Friday, January 3, 2014

December Fun!



I can’t believe 2014 is already here, time is just flying by! We had a lot of fun last month, playing and celebrating with family and friends. I will try to post some activities from January during the month, but in the meantime here are some December highlights:

Pumpkin Soup

I know we were a little behind the times, but we started December off cutting open our Halloween/Thanksgiving pumpkins and exploring the insides. Little C had zero interest in sticking her hand or a spoon inside the pumpkin but once I scooped out all the seeds and flesh and added a little water to the mix she had fun pouring and mixing and picking out the seeds. Afterwards, we sorted out the seeds and roasted them for a snack!


Christmas Play Dough


 
I made 3 new Christmas play doughs: minty green, holly red and vanilla cookie. Little C’s grandmother, Bunia, helped her roll and cut the play dough to make trees then rolled little balls for her to place on the trees. We also used mini cookie cutters to make Christmas cookies!

 
Christmas Scented Rice

I put a pound of white rice in each of 3 zip top bags. To the first we added a few drops of red food coloring and a sprinkle of cinnamon. To the second we added green food coloring and a few drops of mint extract. To the third we added red and green glitter. Then we mixed all the bags of rice to spread the colors and scents and left them to dry for a couple hours. I discovered that glitter in rice is not the best idea since it doesn’t really mix with the rice but tends to sink to the bottom and stick to everything else. This is a shot of the rice before my little explorer scooped and poured and mixed all the colors.


Fizzy Holiday Shapes


We set out a variety of Christmas/winter shaped cookie cutters on a cookie sheet. Then Little C helped me sprinkle baking soda inside each one. Then I provided her with a cup of green vinegar and a cup of red, along with 2 eye droppers and a ladle. She gave the eye droppers a valiant effort but just couldn’t quite get a handle on how to fill it. So she proceeded to pour the vinegar into the shapes using the ladle, creating fun colorful bubbles!

Eventually the entire pan was filled with greenish-reddish-brownish vinegar and constant sizzles and so I gave her a tablespoon and a bowl of baking soda to experiment with. If I’d had the energy to clean out the pan and start everything over I’m sure she would have sat there for half the night!


Snowy Fun!


Outdoors or indoors, snow is fun! (Although it does a lot less prep time to play indoors. Plus it’s easier to work with the snow since you’re not bundled up like an eskimo!) We were lucky enough to have a decent amount of snow before winter even started this year. So of course we bundled up and headed out to explore the vast whiteness but since our hands got wet and cold pretty quickly, I thought it sounded much easier to bring the snow inside! And we’ve found so many ways to play! First we painted the snow using colored water, eye droppers and spoons. 

 Then we made snow castles with cups and pipe cleaners. We tried to spray paint the towers but I quickly discovered 

Little C’s hands were still a bit too small to work the spray bottle with one hand! But she found her own two-handed method (can’t say her aim was very good though…). Finally, after a snowy playdate where we colored the snow blue, it melted into a perfect polar play land! So we added some ocean animals (ok so they’re not all polar animals…) and splashed around for a bit.


Cinnamon Dough Ornaments

 
We followed the recipe from Growing a Jeweled Rose to make our cinnamon dough. Our dough was very sticky – I’m not sure if we put in too much water or if that’s how it normally is. Either way we covered the kitchen in flour and made it work! Little C picked out a shape for each family member and we got to cutting. When the ornaments were dry, she did an awesome job painting them! I did forget to take a picture of the finished ornaments but everyone loved them!

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