Super Sparkly Christmas Ornaments

My daughter is SO excited about Christmas this year! She is finally old enough to fully understand what is going on. The moment that Thanksgiving was over and I gave her the green light to start getting ready for Christmas, she was all about decorating and making crafts. It’s a great way to entertain her during the day as well and it has really helped to cut back on screen time.

Our first official Christmas craft was to make these ornaments for our tree.My mom was visiting for Thanksgiving and helped the kids with this project. It was fun!

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We made a salt based dough with cinnamon scent based on a recipe we found on another blog with some slight modifications:

http://www.sheknows.com/living/articles/1057575/stocking-stuffers-you-can-make-with-kids

*Rather than cutting holes in the shapes for twine to hang them, I chose to glue ribbon loops to the back of each one, this way they lay flat and do not twist and turn once hung on the tree.

*Because my kids were too impatient to let the paint dry, and then apply glue prior to glitter, we applied the glitter directly to the wet paint, hoping that it would be enough to make the glitter stick. In hind sight, I should have mixed some glue in or used a spray glue after we glittered to really set the glitter prior to hanging, because the glitter is already beginning to come off. Learn from my mistakes!

Here is a summary of our materials used and methods

Materials:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup salt

1/2 cup very warm water

10 drops cinnamon fragrance oil (more or less depending on personal preference) or cinnamon powder is oil is unavailable.

Glitter

Paint and brushes

Elmer’s Glue

Ribbon or twine

Glue gun (if available)

 

Method:

Combine the flour, salt and warm water. Mix until fully combined and dough forms.

Add the fragrance oil or cinnamon powder. Nead in.

Roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick (use a lightly floured surface and roller).

Cut various shapes using cookie cutters. We found great cookie cutters for $1 each at Sur La Table!

Place the shapes on a cookie baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees F for 2.5 hours.

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Let your child or children have fun painting the shapes with non-toxic paint! Mix in a little glue to help the glitter stick or have an adult apply spray adhesive after the glitter is applied. Apply glitter and voila! Super sparkly shapes!

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The hardest part will be waiting for these to dry. My son loved checking on them and he kept asking if they were ready to go up.

Prior to hanging, glue the twine or ribbon loops onto the back of each ornament. A hot glue gun would be quickest but you can also just use lots of ol’ fashioned Elmer’s Glue.

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Once dry, hang on your tree and be proud of your work!

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Glitter Sample Pack

Nordic Ware 15 Piece Cookie Cutters

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Sprinkler fun!

We have had a slow start to our summer but our temperatures are finally reaching the HOT spectrum these days. When it gets too warm out, we tend to stay indoors, in the dark, with fans running because we don’t have air conditioning. It can be pretty depressing actually, not what you’d imagine for a nice sunny day. Our back yard is partially shaded but it basically just gets too hot to be outside for more than a few minutes.

Our first water toy purchase for the kids was a kiddie pool. They enjoy it but it gets pretty filthy quickly, and it’s a lot of work to clean it out so we haven’t been using it much.  Plus, our cold tap water is SUPER cold so I always have to plan ahead (something I’m not great at) and fill it up earlier in the day so that it can warm up enough for them to use in the afternoon.

Enter our new whale sprinkler (named Olivia by my daughter). We were not actively searching for one, but I had been considering buying a sprinkler for water play. We were mostly just poking around a fun local kids shop when my daughter found it and begged me to buy it. I am so glad that I did because we love Olivia! For set up, it took just a few minutes to blow up (we used a bike pump for this). Then, you just connect it to a hose. Easy peasy!

What I love about Olivia is that she deflates and folds down for compact storage. It is also easy to control the sprinkler intensity. My kids preferred it on a lower setting but it can spray pretty far too.

Here are more details on Olivia:

Product name: Sprinkler Buddies- Giant Whale Inflatable Sprinkler (by Toysmith)

Retail: about $16

Also comes in Octopus form!

Toysmith is a PNW company and you can support a local PDX business by purchasing this from Grasshopper! http://www.grasshopperstore.com/

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