This year I seem to have gone advent crazy. We actually have eight advent calendars in our house of one sort or another.
Firstly we have the advent activity tree.
Then we have a magnetic nativity scene which I’ve had since before we even had children. It’s looking a bit sparse at the moment but everyday a person or item from the nativity arrives to fill it up.
This year I also bought the story of Christmas advent book after recommendations from the fabulous The Imagination Tree.
Then The Limpet has her own advent calendar containing a small gift each day. I made it last year for her and its made from toilet rolls stapled together at the end and then wrapped in Christmas paper and numbered.
This year I’ve also made The Gannet his own one – he was too young last year. I’ve made his out of all his old socks. It looks quite cute and is a great little reminder of his growth though the last year.
My husband then decided that they needed a conventional chocolate advent calendar each. And the last calendar is a countdown one which we made at toddlers. So that’s eight in total!
Whilst reading through other patenting blogs I discovered a link to the worldwide culture swap. I immediately signed up for it.
After signing up you get linked up with 4 families from around the world. We got families from Australia, South Africa, Ohio USA and California USA.
It’s a fabulous way to learn about other countries and their traditions directly from the families themselves. And let’s face it – everyone loves receiving parcels in the post. But actually, its just as fun to give as to receive.
As the monsters are quite young they couldn’t really help me with ideas but I used the experience to teach them about our own culture and history.
I had great fun putting together our 4 packages. I included postcards and leaflets from our town and county; a colouring in book of native animals; a Paddington Bear visits Buckingham Palace book; London stickers; a toy London bus and a stick of rock. I also put in some maps and facts about our country and details about traditional food and famous people. And finally some family photos and details about ourselves and our house.
We currently have the Olympics taking place in our own country so I thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce the monsters to some other countries and cultures.
We’ve signed up to take part in a cultural exchange which I’m very excited about and will be posting more details soon. As part of this we have to put together a variety of items from the UK. This has made me realise that the monsters probably don’t know much about where they are from and our own history. So this week we’ve been to the library to get a book about England and its traditions and we took a trip to our local museum.
I was so impressed with the museum that I purchased a season ticket so we can make regular trips there. It’s not huge as we only live in a small town but it contains so much for young children. They have lots of items to touch and explore and feely bags to stick your hands in if your brave enough.
The Limpet enjoyed trying out some old toys. And The Gannet loved dressing up in some traditional clothes. He only learned to walk last week but he had great fun walking through the whole place with his hat on. And yes – most of the time it was covering his eyes.
When we got home we put together a map of the world jigsaw puzzle that The Limpet got for her birthday.
Hopefully these early geography and history discoveries will be a good foundation for future learning.
My first born baby recently turned three, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun?!
We were actually on holiday over her birthday so it was a bit different to normal birthday celebrations. But before we left I was determined to make her a birthday T-shirt with my new sewing skills. Unfortunately this was my first attempt at doing sewing in anything but a straight line. It turns out that a number 3 is incredibly curvy and was a bit of a challenge!
I first made one for my son’s birthday and love this new little birthday tradition.
I was inspired by these wonderful creations that are made by loving siblings on itstwoam. I’m too controlling to let the kids take over this activity just yet! But when they are older I think it’ll be a lot of fun.