My winter project list is growing every day as I think about Christmas gifts! I just finished making a very simple queen sized quilt for our bed because we needed something warmer this winter (tutorial can be found here: http://bloomandblossom.blogspot.com/2010/10/raw-edge-layer-cake-quilt-tutorial.html ). I had this crazy notion that I should tackle a project this huge. Though making a large quilt has been on my bucket list for a while, I think it’s one that I should have saved for, I don’t know, another decade. Finishing it was one of those huge sigh moments, with "Glad that’s over with!” ringing through the house. My number one project for the new year—don’t be a project super woman. Let this be a warning to the wise. Still, I can’t resist making things a few small things for my son this holiday! *nervous laugh* Here are some ideas that, should you choose this mission, can be easily accomplished during nap times and late night coffee binges. I don’t know that I will get all of them done, and I’m sure my sewing machine will need a good oiling if I do, but they are easy enough I can work on them throughout the year. They are grouped from easiest to hardest, and the first four don’t require a sewing machine, so don’t shy away non-seamstresses!
- A “People Who Love (child’s name)” book — My friend gave me this idea and it’s as simple as printing pictures of close friends and family then arranging them in a book or photo album. My son says about 20 words, 8 of which are names of family and friends. For some reason, he is obsessed with naming people! I figured he would love a book where he can pretty much “read” every page. I might even have a note written by each family member, or something like “Grandma loves Gabriel” written next to the photo. Something to be treasured, and if I may, much cheaper than the recordable Hallmark books (although those are adorable).
- A Sensory Stocking — Gabriel has loved little sensory activities, so we will be filling his stocking with fun items found mostly at the dollar store! Homemade play dough (tutorials: http://www.familycorner.com/family/kids/crafts/edible_play_dough.shtml ), more colored rice and pasta (because we just can’t get enough of it! This tutorial can be used for pasta as well: http://www.doseofhappy.com/blog/2011/11/07/how-to-make-colored-rice/ ), fuzzy pom poms, water beads, mini kitchen gadgets for helping mommy, washable paint, light sticks (for fun glow-in-the-dark baths time), and whatever else tickles my “fancy.”
- A Drop Box — This is one I’ve already made for him and it is still a huge hit! He loves dropping things into the box, opening it to retrieve them, then starting all over again. Tutorial: http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/search/label/Drop%20Box
- A Light Table — These are so fun for kids, and have a tons of uses. Play at Home Mom (http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/) has awesome ideas for using one! There are a million tutorials on them, but some are quite pricey. Here’s my favorite so far and one I can easily put together in an afternoon: http://www.teachpreschool.org/2012/01/guest-post-a-homemade-light-table-for-preschool/
- A Spy Bag — This will be great for a plane ride, and it is easy enough to make for other little friends too! Tutorial: http://seweasylemonsqueezy.blogspot.com/2012/03/i-spy-bags.html
- A Quiet Book — This is the one that may not get finished until after Christmas but one that I know is worth it! I remember having one when I was little. Children love all the little activities on each page, and there are so many creative mamas out there! Seriously, google “Quiet Book Tutorials,” and be overwhelmed. The Quiet Book Blog will help get you started: http://quietbook.blogspot.com/.
Whew! That’s “all.” We’re excited to try a homemade Christmas this year! What ideas do you have for your little ones?