23 Jingle Bell Craft Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

23 Jingle Bell Craft Ideas & STEM Activities for Kids

These jingle bell crafts ideas and learning activities are easy, fun and perfect to use year-round!

There's just something magical about the sound of a jingle bell.

Honestly, I think they are one of my favorite musical instruments -- not too loud, easy for everyone to use and perfect for most of those Christmas songs.

You may remember that we hunt for jingle bells every December, a unique family tradition that I've done with our kids. And we love to use them for crafting and activities too so today we're sharing a great list of ways to put those jingly guys to use!

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Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Gift Ideas for Book Lovers that Aren't Books

Got bookworms? Try giving these gift ideas that aren't books!

We have a LOT of books in our house as you might suspect from our numerous kids' book lists!

One of the things I did well as a parent was to raise readers -- I always found a way to tie books with a favorite project, vacation or any interest our kids have had over the years.

But when you have book lovers, you have to make a decision when it comes to gift buying -- either move into a library (we haven't found one for sale yet :) OR find some book-related gifts they'll love since your bookshelves are already chocked full.

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Christmas Around the World Activity {with free printable game!}

Christmas Around the World Activity {with free printable game!}

Christmas is a wonderful time to introduce your kids to traditions and cultures from around the world!

If you think about many of the holiday traditions you have in your family, I'll bet they were handed down through generations and have some type of connection to your heritage.  For example, our Christmas Eve menu and activities are part of my Italian heritage.  And many of the decorations we use in our home can be connected to different countries around the world.

Today's activity is a fun way to inspire some learning this holiday season and perfect if you're celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas!

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30 Christmas Science Experiments & STEM Activities

30 Christmas Science Experiments & STEM Activities

Inspire some holiday learning with these awesome Christmas science experiments & STEM activities!

Christmas is my favorite time of year!  

Time to relax with family, enjoy some Christmas games & even squeeze in some holiday learning too.

There are so many beautiful materials and great opportunities to add STEM to decorating and learning! I'm excited to bring you a great list of Christmas science experiments & activities that are perfect for some holiday learning at home or in the classroom. 

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12 Days of Christmas Activities {with printables!}

12 Days of Christmas Activities {with printables!}

Is life too busy for the holiday traditions you love?

I know, December can just get SO crazy so fast and before you know it, the month will be gone. 

But if you're like me, enjoying those special moments and activities with family is what MAKES the season so special. 

Especially those small holiday moments the kids love so much!

So if all you want for Christmas is some time to relax with your family – we've got just what you need this year.  And the best part -- you can do the activities before or AFTER Christmas! 

No trying to squeeze in MORE stuff before the holiday if life is already too busy -- because spending time with your kids should be enjoyable and not stressful, right?!

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100+ Printable Advent Calendar Ideas & Christmas Countdown Activities

 

TONS of ideas and activities for your Advent calendar or Christmas countdown that help you focus on making memories this year!

Every year, I promise myself that I won't get overwhelmed with the busyness of the season. 

The week before Thanksgiving, I start intentionally thinking about what I want for our family  -- peaceful evenings, time each week to connect and enjoy traditions together -- not to appear to be a frazzled, hurried Mom who's trying to buzz through story time because there are gifts to wrap or cookies to bake.

There's always SO much more on our plates during the holidays which is why I LOVE our Advent Calendar Activities -- they keep me grounded and help me to enjoy what we love most about the holidays. 

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Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt {w/free printable game!}

Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt {w/free printable game!}

Print this free Thanksgiving Photo Scavenger Hunt and get the whole family involved in showing why they are thankful this year!

Thankfulness is a hard concept for kids to grasp -- even older kids!

We all have so much in our life that we tend to take for granted -- health, a warm house, a hug from our kids -- so I wanted something that we could do this Thanksgiving that highlights why we should be grateful. 

I was thinking a new game would be fun for all ages -- we love to have printable Thanksgiving games around the table or those fun minute-to-win-it games at Christmas.

And I knew it needed to involve photos because when you think about it, every time you snap a picture, you're actually capturing a memory of something you appreciate, something you are thankful for in your life.

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Christmas Around the World: Map Activity {w/free printable!}

Christmas Around the World: Map Activity {w/free printable!}

Enjoy learning about Christmas Around the World with this free printable map activity!

I love to find ways to integrate maps & geography activities for the kids throughout the year.

I worry that without exposure to actual maps & globes, the next geneneration isn't going to be very map-literate given the ease of websites like Google Maps and all the conveniences of having a GPS in their cars and phones. 

Goodness knows if they ever get lost in the woods, they probably won't have very good wifi and may need to find their way home ;)

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Christmas Games for Kids: Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt

Christmas Games for Kids: Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt

We love to play Christmas games with our kids over the holidays and this Gingerbread Scavenger Hunt is SO easy to put together! 

When family visits, we've been known to entertain them with a few minute-to-win-it holiday challenges and a good game of Christmas charades is always great for getting the kids up & moving.

This year, I wanted a fun game that could be played either inside or outdoors and one that was super easy to prep & play (the holidays are already busy enough so I don't need to stress myself out with 'complicated').

And the big plus -- this game can be played with kids of all ages!

 

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Christmas Stocking Ornament Craft for Kids

It's always fun to pull out some simple craft activities & family ideas during the holidays!

Nothing complicated -- just something the kids enjoy creating and that usually involves something sparkly :)

And kids adore making ornaments to hang on the tree

I think we have more handmade ornaments on our tree that we do any other type.  We love going through them each year as we decorate and reflecting on when they were made.

We'll frequently hear "I remember making this in Kindergarten!" which is amazing since they can't remember to put their shoes away on most days :)

I admit, those nostalgic memories are wonderful at this time of year.  I remember being in second grade and having the whole class make paper stockings to hang on the class-made "brick" mantle!  It was fun to come to class each day and see our names hanging near that paper fireplace.

So when we joined 70 other creative bloggers this month to bring you some beautiful Kid-made Christmas Ornaments, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with the kids!

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14 Online Christmas Games & Activities for Kids

We are always looking for fun online games & educational websites for the kids to visit especially those that have seasonal themes! 

It's nice to have some go-to sites when the kids ask "Can I have some computer time?" -- I really don't like them just searching Google or surfing around to sites I may not recognize.

And I especially LOVE to find websites that connect to books, life skills or world cultures -- it's a bonus when I can tie some learning to their tech time ;)

This season, we're sharing some old favorites along with a few *new* websites that the kids will really enjoy!!

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Healthy Gingerbread House Ideas

Let's talk Gingerbread Houses today!

Tis the season for family-friendly activities and building a gingerbread house is a time-honored tradition for so many families. 

Not to mention, it's a SUPER fun lesson in engineering principles for kids!  Testing out how to balance the walls, construct a roof and put together a fun little structure is the perfect intro to some of those basic physics principles.

And while I love all the building, learning & family connecting -- I'm not a fan of all the sugar icing and candy add-ons when the kids are already coming home telling me about those 'surprise' cookie and candy treats at school.

But there has to be a healthier option for these adorable little abodes, right?

YES!  We found some amazing edibel items to use as you construct a gingerbread house that's also a super healthy snack option too!

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25+ Free Printable Christmas Games & Activities for Kids

A great collection of free printable Christmas games & activities to keep your kids entertained the whole month of December!

The holiday season is upon us!  It's time to enjoy counting down the days to Christmas and finding ways to slow down and enjoy the season together.

It's also time to get ready to keep the kids from snooping in the closets or under the tree :)

Do you have a snooper? 

My oldest was great - he never wanted to know what gifts he would get on Christmas morning.  My youngest -- a whole different story!  She's one of those 'I'm going to pretend I'm not snooping while I try to gather clues about both my gifts AND everyone else's'.  She keeps us on our toes during the holidays.

It's hard for kids to contain all that excitement -- wrapped gifts in arms' reach, the promise of a school holiday party, family coming -- I totally understand.  Which is why having some fun activities for them to do each day helps them to enjoy the weeks leading up to Christmas.

These totally fun & free printable Christmas games and activities are perfect for kids of all ages!  You can even wrap them so the kids have something to unwrap each day (hopefully it keeps them busy enough that they won't have time to snoop ;)

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Christmas Play Ideas using Items from Nature

Christmas is a wonderful time to invite nature into the house!

We love creating & crafting with natural items during the holidays -- they're not only free but plentiful.  Not to mention, some of them have such a wonderful scent!

And then there's the research that shows having a connection to nature helps to reduce stress during the holidays :) 

Oh yea, we all need that!

So enjoy these great play activities, books and crafts from nature that are perfect for the holiday season!

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12 Christmas Minute to Win It Games

We're pulling together some fun  "Minute to Win It" Christmas games this year as part of our family activities & slow down and enjoy the holidays together goal!

Since we'll have LOTS of family in town, we need some entertaining activities for Christmas Day and beyond.

Have you ever watched Rudolph

I'm sure you've seen how the reindeer play games -- and we thought it would be a hoot to put together our own themed set of holiday games to do with the relatives. 

You know, to pass the time on those colder days & add a few laughs to the celebration -- and there will be a LOT of laughs with these, I promise!

 

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