Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall, Crafts and Giving Thanks

I cannot believe how quickly this month has flown by! It seems like it was just yesterday that we were playing in the sprinkler and picking veggies from the garden, and now, it's almost Christmas time!

We have certainly had a lot going on this month with trying to get into our new "school" year routine. We opted to not put our 4 year old daughter in preschool this year but I still wanted to begin to work with her at home with some of the basics of pre-writing and pre-reading as well as just some concepts with numbers, patterns, fine motor skills and such. So we're trying to figure out the best way to get our lessons to fit in with our already packed work week. On top of that, we also started doing tumbling class with both of the girls once a week so we are getting into that new routine, as well. I think after a few weeks we're finally getting it down though. We have also had a few home repairs, a couple of doctor's visits for the kids and the milestone of BOTH girls graduating into big girl beds! Amelia gave up her crib and got the toddler bed from Autumn and Autumn is now in a twin bed. We're only on night #3 in the new beds so we're still waiting to see how this really goes.

We did still manage to squeeze in a couple easy but super fun fall crafts too!

Steffany over at Spit and Sparkles taught me this super fun trick of doing shape cut outs and putting the paint inside of a plastic bag for the kids to smash. It's pretty great for the mess-free aspect (which is great for a 2 year old like I have!) but I also love it for the effect it gave the leaves when using multiple colors.

The girls did the leaf painting inside the plastic bags and I laid them out of wax paper to dry over night. Te next morning, my 4 year old helped me to string the leaves onto brown ribbon to hang as garland. I really love how it looks! 

4 year old's Tree

At age 2 and 4, my girls still go between being really excited about crafts and not being interested at ALL. I have learned that they are most interested when they are able to feel accomplished with a completed activity that doesn't take too long. It also makes for a happy mama when there is easy clean-up. That's why I love Q-tip painting crafts!

I learned about this one from another blogger (link to her page above). She did this craft with older children and theirs came out a little more realistic looking but I love that this is a craft that can be done by both young and old!

2 year old's Tree

Last year, we had a bit more of a long-term craft throughout the month with our thankful tree. It was so much fun to add to that tree each day but I just didn't have an opportunity to do that again this year. I did save the leaves, though,  from last year. It was a lot of fun to look through them again. So, now, I would like to share a few of my favorites to give thanks once again!

Snow: That's right - we had snow mid-November last year and here we are with snow again in mid-November!

Our baby girl getting better: One year ago this month, our youngest daughter had her first wheezing episode and had to use breathing treatments to get better. It was a pretty scary thing but we were so thankful when she recovered quickly. Exactly a year later, she is getting a work-up for food allergies and still has periodic wheezing episodes. This continues to give us a scare but we are so thankful that she has always recovered quickly.

The fishes: My girls were both thankful for the fish last year after a visit to our local aquarium. This year, we ironically spent a whole week talking about fish while we are working on letter "F" for our lessons!

Drawing and  Cutting: This time last year, my oldest got her first pair of safety scissors and had just begun to learn how to cut. This is a skill she has excelled at and truly enjoys. And both girls, of course, love to draw and color whenever they can.

Eyes so we can see: My then 3 year old daughter said this one and I think it's something important that at such a young and tender age, she is not taking something, such as her ability to see, for granted. She appreciates what she can see and I think this is a very special thing.

The whole family also included these things that we are very thankful for: our family, our warm house, our jobs, our health and food. And, yes, indeed, I am thankful to be able to be thankful for each and every one of these things once again this year! 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

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