Christmas Book Advent for Kids

Christmas Book Advent for Kids

I know that last week I shared this Christmas Advent Ornament to make and complete with your family, but I also wanted to make sure to share an idea that’s perfect, especially for little ones.  While I definitely plan to get our two year old involved with some fun holiday traditions this year, I also wanted to take the chance to read some favorite Christmas books that I’ve managed to collect over the years {from my teaching days}.

Christmas Book Advent for kids with 25 picture books to be opened each day leading up to #Christmas! #kids #books via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

This idea is most definitely not my own, as I’ve seen it many different times across the blogosphere and on Pinterest.  Sometimes an idea is just so good and so clever that it really doesn’t need much tweaking {or in this case explaining}.  Essentially I’ve rounded up 25 favorite Christmas picture books and wrapped each individual book.

Christmas Book Advent for kids with 25 picture books to be opened each day leading up to #Christmas! #kids #books via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

I gathered some fun snowflake wrapping paper and colorful Christmas present tags to use to number each book 1-25.  I had about 18 Christmas books already in my collection, spent about $20 on 4 new titles, and got the rest from the public library!

YES.  For real.  I wrapped some library books.  {He’s two, he won’t care}.

I made sure to put the library books towards the beginning of the advent calendar since they’ll be due about mid way through December!

Christmas Book Advent for kids with 25 picture books to be opened each day leading up to #Christmas! #kids #books via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

Here’s a list of just some of the books I’ve included this year.  Obviously you’ll need to adjust the list to best suit the needs/age/reading level of your own child.  My husband and I will be the ones reading the books to our son, so I didn’t need to worry about his ability to read them himself.

I did make sure to put “The Night Before Christmas” by Clement Moore as our book of choice for the 24th.  Each year we like to purchase a new copy of this classic Christmas story.  It’s fun to compare the different versions and illustrations!

I also made sure to include some winter and snow related books, Christmas books, and religious books.  Again, your preference for your selections is completely up to you!

Each book is now wrapped and numbered and waiting to be opened in a cute basket that I decorated with a couple of jingle bells, some small plastic ornaments, and holiday inspired ribbons.

Christmas Book Advent for kids with 25 picture books to be opened each day leading up to #Christmas! #kids #books via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com

I’m so excited to read these each day to our little guy and hope he enjoys his new books before his nap each afternoon!

How are you counting down the days until Christmas with your little ones?  I’d love to hear some different ideas!

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About Meredith Hazel

Meredith is a stay at home mom and has been blogging since 2012. She started Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home as a creative outlet in between nap times for her little one. Wait 'Til Your Father gets home is a combination of crafting tutorials, DIY projects, recipes and, sharing some of life's journey along the way.

Documenting Baby’s First Year

Documenting Baby’s First Year

We are by no means even half way through my second baby’s first year, but I wanted to share with all of you how I’ve chosen to document his weekly changes.  I did the same for my first born and ended up turning the photos into an awesome photo book that we always manage to look through together on a weekly basis.  It’s so fun to see just how quickly they change, and I know I will cherish these photos for the rest of my life.

Document Baby's First Year with weekly pictures via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com #baby #photos #weekbyweek

To document baby’s first year, you’ll need just a few items…

small chalk board

chalk pens

white background

cute, growing baby

Each Sunday, I set aside some time to take my little guy’s picture.

Some tips I have when taking a baby’s picture.

1.  Make sure the baby is happy!  My little guy is usually quite the happy camper, but I find that I get the best pictures of him after he’s been well fed and has taken a nap.  A dry diaper never hurts either!

Document Baby's First Year with weekly pictures via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com #baby #photos #weekbyweek

2.  If you’re going to use a chalk board for each week, like I’ve chosen to do, invest in some chalk pens.  Trust me.  They look awesome, don’t create any dust, and are easier to wipe off from week to week with a damp cloth.

Document Baby's First Year with weekly pictures via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com #baby #photos #weekbyweek

3.  Try to keep your backgrounds consistent.  I want the focus to be on my baby, not on the background.  So, all of my photos have been taken on our king size bed.  I try my hardest not to get anything else in the background each week, but I’m not perfect.  I do always take the photos when there is good, natural light coming into the room and do some minor editing in PicMonkey.  Having the all white background of the comforter and pillows allows me to brighten up the photo quite a bit.

Document Baby's First Year with weekly pictures via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com #baby #photos #weekbyweek

4.  Most of all have fun!  I probably take an average of 50-75 shots each week {thank goodness for memory cards, right?!}.  Make faces, silly sounds, and giggle with your baby.  You’ll get a better shot if they know you’re having fun with them!

Document Baby's First Year with weekly pictures via www.waittilyourfathergetshome.com #baby #photos #weekbyweek

When you’ve reached 52 weeks, congratulations!  You’ve made it one whole year.  Throw a big party, let your baby dig his or her chubby hands into a big slice of birthday cake, and then sit down to put all the weekly photos together somehow.  For my first son’s book, I used Shutterfly {during a major sale} and included all 52 weeks plus photos from his first birthday party.  This would also be an awesome project to complete with a Project Life Mini Kit {they specifically make Baby Boy and Girl Editions}.

Happy growing and learning!

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About Meredith Hazel

Meredith is a stay at home mom and has been blogging since 2012. She started Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home as a creative outlet in between nap times for her little one. Wait 'Til Your Father gets home is a combination of crafting tutorials, DIY projects, recipes and, sharing some of life's journey along the way.

{Car & Truck Birthday Party}

{Car & Truck Birthday Party}

At SNAP! 2013 I was able to meet tons of new bloggy friends.  Two such friends were Carli and her assistant, Abbey of Dimple Prints.  Shortly after returning home, they asked me to participate in their Summer Party Series, and I jumped at the chance since I’ve got two little ones with Summer birthdays now.

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Since my little guy is currently obsessed with all things cars and trucks, I immediately knew that their Car & Truck Party Package would be a perfect fit for his big day.

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I was a printables newbie, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy the process was…

Place Your Order: Check out the Dimple Prints shop, choose a package, complete the order form and pay via payPal.

Sit back and relax while the gals at Dimple Prints design your package.

Their orders are typically completed on a 2 business day turn around.  You get an email when the order is complete and all party packages are sent in PDF format {invitations are sent as JPEGs}

Print: You can print the package at home or print & copy centers.  Easy as 1-2-3!

The quality of everything was fantastic!  Just take a look at the invitations and the rest of the party decor.

invitation

{Party Invitations are sent as JPEGs and customized to meet your needs}

birthday banner

I loved the birthday banner.  I chose to print most of my printables on regular copy paper since I knew I’d be mounting all of them on colored cardstock.  It worked perfectly and was completely durable.

name banner1

I chose to put his name banner across the top of the table where his party favors and birthday book were located.

name banner

Yes, we collect empty wine bottles.

No, I didn’t feel like taking them down for the party.

favor table

I LOVE having something to remember the day by each year.  For Jackson’s first birthday all the guests signed a couple of baseballs to go along with his All-American baseball party.  This year I found a great Dr. Seuss book for his guests to sign.

The favors were so fun to create using a cute tag from the Car & Truck Package.

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I put them all in a vase filled with M&M’s and surrounded by cars stickers and temporary tattoos.  All were a big hit with the kiddos!

party favors

There was another kind of banner to create from the package, so I chose to hang these pennants on our mantel to decorate the gift area.

gift banner

One of my favorite areas of the entire party was the cupcake table.  There were so many options for cute cupcake toppers in the package, that I decided to make them double sided and put them together with a scalloped circle of cardstock in between.

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cupcake toppers

I also decorated above the cupcake table with even more printables from the package by punching holes at the top and bottom of each circle and tying them together with curling ribbon.

hanging decor

The party package offered tons of other fun printables as well, such as cupcake wraps, water and juice wraps, food tents, party hats, favor boxes, and even thank you cards, BUT since I just had a baby a little over a month ago I didn’t have the chance to use it all!

All in all it was a fantastic and fun 2nd Birthday party…

birthday party

I’ll be sharing some more fun birthday related projects in the coming weeks.  Keep your eyes peeled for

Birthday Celebration Wreath

birthday wreath

Photo Banner

photo banner

Simple Birthday Centerpieces

candle centerpieces

Plus a few more party ideas too!

Now, for the totally awesome part…my sweet friends at Dimple Prints are offering a $30 Party Package to one of my lucky readers.  There are literally TONS of super cute party packages to choose from, and they aren’t all just for birthday parties.

To enter for your chance to win follow the Rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and happy party planning!

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About Meredith Hazel

Meredith is a stay at home mom and has been blogging since 2012. She started Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home as a creative outlet in between nap times for her little one. Wait 'Til Your Father gets home is a combination of crafting tutorials, DIY projects, recipes and, sharing some of life's journey along the way.

{Fun & Educational Water Gun Targets}

 
Hello, Hello, WTYFGH readers! I’m Sky and my blog is called Capital B- it’s a fun little spot where I share my crafty creativeness… yes, that’s a word ;)… and life surrounded by five awesome boys… yes, one of those five is my young-at-heart hubby! I recently met Meredith, just before she had her new little guy, and was taken with her charm in an instant! I’m thrilled to be here sharing a project that my boys look forward to every summer.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one that gets frustrated being the recipient of the kiddo’s water gun cross fire, right? It’s a rather rare occasion that I’m up for running around getting soaked for the afternoon like they are. A couple of years ago, I quickly designed a few sheets of letters and pictures that my older son enjoyed, then laminated them, for him to aim at instead! New ones were made last year too- my boys loved them and seem to start asking about them in April or so. And today, I’m sharing this years versions with you!
There are ten sheets, each with a fun picture, a shape and a number or letter that kids can aim for! I used some cute digital papers from the awesome Summertime Designs to cutesify the targets- I love the patterns and textures!
These are a good way to help my little guy, who will start preschool in the Fall, learn a few basic letters (M, R, L, H, E), and also for my older son, who is six, to stay practiced up a bit with some larger numbers (3, 5, 10, 25, 400). The shapes included also are rectangle, square, triangle, circle, octagon, crescent, lips, arrows, stars and hearts. They have no idea they’re being tricked into learning while they play ;)
For these to be usable in your own yard, print the document that includes all ten sheets. If you don’t want them all, pick and choose your page numbers before printing:
For this next step, if you have a laminating machine at home, by all means, use it! I don’t, so I sandwiched my sheet between two section of contact paper and trimmed with scissors…

 I went through two entire rolls of contact paper, which I bought at Dollar Tree. Then attach the now waterproof sheets to something sturdy- I chose these small buckets my husband had snagged from his work. Taping them directly to you swingset, porch, trampoline, etc, would work too.

Once you’ve got your targets scattered all over the yard, the fun begins! I know my boys are always frothing at the bit for me to get done with these already!

We like to play a game where Mom or Dad shouts out what thing to shoot and then they run for that target and spray it! My husband gives them several in rapid succession that they can shoot at and keep running! The great thing about these ones- something I haven’t done in years past- is that there are three options to shoot on each target! So the games can last much longer since there are really 30 different options.

Of course, shooting each other still in the process makes it even more…

I do make sure to bring mine inside for the night so they don’t get soaked by the sprinkler system, but otherwise, they hold up great to being blasted with the water guns!
Hopefully these will be fun for your kiddos and keep you a bit more dry in the process!
I would love to see you over at Capital B as well- come on over to find even more creative goodness like this:
Thanks again, Meredith, for having me!
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About Meredith Hazel

Meredith is a stay at home mom and has been blogging since 2012. She started Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home as a creative outlet in between nap times for her little one. Wait 'Til Your Father gets home is a combination of crafting tutorials, DIY projects, recipes and, sharing some of life's journey along the way.

{Hanging Tent}

Hey, hey there WTYFGH readers! I’m Jessica from Mom 4 Real, and I am so happy to be here while Meredith is snuggling her sweet baby!

Make A Hanging Tent

I have two kiddos myself, and with Summer break upon us, I have been trying to come up with some fun things to keep them entertained during the break. My little girl loves to make forts…like all over the house. In an attempt to keep my living room from being turned into a tent city, I thought I would make her a portable tent. Since I have a little girl, I chose some fun girly colors. If you have a boy, I think blue and red would be super cute and patriotic!

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Supplies

You will need 1 oblong (rectangular) tablecloth, 1 or 2 round tablecloths, a styrofoam wreath form, floral wire, wire cutters, and scissors.

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Step 1

Cut your floral wire into a bunch of 3 inch pieces. Bend each of them in half to use as your pins.

Take your oblong tablecloth and use your pins to attach it to the wreath all the way around.

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Step 2

When you have pinned it all the way around, fold in the remaining tablecloth and pin.

opening

This will create your opening.

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Step 3

Now take one of the round tablecloths and lay it out on your floor. Find the middle and place something there to weigh it down. Cut strips the width of your choice all the way around. Leave plenty of room in the middle, because you will lay this over top of the wreath form and the tablecloth you have already pinned to it. This will act as the top of your tent.

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Step 4

Once your stips are cut, flip the top of your wreath form upside down in the middle of the round tablecloth.

Use some long pieces of floral wire and poke them through the stryrofoam. I used round wooden beads to keep the floral wire from pushing all the way through. These wires will poke out of the top…

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Step 5

Flip your form and tablecloths over and pull the wires all the way through. You will pinch the three wires together and twist for hanging.

hook

Now you can hang your tent wherever you like!

Hanging Reading Tent from Mom 4 Real Outside

You can hang it inside from a hook or outside from a tree limb!

As you can see, I added a big pink bow to the opening…I made it using strips of the pink tablecloth and attached with the same pins that were used above.

This was such a fun project to make, and super inexpensive too!

Thanks so much for having me!

Happy Summer!

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About Meredith Hazel

Meredith is a stay at home mom and has been blogging since 2012. She started Wait 'Til Your Father Gets Home as a creative outlet in between nap times for her little one. Wait 'Til Your Father gets home is a combination of crafting tutorials, DIY projects, recipes and, sharing some of life's journey along the way.