I look after my niblings (niece and nephew) each week and, spotting that there were four weeks in December before Christmas, decided that I'd put together an Aunty Advent with a different Christmassy craft/experience each week. I painted a set of little wooden drawers and each week we'll open a drawer and see what's inside!
WEEK THREE - painting baubles : suitable for babies and up
December has been so much of a busy blur that I've only just now had time to write up weeks three and four! So scroll down for some Christmas Eve reading!
You will need:
- paint-able baubles (I used these ceramic ones from, you guessed it, Hobbycraft! I like these baubles as they come in a decent box so can be popped back in the box once painted and gifted! We used the 6 pack this time as both niblings were joining in!)
- paints (we used the Crayola Washable Kids Paints)
- ramekin (optional)
This one doesn't really have a step by step because it's more a case of 'set it up and let them at it' but a couple of things that helped us were:
- popping the paints onto a palette so Toddler Nibling could pick what she wanted
- using a ramekin to hold the bauble in whilst painting, it kept it from rolling off the table and also meant that she didn't have to hold the painted bit whilst painting the rest.
- Newest Nibling got to join in this time and so, seeing as if we'd given him a paintbrush it would've gone straight in his mouth, we painted his hand and did some cute handprint baubles!
- once done I wrote their names and the year on the top of each bauble so that they can look back on them each year
P.S. doing red handprints seems cute and festive until you see them en masse and realise it resembles a scene from CSI!
WEEK FOUR - hot chocolate, reindeer crumpets and a festive film : suitable for everyone
TBH week four was the one I was looking forward to most! I put a call out on my instagram stories asking for suitable film recs for toddlers and spent the weeks before working my way through them. I settled on How The Toys Saved Christmas (available on NowTV) as I wanted something that wasn't scary (seriously, how many Christmas films have scary bits?!) and that didn't have a story that relied on the lore of Father Christmas as Toddler Nibling doesn't have much of a concept of that yet. The story in a nutshell is a bunch of toys coming to life to find their true homes (and bonus, it has a train in and Toddler Nibling LOVES trains (and yes I did think of The Polar Express but decided against it and got her the book instead which she loved))
We started the fun with reindeer crumpets (we got ours from ASDA but I imagine you can get them elsewhere as well) spread with peanut butter and a jammy nose. Then we made some hot chocolate - a little tip I picked up recently is to mix the cocoa powder with hot water before adding the milk. I used to use milk to make a paste with milk but it mixes better with hot water and was also easier for Toddler Nibling to mix. We had ours with snowman and penguin marshmallows (also from ASDA) although I think she was a bit unsure of them so they were more nibbled than eaten!
I'd set up her den* in front of the Christmas tree and added fairy lights, blankets and cushions, so we took our hot chocolate and settled down to watch the film. It was such a nice way to end the Aunty Advent (and my last week looking after her as she'll be off to preschool in January!!)
*another Hobbycraft buy that I found in the Summer. I can't find it on their website now but it's basically poles and joiners and we drape fabric over the top for the roof. We've used it outside and in and it's a really decent size. P.S. Haggis (the cat) moved in not long after we left!
And that's it! The end of Aunty Advent! I hope you enjoyed following along and thanks so much for reading! So let me just wish you A Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and i'll see you in 2022! (must get used to writing 2022 now!)