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18 December, 2013

Toddler Advent Fun

This year Evie is just old enough to do some fun projects around the house.  She's eager to learn and to help, so I took advantage of this to do a few Advent things with her this year.

Advent Wreaths

First we made Advent wreath cookies.  For the recipe just Google "corn flake wreath cookies".  They're just like making rice krispie treats with a little green food coloring.  We did colored sprinkles for advent candles instead of red hots for holly.
Evie was a great helper!  She helped me measure and pour the cereal and marshmallows. She also helped me stir.  After that I had to take over the hot, sticky mess in order to prevent things from burning and to get the treats to set up correctly.

A friend of mine posted a picture of this super cute foam advent wreath she made with her niece, who happens to be in Evie's play group.  I picked up a kit from our local Catholic bookstore.  When Aunt Katie came over for lunch last week she helped Evie and I put it together.

Evie has been so excited to put the orange foam flames in the candles each Sunday during our family breakfast and prayer time.  

Christmas Tree

Evie was also a great help in decorating the Christmas tree this year.  We taught her how to put ornaments on the retreat.  She did great.  All the non-breakables are just at her reach, since she put them on herself.  We also talked with her about her special ornaments that she got when she was a baby.  She tells everyone who comes over about her ornaments.

St. Nick's Day

For St. Nicholas Day, we showed Evie how to leave her shoes outside her door the night before.  The next day, St. Nick brought her some new jammies, some Snoopy stickers, and a Christmas book!  St. Nick dropped the ball and forgot to buy clementines and gold coins.  I so wish we had gotten a photo of Evie's face when she opened her bedroom door in the morning and saw the surprises in her shoes!  We also watched Veggie Tales St. Nicholas story that afternoon.

St. Lucy's Day

I had every intention this year of getting up early with Evie to make cinnamon rolls on the Feast of Saint Lucy.  As per tradition, the oldest girl in the family dresses up and delivers warm rolls and tea to the family.  However, we've had some craziness with Eric's work schedule and Evie's nap strike.  It proved wise to let both of them sleep in while I baked the cinnamon rolls.  We found a grain-free no-processed sugar recipe that was delicious!  

Nativity Scene

Last year for Christmas Evie received the Little People Nativity.  She couldn't do much more than press baby Jesus to play music, but this year she's been interactive and is learning the names of all the people.

Christmas Books

This year one of her Christmas gifts was/is a stack of Christmas Books.  Evie LOVES to read books so back in November I bought her a mix of some of my favorites as well as some new classics.  Each week since Advent started she's opened two new ones to read with Daddy at bed time.  Some are secular, some are silly, some are religious. 

Dressing Liturgically

Truth be told, this is more for me than for her, but it's been a great weekly reminder as I raid my closest for something purple or pink rose to think of the virtue associated with that week.  In the future I hope to include this discussion with the girls as we don our purple and rose!

In the next few years I'd love to take the kids shopping for Adopt-a-Family / Angel Tree type gifts for kids their age.

And obviously, as they get even older doing more family prayer services, Advent Penance services, Christmas play at Church, etc...

What have you been doing with your little ones this Advent?  How are you keeping Christ in the preparations for your little family?

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