How to Make an Advent Calendar

Knock knock! Who’s there? The holidays! The holidays are coming and with that, a lot of new and exciting things lie ahead for Pluto!

Auntie K has teamed up with the incredible Jessie Jane of Lilyshop to create an amazing DIY punch board advent calendar right on time to welcome in the new month of December.

Advent Calendars…fun for adults, but MORE fun for kids! Why?  Kids love surprises so let’s get into the Christmas spirit and make these holidays fun and enjoyable for your little ones.

Sure, you can buy a chocolate advent calendar from the store, but that’s not as enjoyable as making your very own handmade advent calendar and surprising your kids with little gifts that they’ll look forward to everyday! Whether it’s a small toy car, a princess bracelet, play-doh, or candy….your kids will look forward to punching through and reaching for a little treat each day.

What you’ll need:

  • 24″ x 36″ posterboard
  • circle cutter
  • spray paint
  • 25 small brown paper bags
  • specialty tissue paper

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Thanksgiving Decor Challenge – $50

I had so much fun doing my Halloween Decor Challenge last month that I wanted to repeat the challenge again for Thanksgiving.  Kids are from Pluto’s Thanksgiving under $50 décor challenge!

With a modern dining room to embellish, I knew I wanted to keep the décor clean with fall colors and include subtle touches of natural ornamentation: leaves, pinecones, fruits, and vegetables.

Your Thanksgiving decorations do not need to break the bank. Be creative and look in your yard for natural elements, in your fridge for un-used vegetables, or even on your kitchen table for fruits.  Then, stack them in tall cylinder vases and set them on the dining table for all your guests to enjoy.

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Can you guess what my next challenge is?  I’ll give you a hint…it’s coming up in a couple of weeks!  I can’t wait!

MessMatz – making arts and crafts easier

Playdoh, markers, paint, stamps, stickers…ahh, the crafting life with kids. Do you hesitate to grab the art supplies because of the set up, the mess, and then later, the dreadful clean up? Seems minor, but we can all agree that arts and crafts with kids is never easy and clean. In fact, it’s a BIG MESS.

My nephew and niece, Jackson and Riley personally LOVE to play with Play-Doh.  PLAY-DOH, my sister’s worst nightmare.  Kids love Play-Doh for its texture, its flexibility, its mold-ability, its colors, and so much more. Parents love it because it keeps the kids occupied, but hate it because it gets everywhere! In the crevices of your table, all over the floor, Play-Doh can be a huge mess.

I recently had the pleasure to attend the 2012 ABC Kidz Expo and came across a simple and neat product that is the SIMPLE answer to this arts and crafts horror story. MessMatz.

MessMatz is made of silicone rubber and will be your table’s new best friend.  It’s simple, durable, certified food-safe, and non-toxic! No more messes on your table, counter, or floor. No more dried glue. No more glitter in every crack and crevice. No more paint left behind.  Most of all, it’s easy to clean up – just soap and water will do the trick!

MessMatz is great for Jackson and Riley to do their crafts on, even to use during their meals!  They love that there is a place for them to make a mess. If it’s blue, it’s COOL! It makes arts & crafts with kids so much easier!

MessMatz – making clean up easier, one crafts at a time.  Save your table, get one now!

 

 

Advent Calendars for Kids

It’s almost time for the big Christmas countdown to begin! That means it’s time to get your family’s advent calendar together.  An advent calendar is a must have thing to have to celebrate the Christmas season all month long. Make your own advent calendar for the family, especially for the little ones. Kids will have so much fun picking out one treat a day until Christmas comes!  Remember, wonderful things come in small packages.

Fill these envelopes with hints to let your kids know where they can find their treat!

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A mini muffin tin is just the right size to hold those little treasures.

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I love the idea of hanging small presents from clothes pins!

Make a cute Christmas garland with Chinese take out boxes.

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How fun is this?  Add a new ornament to your Christmas tree as each day passes by!

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Hang mini stockings (your children’s socks) and hide little treats inside!

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What little child wouldn’t love to punch through a tissue paper hole to grab their surprise?!

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Remember to start early with your advent calendar, you don’t want to miss the first day of December! Just think about the exciting look on your child’s face every morning of December…PRICELESS!

Let the Christmas countdown begin!

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving food… got the turkey, ham, gravy, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans, and yams.  With all that on your plate, make sure there’s room for dessert! Yes, dessert, the dish that’s always there and never forgotten. =) There are plenty of ways to include autumn’s signature flavors into desserts that go beyond the usual offerings.  Here are a few Thanksgiving sweets to serve along with the traditional ‘ol pumpkin pie!

Make it fun for everyone, especially the kids who will be coming along to dinner!  Invite your kids into the kitchen to create some of these adorable Thanksgiving desserts for everyone to enjoy!

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Simple Toys for Kids

Today’s advanced technology with it’s motion sensors, sensory pads, audio and visual capabilities can often lead to the misperception that modern is better, especially with the case of toys and games for kids. Yes, I admit, with the invention of the iPad, the task to keep your child entertained is on cruise control.

Pros: You can be rest-assured that your child will be entertained, sitting, and behaving.

Cons: You lose that sense engagement with your child.

Sometimes simpler is better and less is more.  Let’s try putting down the iPad and other advanced technological toys that came out of a box and let’s be creative with the most simplest and fun toys/games that can be just as effective and possibly even more memorable.

Never run out of fun things to do with these clever ideas! Engaging, interactive, and fun, these simple games/toys will provide your child with hours and hours of amusement.

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