emilia keriene

creating in captured moments

Christmas Travellers


We have been exploring Christmas around the world and all the differences there are in traditions and celebrations. Despite all the differences we could see that there are people all over the world celebrating the birth of Jesus, a truth we kept coming back to throughout all these activities. We enjoyed Christmas celebrations, Christmas crafts, Christmas cookies (and other special foods) and Christmas cheer.


Christmas Celebrating

We chose a few cities and found out what continent and country they are in, what language they speak and what the climate is at Christmas time. Then we researched what Christmas is like in that city. Some of the cities we chose for their unique Christmas traditions and others because we know people living there.



Christmas Crafts


We enjoyed some crafts from around the world.

– Danish woven hearts

– Scandinavian gnomes (inspired by these, although we used cardboard rolls and cotton wool balls)

– Stencilling Mexican patterns (using bunting from Kmart as a stencil)

– Painting poinsettias with cardboard tubes (idea from here)

– Paper parol from the Philippines (instructions here)


– Class gifts for the little man to give (chocolate bar wrapped and decorated)


Christmas Cookies


We baked cookies from other countries. Links to some of the recipes we used are here and here, the other recipes we used are family favourites.


Christmas Cheer


We matched the Christmas greeting in different languages to the country in which they speak it.


We hope you are getting ready to celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus wherever you are.




Christmas Detectives {part 2}

We have had a great week as Christmas Detectives with the mission of finding out the truth about Christmas, that being the birth of Jesus and his fulfilment of God’s promises. We’ve used these activities as an opportunity to talk about Jesus, his birth and its implications for us and to read passages in the Bible and Christmas stories.


– Mini explosions. We made wise men bon bons (crackers) and talked about worshipping Jesus, even when he was a baby.

We make bon bons each year and usually include the snap, a toy, a chocolate, a bauble and a joke. Simply wrap a cardboard tube in some paper, place or tape the snap inside and tie up one end with some ribbon. Fill the tube with the rest of your treasures and tie the other end. Add details with cut up paper and a pen to make them resemble wise men.



– laser maze (inspired by this spider web). The little men used tweezers to remove the stars without touching the string. We also collected larger stars using a life-size laser maze made of string. The stars gave us a chance to talk about following Jesus just as the wise men followed a star to find him.


– bauble eye spy. The little men looked for the item(s) inside each bauble and then matched them to a meaning/reminder:

  • a candle for Jesus as the light of the world
  • a gold coin to remind us to worship Jesus
  • stars to remind us to follow Jesus
  • a bell to remind us to share the news about Jesus
  • a tree to celebrate Jesus



– footprint analysis. We matched footprints to the type of animal that may have left them (and that may have possibly been near the manger). Then the little men made footprints with plastic animals.

We read two books along with this activity: Lloyd-Jones, S & Jay, A. (2011). Song of the Stars: A Christmas Story. Grand Rapids, MI: Zonderkidz. and Wiersum, G & Morgan, A. (2007). The Animals’ Christmas Eve. New York: Golden Books.


– bauble target practice


– matching Christmas shapes


– detective kits (read more here)

– painting with combs

– chocolate angel spoons

– decoding Christmas words (reading while looking for certain words and then defining those words). We read passages in Luke and Matthew and also Poole, S. (2014). A Christmas Journey. Nashville, TN: B&H Kids.

– fingerprint match and disguise. We lifted fingerprints using these instructions and then we stamped our own fingerprints and disguised them as angels, shepherds, sheep and wise men.

– candy cone search and decode. We had a hunt for the candy canes and then put them in order to make the verse from Matthew 1:21: “[Mary] will have a son, and you will name him Jesus – because he will save his people from their sins.”

– Christmas secret messages. The little men wrote messages and pictures about Christmas using invisible inks (baking soda and water; lemon juice).

– traditions of Christmas investigation. Matching up traditions with their origins.

– carol clues. Listening to sections of songs and guessing which carol it is.


Christmas Detectives

With six weeks until Christmas and an overly excited little man, we are going to be Christmas Detectives with the mission of finding out the truth about Christmas.


We’ll begin with some detective kits with things like disguises, things to analyse evidence with (such as magnifying glasses, gloves, tweezers, bags to store it in, brushes to dust for fingerprints) and invisible ink and notepads for recording discoveries.


Then they will decipher their mission and next week we will begin our investigations (listed in the top photo).


Please join us as we discover the truth about Christmas (for more details about the activities see here).


Christmas Car and Reindeer {Box Vehicles}

With just over 6 weeks until Christmas the little man is beyond excited (he has already written and posted some Christmas cards and taken note of everywhere that does and does not have decorations up). He has been asking for a reindeer to ride in so here are the newest additions to our box vehicle fleet.


The requested reindeer:


And a Christmas car:



The little men have been loving them and I am loving getting into the Christmas spirit!


If you would like to make some please have a look at the tutorial for a small car, the reindeer needs very little alterations to the box itself and just a little decoration and the Christmas car could be made using any of the shapes shown and adding some trees to decorate it.



The little man has been enjoying some science activities at preschool lately and has organised me to do some at home.kerienesciencereactions

– science snacks

– comparing reactions (bicarb soda and vinegar vs hydrogen peroxide, dishwashing liquid and yeast)


– finding items that magnets attract

– taste testing with and without sight (idea from here)

– silly sentence test tubes


– measurement with coloured water, syringes, droppers, jugs, cups and spoons


– colour mixing

– multiplication (finding answers on beakers that match those on flasks)


– test tube bubbly painting



This week the cold inspired some penguin activities in our household.


– melting ice to find which will free the penguins fastest using warm water, salt, sugar and vinegar (idea from here)

– feeding the penguin letters written on fish

– cutting snowflakes

– cardboard tube penguins


– fizzing snow dough (recipe from here)

– painting with cotton buds

– using snowballs to knock over rhyming words

– banana penguin snack (idea from here via here and here)



The weather has kept us inside more than usual, “hibernating like bears” as the little man put it.


– bear cake

– fork bear painting (idea from here)

– painting with pine needles and pinecones

– our little baby bear


– autumn leaf crowns (idea from here)

– gummy bear science (instructions here)

– teddy bears picnic

– bear toast (this idea is in lots of places, I first saw it here)


– matching bears to make compound words

– origami bears (instructions here)

– tying bows

– bear sums (sums on ping pong balls to throw into the cup with the correct answer)

– textured bears (contact, cardboard, sandpaper and felt)


The Beach

We’ve been warming our winter with some beach activities.


– paper plate seagull (idea from here)

– paper cup and tissue paper jellyfish and fish


– beach small world

– sandcastle from geometric shapes (cut from contact)


– cetacean facts

{Worth, Bonnie, Aristides Ruiz, and Joe Mathieu. A Whale of a Tale!:. New York: Random House, 2006. and Gallagher, Belinda. Whales & Dolphins: Essex: Miles Kelly Publishing Ltd, 2013.}

– fish and chips sound matching (match each chip word to the fish word with the same sound)


– sinking and floating in plain and salt water

– painting ocean animal shapes

– matching upper and lower case letters




We have been busy building recently, inspired by the little men singing about wise and foolish builders, and talking about listening and obeying Jesus’ words as the foundation of our lives.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.

~ Matthew 7:24-27


– construction site small world


– measuring tape rhyming words and addition

– padlock and key match and size ordering

– truck tracks with foam, cardboard tubes and cocoa (inspired by this)

– sandpaper and crayon art


– building bridges with blocks and cardboard. We tested the strength of different designs with a cup of lentils (inspired by this)


– building towers


– painting safety masks

– pretend play and dressing up



The little men asked to make boats and somehow we turned it into a week of pirate fun, talking about earthly and heavenly treasures along the way.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 

~ Matthew 6:19-21 (NIV)

kerienepiratecoins– pirate cupcakes (inspired by these)

– alphabet coin match map


– cardboard tube pirate parrots (the little man named his ‘Peter the Pirate Parrot’)

– blowing up pirate balloons with yeast (experiment instructions here)


– pirate boats (first we made these. The boys enjoyed it so much that they searched the house for more materials to make more)


– pirate lunch


– pirate bandana counting (adding the corresponding number of dot stickers)

– pirate spelling (er//ir//ur)

– describing pirate words without using certain words (our little version of taboo)

– earthly and heavenly treasure


Blog at | The Baskerville Theme.

Up ↑


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57 other followers