe. 


January is anything but drab and boring!
For us, January is about all things SNOW:  Snowmen, snowflakes, polar animals, etc. I love it because it teaches my children to make connections with the world around them as they explore this beautiful season and all it has to offer. And I believe it helps them to better appreciate winter and Mother Earth. 

I've compiled some of our favorite January activities below for your convenience, but don't forget to also check out my previous Winter posts with more ideas and personal thoughts on this wonderful time of year!

See my previous posts here:

Snowmen and Polar Animal Fun




Here is what we did this year and my suggestions for making your winter fabulous!


SNOWMAN PANCAKES




2- INGREDIENT SNOW DOUGH


Just combine cornstarch and white, unscented lotion (chill both in the fridge or freezer for a while beforehand to make it cold like snow.)  Just eye-ball the amounts and mix to desired consistency. We did about 2 cups cornstarch to 1 cup lotion. Then add some white glitter and peppermint extract (optional) for some added winter-sensory fun! 


WINTER FRUIT SNACKS


Black Forest makes these fun fruit snacks that are pine tree, polar bear, penguin and snowman shaped. 



WINTER STORY-TIME


There are SOOOOO many fun winter books!! Pictured are some of my favorites, but see my previous winter posts above for many more suggestions!




SIZZLING SNOWFLAKES


SO EASY! Instructions on my blog post "January Traditions"


PAPER SNOWFLAKES




RICE KRISPY SNOWMEN


See my post (link above) "Snowmen and Polar Animal Fun" for instructions!


SNOW PAINT


From growingajeweledrose.com, this paint is soft and puffy and even cold to the touch!



TODDLER SNOWMAN ACTIVITIES



My son did the one above when he was just barely two years old. It was a perfect little easy activity. Below is another cute idea for slightly older toddlers. 




SNOWFLAKE PRETZELS


Recipe on my post "January Traditions" (link above.)



PAINTED WINTER SCENES


We used Melissa and Doug's large coloring pages of arctic animals. 



RICE KRISPY SNOWFLAKES


Make a sheet of Rice Krispy Treats and then use snowflake cookie cutters to cut out shapes. 


SNOWFLAKE JOURNAL


Make a snowflake journal with lots of fun activities. Free printable at spelloutloud.com.  Also, see my post "January Traditions" for some great resources and books to learn about snowflakes and Snowflake Bentley. 


SNOWFLAKE PRE-K and KINDER EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES



Free printables at ateachingmommy.com and royalbaloo.com!  We did a bunch of these activities and my son LOVED them!!




SNOWMAN PIZZA



We used Trader Joes fresh pizza dough. Just use bell peppers for scarf and nose and large olives sliced in half for the buttons and face. Bake at 475* for about 10-15 min. 



POLAR ANIMAL LEARNING


We checked out books from our library on Polar Animals and spent an afternoon learning about them. Then we printed off a "Arctic Animal Science Journal" from the computer (I just googled worksheets/coloring pages and printed off a bunch and then stapled them into a book.) We also did a Polar Animal Report on my son's favorite animal which was an arctic fox.  { We made this simple by asking: My favorite animal is _______, It can _______, It has _______, It likes to eat ______ and it looks like this: (draw a picture). }



POLAR ANIMAL PLAY 


We loved this idea from IG overthefirstgraderainbow!  Just fill a plastic bucket or storage container with water and freeze. This can easily be done by just leaving it outside if you live in a cold enough climate. Then set a metal (or heat safe) bowl onto the ice and pour boiling water into it to let it melt a big ring in the ice to create a pool/ocean. Let your kids have so much fun playing with plastic polar animals in this wintery arctic scene. 


SNOWFLAKE OBERSVATION


Catch snowflakes on a sheet of black paper and look at them with a magnifying glass! Learn about their different shapes and formations.  (We just put stickers onto a black sheet since we don't have snow where we live.)


MELTING SNOWMAN



This was a fun activity. Build this little putty snowman over and over and watch him slowly melt!



POLAR BEAR PAW CUPCAKES


Recipe on my blog post "Snowmen and Polar Animal Fun" (link above.)



BUILD A SNOWMAN



I found this fun snowman foam kit at Michaels for just a few bucks. 




AND this awesome idea from growingajeweledrose.com is so easy and fun. Just cut snowman parts out of craft foam, wet them with a little water and stick to a window. 


SNOWMAN SANDWICHES


Just make a sandwich, cut it into a circle and use raisins (or chocolate chips) and a carrot to make a snowman face. 



And of course....  

Don't forget to play in the SNOW!!!

Photocred: lorieboris.com


For more ideas including: 

Victorian Snow Luncheon
Snowman Crafts 
Polar Animal Crafts
Snowflake pancakes
Snow Cream recipe

...see my posts listed above. 



XOXO  
ANNIE





Friday, January 2, 2015

'Cause That's the Way Things Happen on the Polar Express

Christmas morning was magical. With just our little family, it was also very quiet and peaceful. The kids opened their presents and daddy surprised us all with tickets to Disneyland!! Mommy almost cried tears of joy. If you know my husband you know that this is a BIG deal. He has never quite caught the Disney spirit, if you know what I mean, so this was a huge surprise for his Disneyland-lovin' wife!  I can't wait to take our kids and show them what it's all about! #disneylandforever




Daddy also had one more surprise up his sleeve. Don't ask me what got into Caleb this year. Maybe it was the elation he felt after passing his dental boards and being oh so close to graduation. Or maybe he just drank one too many sparkling ciders. Either way, Beckam's birthday is the day after Christmas, so he surprised Beckam with a trip up to Flagstaff, AZ to take a ride on the Polar Express!  Beckam was so excited!!


After presents and our traditional breakfast of cinnamon rolls and scrambled eggs, we hopped in the car and headed north. We were SO excited when about an hour into our drive it started snowing!!  Mommy almost started crying tears of joy again. We blasted Christmas music and watched the flurries fall as we drove. It was definitely one of my favorite Christmas memories to date.  



About 3 pm we checked into the Marriott Hotel. We had decided to super low-ball Priceline.com's Name Your Own Price and see our odds and the Marriott took our bid. SCORE!


First on our agenda was a trip to the indoor heated pool. Thank you Marriot hotel! We swam the afternoon away and then went back to our room to snuggle in and have pizza and watch a movie. 





The next morning, Beckam's birthday, we went swimming again and then had lunch at a famous Mexican restaurant in Flagg. 


And then it was time to head to the Grand Canyon Central Station!




After a little bit of waiting, THE POLAR EXPRESS pulled up to the station! There were hundreds of children waiting in their pajamas just like Beckam and when they could hear the engine coming it was so cute to hear the squeals of excitement!






It was FREEZING waiting to board the train!!



But Beckam had his trusty hat and gloves from Great Grandma Charlotte so he stayed very warm! :) 


Finally, the conductor yelled, "All aboard!!" and I don't think Beckam's mouth closed for the next 90 minutes. 


We sat on the toasty train car and soon it started to chug away from the station as the soundtrack from Polar Express started playing. When the "Hot Chocolate Song" came on, servers in white chef uniforms came down the aisles passing out hot chocolate and warm chocolate chip cookies to enjoy while they read the story of the Polar Express. 








The conductor came by at one point and yelled "Tickets please! Tickets!" and punched each child's ticket with a special letter. 
And then we all sang Christmas carols until the conductor came over the PA and yelled, "The engineer has just spotted the lights of the North Pole up ahead!" 


Out the window was the North Pole and Santa Claus and his reindeer and sleigh!  



The train screeched to a hault and all the children screamed as Santa started towards the train! Before we knew it Santa himself was standing right in the aisle and gave each of us a bell from his sleigh!  Beckam yelled to him, "Thank you for my batman costume, Santa!" 




It was such a perfect little Christmas weekend getaway! We definitely feel grateful for our blessings and for this wonderful Christmas we could spend together as a little family. I will remember it for years to come. I hope all of you had a wonderful Christmas too!!

And may the bell still ring for all who truly believe =)




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