Sunday, December 26, 2010

scenes from our christmas

Another Christmas gone by. We had a fun day, with gifts, brunch, a walk, and a delicious dinner at my parents house. Today was lazy lazy--playing with toys, trying to read a bit of my Christmas books, and having a belated Solstice tea and outdoor fire.

I'm anxious to start taking down Christmas and having a end-of-year clean up. Hopefully I can start that process tomorrow. New year's eve and birthdays are coming fast--I need to plan those too (especially Dieter's first "kid" birthday party--oh my!). I would love any birthday party suggestions you guys can offer. We're wanting to do a simply at-home party. Hopefully the trampoline will be front and center, but I need to have a rain plan as well. What fun, simple activities have you done for kids' parties?

Happy post-Christmas lull, everybody!


we3ernes said...

Usually I don't do fun and simple for my one child's birthdays, but I'll tell you what we have done and let you decide which things are simple.

-Coloring pages in the "theme" pretty easy to find with Google images.

-Pin the "___" on the "___", again depending on the party theme. One year we did pin the nose on Larry's (the cucumber from Veggie Tales) face. I used double stick tape and poster board to keep kids from pinning each other.

-For young kids crazy dancing is always fun. We would put on party music (again matching the theme - are you seeing a trend here :D) and tell them to do the funniest dance, or the slowest dance, or the bounciest dance. You can make "awards" out of posterboard and safety pins then make sure each kid wins one dance.

-We always had a craft, the year we had a puppy party the kids made "dog collars" by stringing "puppy" (pony) beads on a sturdy string. We had made shrinky dink "dog tags" with each child's name on them to add to the middle of the collar.

-Transforming the classics games is good too, we did "Lion, Lion, Hyena" when we had a Safari birthday. Just like Duck, Duck, Goose except that "It" has a tail that the person tagged had to grab (just a floppy belt tucked into "It's" waistband).

-Scavenger hunts are always fun and fairly simple. During our Circus birthday we hid circus peanuts around the party area and gave the kids paper bags. Whomever found the most got to sit next to the birthday girl during cake time.

-I'm not big into cheapy toys that will be tossed in a week so our goody bags usually consisted of what we made that day, or made a few days beforehand. When we had our Dinosaur birthday we made "fossils" from coffee grounds (Google is my friend), of course we had the dog tags but we also made ears from an old towel and headbands (they were droopy ears), at the circus birthday my husband learned to make balloon animals and each kid got to take home as many as they wanted, at our safari birthday we did purchase the take home presents - straw pith helmets and handkerchiefs.

Hope that gives you some ideas. Can you tell that I LOVE having birthday parties!

CountryGirl said...

Your christmas looked lovely Mary Beth. Lovely tree! I know it's not an at home party, but for Sam's 4th birthday we took a gazebo round to our local park and I did a nature trail for the children. I made little cards with pictures of things on, gave them some bags and sent them off to find them all. I only put things on the card that I knew they could find. Then we had a picnic tea under the gazebo... it was pouring with rain by this point and I was really disappointed because of all the effort I put in, but the children didn't seem to notice the rain! We played pass the parcel and musical statues. Perhaps you could try something similar in your garden? All the best for the New Year! :)

Kris said...
Here is a link to my son's "Tom Sawyer" birthday party. We played lots of fun old-fashion games that might work well for you too! The kids especially loved winkum, fort building & frog detective!
Merry Christmas to you & your family!

Joy said...

It looks like a wonderful Christmas at your home. Love the shot of the 5 of them. :)

Jars of Giggles said...

There is a ton of star wars related things on made by dana for the boys. I always start with a craft so it can dry and gives the kids something to focus on right off the bat helps them adjust. I did homemade playdough and they stayed there forever having a blast.
Your home is always so peaceful looking even with the boys playing how do you do it???

Andrea said...

Lovely. Looks like a wonderful time. Love that Swedish wrapping paper.

Adelaide's Mom said...

I love your blog. Check it daily. I have 2 little ones. Things we have done for parties - a bike parade (each kid brings their bike to party and we ride around the neighborhood), pin the tail on the donkey, a book exchange - instead of a gift each kid brings a new or used book, put them all in a big pile, then each child takes a turn picking a book to take home. We also collected items on the animal shelter wishlist instead of presents. Ie. paper towels, clorox, dog food. Sometimes we make a craft at the party.


kera said...

We have 1 birthday on 12/20 and 1 on 1/13 so I know the feeling!! Here is a SUPER simple yet VERY fun birthday we did for my oldest last year! Art is always a fun time had by all ages and it always provided the take home gift! I found old thrifted sheets and splattered pain on them which provided protection for the floor! I went into Hobby Lobby/Michaels with my 40% off coupon several times to purchase the canvases. Anyways I'm sure you'll come up with something wonderful!!