January 8, 2019

Winter Wonderland - Kids Night In Review

Winter Wonderland - Kids Night In Review
*This post does contain affiliate links. I do make commission when any purchases are made using these links.

What a busy time of year! Between Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and birthday planning, it seems we haven't had time to stop. We've also had family in and out for the last 2 months, and my parents came to stay over Christmas. This was great because I had some help with our December Kids Night In box! The theme I am reviewing is Winter Wonderland. Did you get yours?! January's theme is Stand Tall, which is geared towards teaching kids confidence! The order cutoff is January 13th!

What's Included:
Night In Itinerary
Included book - Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
Art Paper
Water color tissue paper
Pipe cleaners
Black marker
Dancing snowflake cards
Juice mix

Winter Wonderland Themed Menu:
The menu involved a favorite breakfast food around here....french toast! Except you cut them into circles to make snowmen. How fun! We actually have french toast at least twice a month on the weekends, so it worked out perfectly. We didn't make the topping for them, but I have super picky kids anyways so they were fine with the usual butter, powered sugar, and syrup!

One of the activities was acting out how a snowflake moves. What does a snowflake look like if it's floating? Or twirling? My son got a kick out of this and tucked the cards away for playing another time.

We also worked on our fine motor skills by making a snowflake using pipe cleaners and beads. After forming the snowflake with the pipe cleaners, my son had to carefully place the beads on each end. Once it was finished and the ends were secure, we could bend and reshape the snowflake to any shape. After all, all snowflakes are different!

My favorite activity (and this is surprising because I usually put off the drawing activities from this box, ha!) was drawing and creating a sparkly snowflake. Most months, the drawing instructions are laid out in the itinerary and I end up drawing most of it. This month was different, we had to watch a step by step video in order to draw the snowflake and it went better than I had imagined. My son listened so well and followed every step so wonderfully, I didn't have to help at all with the exception of pausing the video every once in a while to allow him to finish the step.

After drawing the snowflake, we put the watercolor tissue paper around the paper, brushed on some water, and let it dry. Once dry, we removed the tissue paper and revealed a super colorful snowflake. The next step was to add the glitter to the flake. I really loved how it turned out and how great my son did. It showed me how helpful it is for young ones to have step by step directions rather than all at once.

The included book was Snowflake Bentley Jacqueline Briggs Martin. The book was rather long and a little to deep for my little guy, but he still enjoyed the pictures. The focus of the story is that all snowflakes are beautiful no matter how different, which relates to all living things. We may look different, but we are all beautiful in our own ways. It would be a great story for older children.

If this sounds like something right up your alley and want to try out the January box, you have until the 13th to get yours in time, so click my affiliate link here: Stand Tall.

*This post does contain affiliate links. I do make commission when any purchases are made using these links.

January 7, 2019

Christmas Tree Keepsake Ornament

Christmas has come and gone, and seriously wayyyyy too quickly. I love building up to Christmas Day and it's always so bittersweet when it's over. We aren't huge on yearly traditions, but I think we may have found a good one this year!

Growing up, my family always had an artificial Christmas tree. Being from Florida it just wasn't a big thing to go out and get a tree, and it wasn't a big deal as a kid because I didn't know any different. Our kids are almost 5 and almost 3, and this year we decided to get a real tree in addition to our regular artificial one.

Although Christmas is over, this is something you could probably do before hauling your tree away as well, though I got the idea when we picked out our tree.

Since this was our first tree I have no idea if this is something that happens everywhere, but part of getting our tree ready to go was cutting off a slice from the bottom of the trunk. Rather than leaving it on the ground, I picked it up to bring home with the thought of making an ornament with it. It was easy to prep and turned out so cute! You could do this every year to see how your trees have grown or changed, and see how your family grows.

Step 1:
Clean all the dirt and grime from the slice of wood using water and a sponge. Really only one side will be dirty.

Step 2:
To completely dry out your wood slice, place on a cookie sheet in a preheated oven (250 degrees) for 30-45 minutes PER SIDE.

Step 3:
Once your wood slice has cooled, use some sanding paper to smooth out the flat sides (top and bottom; not the sides with the bark).

Step 4:
Use paint for stamping your family's thumb prints on the ornament. I chose to just do my kids, but the whole family could probably fit.

Step 5:
Use a drill and drill a small hole through the top of the wood slice, and then place a ribbon/twine/string through to hang on your tree.

Step 6:
On the back (or front), be sure to write the current year!

Easy right? I decided to make my children's thumb prints into little reindeer, and to do that I waited for the paint to dry and then used a permanent marker. For their names I SHOULD have used one with a little more of a fine tip, but their finger prints are what will mean a lot in the coming years. I would LOVE to do this every year we get a real tree!

December 6, 2018

Give Thanks - Kids Night In Review

Give Thanks - Kids Night In Review
*This post does contain affiliate links. I do make commission when any purchases are made using these links.

So many things to be thankful for this time of year, and not just around Thanksgiving. We moved a few months ago and we were lucky enough to have some family come visit and join us for Thanksgiving in our new home. My kids LOVED having some extra familiar faces around, and I enjoyed the extra help in the kitchen. Our November Kids Night In box arrived just after Thanksgiving, but that didn't stop us from talking about what being grateful meant. With two independent and strong willed boys, sometimes they need the reminder. If you missed out on the November box, that's ok! You still have time to get the December themed box - Winter Wonderland. The order cutoff is December 13th!

Let's jump right into the contents of this box. I barely have time to take note as my son excitedly pulls everything out faster than I can say "wait for me!"

What's Included:
Night In Itinerary
Included book - Thanks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Art Paper
Water color set
Permanent marker
Plastic shovel
Seed paper
Watch Me Grow pocket greenhouse
Candy Melts

I always tell myself, next month we'll get to the menu! But then my kids can't wait once we get the box and I end up not doing it. I really wanted to this month, and I still probably will because it was so cute and the perfect snack for my apple loving kids.

Give Thanks Themed Menu:
The menu this month went right along with The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In fact, it was a delicious fruit and veggie snack made to look like the Caterpillar himself! Using green and red apples, celery, carrots, and other goodies to make the caterpillar in a little garden. It really went perfectly with this theme, and it will be something we definitely try in the future.

One of the activities was talking about gratitude, giving thanks, and paying it forward. The itinerary went through the acronym:

Thank others
Help others
Appreciate what you have
Notice your blessings
Know your gifts
Serve others

We then talked about family, friends, and objects we have in our lives that we are thankful for. Another activity was discussing how important it is to care for our Earth and planting seeds. We used soil from a planter, planted and watered our seeds. We hung them in the window and my son has been checking them every day! We talked about how plants help us to be able the breathe, rain fills up our rivers and lakes to give us clean water to drink. We always have to be thankful for these, and not take them for granted.

My son's favorite activity was making the Butterfly Gratitude Bag, and he ended up sharing with his little brother. After all, they are thankful for each other. Together, we melted the candy melts and drizzled it over the pretzels. We then added the sprinkles for a special touch. I can't say that there weren't any sticky fingers made in the process, that melted candy was pretty yummy! There was a lot left over, so we ended up using pretzels from our pantry and making candy coated pretzels for an extra snack for a later day.

The last activity was drawing, coloring, and water coloring a leaf. We then discussed what my son was thankful for, and wrote it around the leaf. What a great activity to create calmness and reflect on what's important.

My favorite part of each box is the included book. They are always such great reads that I don't mind adding to our book collection. The book this month was Thanks from The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, and if you love children's books like I do (hello former teacher!), you know that he's a great author and illustrator. This book was about saying thanks and being thankful for everything around us, to care for and be kind to all living creatures. Of course, it had the best illustrations.

If this sounds like something right up your alley and want to try out the December box, you have until the 13th to get yours in time, so click my affiliate link here: Winter Wonderland and use code NIBWINTER to save 15% on all plans!

*This post does contain affiliate links. I do make commission when any purchases are made using these links.