emilia keriene

creating in captured moments



Advent Activities #3

Here are the final four of our advent activities, the first four are here, the next seven are here and the full list is here.

All four themes are about all the celebrations we have at Christmastime because it is such an important time.




– Birthday party for Jesus with bunting, streamers, balloons, blowers, hats and we will bake a cake together

– Making bon bons/crackers (we chose to use a wind-up toy for each bon bon so we can race them on Christmas day. Jokes from here)

– Learning fractions with cardboard cakes




– Colour matching

– Guess and count contents of baubles

– Bell and pipe cleaner wreath (idea from here)

– Decorations sensory tub

– Jar to fill with snow and trees




– Threading Christmas tree (idea from here)

– Wooden Christmas trees to decorate

– Finding and counting decorations on a tree

– Filling Christmas tree ornaments

– Velcro ornaments for a Christmas tree (idea from here)




– Pretend Christmas lunch (idea from here)

– Matching gingerbread word families

– Felt cookie and icing set

– Building gingerbread houses

– Gingerbread playdough (not pictured)

– Baking cookies (not pictured)


Advent Activities #2

Here are the majority of our advent activities for this year. The first four themes are here, the last four are here and the full list is here.



We will look at the messages the angels brought and focus on their rejoicing at that good news.


– Angel pancakes (not pictured)

– Decorating polystyrene angels

– Painting with angel cookie cutters as stamps

– Pom pom and wooden peg angels (idea from these fairies)

– Angel wing match (matching pairs of words with the same silent letter – k, h, w, b, g and t)



Linked to our theme of angels, we will enjoy the music of Christmas carols as well as the message they tell.


– Wooden spoon carolers, which we will both make and use as puppets

– Matching lyrics of carols

– Salt tray with sheet music of carols underneath

– Singing together



Again this theme is linked to angels – just as they shared the good news we also want to share it. I have chosen to incorporate bells into this theme as they bring attention to those sharing the good news. I also want to reinforce and have the little man retell the Christmas story in different ways so that he is proficient at sharing it.


– Christmas bingo

– Bell Hershey kisses memory. We have two versions, one using pictures and another using lower and uppercase letters (idea from here)

– Bell scoop transfer (idea from this bauble transfer)

– Storybook prompts for the little man to write his own Christmas story



Once again the shepherds shared the good news, and glorified and praised God for what they saw, so we will focus on doing the same.


– Sheep and shepherd tic-tac-toe

– Multiplication by counting groups of stars, angels, sheep and shepherds

– Paper bag sheep with painted wool and details to glue on

– Marshmallow sheep (idea from here)

– Paper people sheep and shepherds to decorate



The wise men were joyful and worshipped Jesus, giving him gifts, so we will encourage each other in how we can worship Jesus also.


– Wise men chalkboard silhouettes to draw on

– Cut and paste wise men craft

– Felt crowns to decorate

– More and less than with gold coins

– Wise men bottles with stars (we have one bigger one to represent the star that the wise men followed), glitter, water and oil (idea from here, under science activities)

– Explanation of the gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (not pictured)



This theme is linked to the wise men and the star that they followed.


– Crayon resist star painting

– Star search and find (there are chocolate stars hidden in with the Hershey kisses)

– Wool wrapped star ornaments

– Star cinnamon ornaments (not pictured)

– Star sandwich (not pictured)



This theme is also linked to the wise men and we will use it to encourage each other to be selfless and kind toward others.


– Gift-wrapping station (idea from here)

– Wrapping candy using cut out paper to look like a wise man (we have used small boxes of skittles)

– Washi tape tree cards, both to make and to write in and give to others (inspired by these cards)

– Small presents for some of the little man’s friends

– Painting presents using a square stamp and ribbons

– Coming up with ways to be kind (not pictured)


Fire engine fun

Making the large cardboard fire engine sparked a week of fire engine and firemen activities for us.


– cardboard tube firemen and dalmatians (dalmatian inspired by these reindeer)


– fire engine word match (inspired by this number match game)


– fire engine stained glass windows


– build-a-fire engine felt board

– fire engine cut out cards

– fire engine cake


– firemen “thank you”s and a visit to the local fire station

{See here for more firemen related activities}


Princess Packages

Friends recently welcomed their third child into the family. Grandma and grandpa are overseas and dad is travelling for work, so I wanted to make something to help keep the two older children happy in those early, tiring days while mum is on her own. I chose a princess theme and a few no-preparation, no-mess activities (for 3.5 year old and 18 month old girls).


– no mess finger painting in a zip-lock bag (there are plenty of instructions for these on the internet)

– mini crown kit to decorate cardboard tubes with crayons, washi tape, adhesive jewels and adhesive lace borders (inspired by these)

– stained glass window wand and castle (here is a list of links to lots of types of stained glass and sun-catcher crafts)

– felt princess crowns (the little man watched me sew these and has now requested I make him one, even choosing buttons for me to decorate it with. I hope the princesses like them as much as he seems to)

– we also packaged up some of her favourite peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, a gift for her and gifts for the baby boy, princess bubbles, princess frisbee, princess sticker book, princess board books, Fisher Price Prince Charming and Cinderella and princess wands (thank goodness for so much Disney princess paraphernalia for the theme!)

{Card from kikki-K. Racecar from Fisher Price Wheelies range.}


Felt Macarons


A friend recently gave her daughter a play kitchen for her 2nd birthday and I wanted to help her stock it. Her love for macarons made them the obvious choice.


They are made largely using this tutorial.


All packaged and ready to be posted (better late than never, sorry R!).



Under the Sea


We had planned a trip to the aquarium with some friends so the little man and I thought we might do some under the sea activities this week too. The aquarium was so much fun (thanks A & L for coming with us!)

We went fishing:


Made animals from plastic cups:


Built octopus towers (inspired by this pin):

kerieneunderthesea4And made an under the sea scene:


Which we then turned into a play aquarium (and the little man sold us all our tickets):



We spent the last week learning that God made and loves bakers and wants them to love him (and having the little man remind me that God also made and loves him). I wasn’t sure that we would do anything other than bake and eat, which we did a lot of, but I managed to come up with a few non-edible activities too.

– cupcake wrapper garland (inspired by this)

– whisking with bubbles (idea from here)

– playdough with kitchen utensils

– cloud dough with baking items

– marshmallow popper (using these instructions)

– pretend play (bakery shop and delivery van)

– number recognition (idea from here)

– pretend and real play using felt food, baking bread and (extending bakers to chefs) cooking burritos

– baking and decorating cupcakes

– bakery and patisserie visits


Felt Pig

I left pigs until late in our farm theme to give myself time to sew this felt pig. I needn’t have bothered because all it meant was that I put off making it for a few more weeks.

The pattern is modified from this one by Lorraine Teigland published in The Guardian (UK) earlier this year.

She has a little pocket in which to keep her piglets (or in my case, piglet, until I make some more).


Hobby Horse

This was fun and quick to make and the little man took to galloping on it immediately (followed shortly after by using it to sweep the floor).

I used this tutorial but there are plenty of them if you’re wanting a little horse and rider at your home.


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