A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: traditions

Tooth Fairy Fun

So your baby lost their first tooth?  (or getting ready to?)  This is a bittersweet moment for sure!!!  Usually there is a lot of hype leading up to the big event once the tooth gives it’s first wiggle.  Feelings of excitement and fear for the child.  Feelings of nostalgia for the parents.  Regardless of all the different emotions, it is time to dig in and decide on how your family will spread tooth fairy fun!

Of course, the first thought is to go with the traditional route of how the tooth fairy visited you when you were a child.  This is a perfect way to hand down family traditions.  Or maybe you have decided to switch it up a bit.  You’ve seen some fun new ideas you would like to try.   Whatever you decide to do, just remember that you have 19 more teeth to go!

This doesn’t mean you have to do exactly the same thing with each tooth.  I’m only suggesting that you remember that the tooth fairy fun you have with the first tooth will set the stage for the following ones.  Honestly, my biggest memory of those days was trying to make sure I had enough cash on hand for when it finally happened.

The Going Rate for the Tooth Fairy ~

Have you found yourself wondering, “What exactly is the going rate for teeth these days?”  You are not alone.  There are so many articles at your fingertips of what the popular price is for that little gem.  In fact, a new findings were just released by Delta Dental for 2020.  Read the Delta Dental current report here regarding the all time high giving for the tooth fairy!   The beauty of tooth fairy fun is that in the end, you get to decide how you want to move forward…You are the Boss!

Fun Tooth Fairy Ideas ~

With Addi recently losing her first tooth (actually first 2 teeth in the same day!), I had fun looking at some current trends.  As you are deciding what your family is going to do, check out these great ideas:

Fairy Antics ~

This AMAZING post by BuzzFeed is one of the best I have seen!  Here are some of the ideas they share:

You can also choose to put something other than money under their pillow as well.  These specialty pressed fairy pennies are something that all children will cherish for years to come.  Adorable Tooth Fairy Pressed Pennies…check them out!

Tooth Storage ~

Make or purchase a tooth pillow.  This is not only cute, but makes losing that tooth almost impossible.  If you have ever lost a tooth under the pillow you will understand this!  It’s VERY hard to not wake the child when you are frantically routing around under the pillow to find that small little tooth.  (Did I mention how SMALL those teeth are? 😬)

Tooth Fairy Books ~

As mentioned earlier, this event brings on many emotions.  Having some great books on hand is essential to helping your little one feel more of the excitement and less of the anxiety.

The Night Before the Tooth Fairy

Fancy Nancy and the Too-Loose Tooth

How to Catch the Tooth Fairy

The options are endless!  What is important is that you find a way to make this time-honored tradition a fun experience.  I will leave you with this funny youtube video by 3sAnimals.com of some very clever ideas in helping to get that little rascal out!  You will definitely find yourself laughing!  Let me know if you have any fun ideas or pictures to share!

Very clever tooth pulling videos on YouTube!

With Love ~

Mimi

Christmas Lights and Cocoa

The traditions continue as we enjoyed our annual night of viewing Christmas lights while sipping on hot cocoa and munching popcorn. I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to watch our children carry on our family traditions with their loved ones.  Of course, that is what traditions are, right?

A few changes were made to this year’s Christmas light adventure. Normally the kids would grumble about any changes made to our family traditions. However, we all enjoyed these fun additions, so we didn’t hear those usual complaints. It all began with a hot cocoa snack board. We have always enjoyed cocoa while driving around looking at the festive lights, but this year, everyone got to create their own cocoa masterpiece.

This is so much fun to create and, of course, there are no rules!  When assembling your snack board, keep in mind that some goodies will be for the hot cocoa and some will just be for snacking.   This being the first year, I had a lot of fun assembling the goodies, but my mind is already swirling with different ideas for the next occasion.

Ideas for Creating Cocoa Snack Board ~

The other good thing to remember is that this just doesn’t have to be a Christmas thing!  We drink cocoa as many times as we can throughout the winter months.  This leaves more opportunities to have fun with this chocolate-filled idea!  As mentioned earlier, the goodies are endless that can be included in your setup.  Here are some fun ideas:

  1. Candy canes or peppermint sticks
  2. Crushed peppermint candies
  3. Marshmallows – plain, flavored or festive shaped
  4. M & Ms
  5. Malt Balls
  6. White mini Kit Kats
  7. Chocolate nonpareils
  8. Gingerbread cookies
  9. Graham Crackers
  10. Caramel candies
  11. White chocolate pretzel rods
  12. White chocolate chips
  13. Various candy Kisses
  14. Biscotti
  15. White chocolate covered Oreos

It was so much fun watching the kids create their specialty cocoas.  Addi even discovered a new favorite…she couldn’t get enough of the chocolate nonpareils (also known as sno-caps).   We used the disposable soup bowls for each person to create their own snack mix.   Each bowl started with a little popcorn and then they filled them to their heart’s content.

Hot Chocolate Bombs ~

Have you seen this new and totally fun idea for hot cocoa???  This is definitely something I will add to the snack board for next year.  But why wait????  You can make these all winter long!  They have gone viral on Tik-Tok and everyone is raving about them.  They are available in stores to buy or you can make your own.  I have saved several posts for reference, but I especially like the post by Gluesticksblog.com.  She gives great ideas and tips and also references a video of them if you have not yet seen how they work.  How to Make Hot Chocolate Bombs by Gluesticksblog.com.

We will definitely be making our own soon and will share our results once we have done so.  However, I am starting preparations for them now and ordered the silicone chocolate mold so I am ready to go.    After reading many reviews and scouring for the best prices, these are the chocolate molds I ordered.  These are the chocolate molds I ordered for Hot Chocolate Bombs!  From my research, I have discovered you need to pay close attention to size.  I also saw where many of the chocolate mold companies weren’t so good on delivery!

Off To View the Lights ~

Everyone gathered their hot cocoa and snack bowl and loaded into the car for the next step.  Unfortunately, I believe this will be the last year that we will all be in the same vehicle.  Fortunately, that means our family is growing…❤!  Next year we will have to use 2 cars….but you can be sure that won’t stop this family tradition!  We drive through neighborhoods to enjoy the festive decorations.  To those people who decorate every year…thank you!  Some of the displays are the same as they were when our kids were youngsters.  How cool is that?

Carry Out and Puzzles ~

The final part of the evening is Chinese take-out at the end of our Christmas light viewing.  We call ahead and pick it up on our way back home.  Our little Addi already asks for this when we start choosing the date for this night.  Those traditions obviously make a difference even at a young age.  This just melts my heart!

The other new activity we added this year is doing a Christmas puzzle.  Not a large one, as we want to be able to finish it the same night.  My suggestion is to stick with 100 pieces or choose one that is a “family” style puzzle with three different sizes of pieces.  Have you seen these kind?  They are truly so much fun when you are puzzling with a variety of ages.

(Frosty the Snowman 100 piece puzzle)

Here are a couple options of the family time puzzles.  Our family has had one since the kids were young and we would do that same one every year.  Now there are even more options.

Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse Family Time Puzzle  ~ The image Amazon includes here doesn’t show the different size pieces, but if you click on the link you will see that the Family Time puzzles have small, medium and large pieces for family puzzling.

Snoopy and Linus ice skating – Peanuts Family Time Puzzle ~ A super cute Family Time puzzle that also has small, medium and large pieces.

Christmas lights and cocoa has long been one of our kids’ favorite traditions of the many we try to do throughout the month of December.  I love watching our grown kids still juggle their schedules to make it all work.  Family time is oh so valuable and especially during this wonderful holiday of celebrating the birth of Christ!

Merry Christmas everyone!

 

 

 

 

Making Memories With Christmas Cookies

Christmas traditions are a very important part of the spirit of Christmas!  This year has made us all look back at years past and re-evaluate what truly is important.  It also has urged us to look forward, past 2020, and decide what we wish to carry with us for the coming years.  Spending time with loved ones is something I believe we can all agree is at top of the list.  How amazing is it that a small little cookie, decorated with sprinkles and festive colors can do just that?  Making memories with Christmas cookies is a tradition my mom started with us years ago.

We would sit in our cozy little kitchen at a fold up card table.  There was one gingerbread cookie sheet that was the moldable type.  I can still see my pudgy little fingers molding the soft cookie dough into the form until it was just right.  Mom would pop them in the oven and it didn’t take long for the sweet smell to fill the small kitchen.  Anticipation is what comes to mind!

Bowls of colorful icing would be brought to the table in preparation for the next step.  Once those cookies were done, we got the wonderful job of icing each gingerbread man and woman in an attempt to make the prettiest one.  Corn cob butter brushes were converted to paint brushes for the icing.  My heart still warms as I think back to these sweet memories.

Carrying On The Tradition ~

Fast forward to the 1990’s.  It was now time for me to start making memories with Christmas cookies with my own small children.  The cookie shapes and icing methods have changed a bit, but the family fun remains the same.  We switched to cookie cutters and small kid’s paint brushes for the icing.  (only because the corn cob butter brushes have become next to impossible to find!)

As the years progressed, the kids would each start inviting a couple of friends for the annual Christmas cookie decorating event.  The cookies were made ahead of time, which left the icing fun to them.  Back then we would add extra Christmas festivities to the day with Christmas Bingo and Christmas Scavenger Hunts.  It became a day they looked forward to each year.  Thus the Christmas tradition lives on.

Making Memories With Christmas Cookies~

Fast forward to 2020…the tradition lives on!  We just celebrated Year 15 with the same girls….and my son joins in each year to help with one or two.  These girls are now in their 20’s and 30’s and somehow we all manage to find one day each year for Christmas cookie fun!!!   We have also happily added my precious grandchildren.  Isn’t this what Christmas is all about?  Making memories with those that you hold dear to your heart!

Making memories with Christmas cookies is so much more than just decorating cookies.  It’s sharing stories and laughter while you all create your works of art.  It’s laughing and reminiscing about the year’s past.  It sharing dreams of the future.  It’s watching your children’s friends treat the new kiddos at the table with love.  It’s a whole lot of love wrapped up into one short night!

We have tried different cookie recipes and various icing recipes as well.  We have come to the conclusion that these are our favorites!  In fact, we love them so much that we can’t seem to get the cookies all decorated before we start enjoying our works of art.

Recipes ~

Perfect Printable Roll Out Cookie Recipe – No Need To Chill!

The BEST but oh so easy Cookie Icing Recipe can be printed right here!

Of course, I have to share with you some quick links to get you started on your Christmas cookie adventures.  We have found that we tend to add one or more new shapes each year, however, there are several that tend to be the tried and true favorites.  You have to have a good Santa, Christmas Tree, Reindeer and Candy Cane.  Get Christmas Tree, Reindeer, Santa and Candy Cane cookie cutters in one grouping!

We also have come to love the cute little penguin.  He is so fun to decorate!  You will definitely want to add the penguin cookie cutter to your collection!

Another favorite is the snow globe…this one has created a lot of imagination over the years!  The snow globe cookie cutter is a definite favorite of the whole cookie crew!

It is my biggest wish that each of these girls (and my son) carry this tradition on with their families.  That they too can have their hearts filled with happiness as mine is each year we all gather.  We continue to add new “things”  to our group each year…sometimes its gifts, aprons and ornaments we share with each other and other times it is even better because its a new “crew member.”  And just like that….we continue making memories with Christmas cookies!

You’ve Been Socked – A Christmas Game

The Halloween shenanigans have been put away for another year…now let’s start spreading some Christmas cheer!  Have you been socked?  If you haven’t, it’s time to start a new family neighborhood tradition.  Let’s do some ding dong ditching…”Christmas Style!”  Read on for directions and free printables for this festive activity of You’ve Been Socked – A Christmas Game!

Get the whole family involved ~

I am all about family fun and creating memories!  This game delivers all of that!   You should start this activity out by letting the family decide who you are going to “sock.”  Typically each family will “hit” one or two homes.  Also, as the kids get a bit older, you may discover that they might want to “sock” their school friends.  Taking it to other neighborhoods just spreads the fun!

Whether you are going by foot or vehicle, you need to plan your escape route next.  Have you participated in ding dong ditching?  The idea is to go up, ring the doorbell and run without getting caught.  The catch to “You’ve Been Socked” is you are also leaving a fun treat before you run.   I wrote about the Halloween version of this in October.  Read the Halloween version called You’ve Been Booed!  We found ourselves rolling (literally) with laughter as we played You’ve Been Booed.

Over the years, you will find that there is much more to this than just spreading holiday cheer.  The memories you create will be relived over and over.  The kids also get the biggest kick out of trying to find out who “socked” them.

Get those stockings filled ~

The family togetherness continues as you head to the store(s) of your choosing to get the goodies.  Choose the stockings you would like to fill.  These can be whatever size you desire.  Select items that are age appropriate for the family you are socking.  Some fun ideas are listed below:

  • Christmas candy
  • Small toys
  • Homemade goodies
  • Small games
  • Holiday puzzles
  • Personal sized snacks
  • Stickers
  • Candles
  • Festive books
  • Lottery tickets
  • Seasonal socks

Final preparations ~

After you and your elves have filled the stockings, it’s time to complete the final steps.  Make a copy of “You’ve Been Socked” to include with the stocking.  You can attach it to the stocking or roll it up and put it inside.  Also include a copy of “We’ve Been Socked” for your recipients to display in their window.  The idea is that each house only get “socked” once!

You’ve Been Socked – A Christmas Game ~

NOW IT IS TIME FOR THE FUN!!!  Put those running shoes on…seriously!  This is important!  You don’t need to be dressed fancy when you are playing a good game of “You’ve Been Socked!”  Go over your strategy again with the whole family.  It truly brings extra fun by listening to your kids discuss their game plan.  Once you have agreed upon your escape route, gather your stockings and go deliver your goodies…WITHOUT GETTING CAUGHT!

It’s important to decide on a meeting place after you have rung the doorbell and dropped the goodies.  Everyone starts getting giddy and they will end up running all different directions.  The hope is that whichever way they go, you all end up at the meeting point. This is part of the fun as you reminisce later over what actions each of you took.

Free Printables for You’ve Been Socked ~

Use the link I have provided below to get the 2 pages needed for this game.   Hover over the pages and then click.  That will take you to the printable version.  Print as many as you need:

You’ve Been Socked & We’ve Been Socked Printables

Other Ding Dong Ditch Holiday Games ~

There are other versions of this game as well.  One that is especially cute is You’ve Been Elfed.  I have looked at several versions and really love the one by Craft.Create.Cook.  She includes printables for Elf Boot Bags to print as well as the We’ve Been Elfed papers.  Definitely another fun version of this very fun holiday activity.  The link for this version is included here ➡➡ You’ve Been Elfed by CraftCreateCook.com.

A second option is You’ve Been Jingled.  It’s Written on The Wall has provided a wonderful plan for this version of the game.  Be sure to check out her ideas as well here ➡➡ You’ve Been Jingled by Itswrittenonthewalls.blogspot.com.

Suffice it to say, there are MANY options out there.  I chose the sock version as it is easy to purchase a stocking.  Besides, I like the saying “You’ve Been Socked!”  However, the versatility and craftiness of all of the games are wonderful.  Regardless of the one you choose, just get out there and spread some holiday cheer!

 

 

 

Birthday Door

 

CELEBRATE WITH A BIRTHDAY DOOR!

Birthdays are a big deal! It has always been important to me that our children felt extra special on their birthday.  I began decorating the kid’s bedroom doors early on so that their special day began with a smile.  Back then this mostly consisted of streamers and/or balloons.   (If only I had access to Pinterest in my early motherhood years!!!)   Now there are so many creative ideas to making a Birthday Door!

I waited until the kids would fall asleep.  Those who know me understand that this could be an issue at times….I decompress quickly as the evening rolls around.  I would then tape long streamers from the top of the door frame down to the floor.  I would usually use 2 or 3 different colors, depending on their favorite at the time.  I then would run the streamers across from one side of the wall to the other in the hallway.  These would be at different heights giving them no choice but to crawl through or over them to get out of their room and down for breakfast.  In spite of how tired I may have been, I am so glad that I continued this tradition with our children.  As they got older, it became more apparent at how much they loved this!

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