Growing up, my mom always got us an Advent calendar. You know, those cardboard ones with the perforated boxes hiding a chocolate? I loved them and she even sent me (ok, the kids) some last year, all the way across the world. Except of course, no chocolates because they would have melted for sure. One year we spent way too much on a Lego advent calendar. And while I'm pretty sure we could reuse it, none of us are willing to dig back through the sea of pieces to find the Christmas ones.
I've always had noble intentions of making my own Advent calendar with scripture verses and candy. There are so many amazing ideas on Pinterest, for cute little DIY boxes and envelopes and displays. But I knew it had to be really simple or it would again be just a fleeting idea. When I stumbled across this great one using socks and clothespins, I knew I had a winner. Right then and there I ordered a bunch of kid socks off online.
The most important part of the Advent calendar is what goes inside. Of course, the kids wanted candy, so I picked up some of that at the store. But I also wanted a good mix of Bible verses to share the Christmas story with the kids throughout the month. I looked around for a good set of verses that mixed both the Old Testament and New Testament. I loved the collection that I found at Sweeterthansweets. She uses little object lessons each day, which I thought was brilliant, but I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find everything in time. So I meshed up the ideas with my own graphic magic and came up with these Advent printables.
You can print these and use them in whatever type of DIY Advent Calendar that you plan to make. Download them for free, print them back to back, and then cut along the dotted lines. Wallah! If you are not crafty at all, just print them and place them on the dinner table each night for everyone to read and enjoy!
Yesterday we celebrated our fifth Thanksgiving off of US soil. Did you know that Thanksgiving is not a thing anywhere else in the world? ;) I have got to say, this year was one of my favorites. When we first decided to travel abroad, I thought the holidays would be so difficult. They were hard at first. But it has been so good for us to create holiday traditions as a family. Now it seems like they keep getting better and better. Throughout the year, we interact with a lot of different cultures and foods, etc. At Thanksgiving, we get to pour out our culture with our friends and neighbors.
This year we hosted 26 adults, representing three countries and even more languages. We had an amazing time stuffing ourselves and doing cheesy things like Thanksgiving charades and crossword puzzles. Luke gave a mini lecture on the first Thanksgiving and we all went around the table saying what we were thankful for. Everyone left with full tummies and full hearts.
Now the sad part, today is the part of Thanksgiving that I miss more than anything else - Black Friday shopping with my mom and sister. Though all the deals are online now, the deals were never the appeal. The appeal was waking up at 3 am, bundling up while it was still dark, and setting out on a quest that wasn't complete without good coffee and a nice lunch. If we saved a few dollars along the way - that was just the cherry on top! So, since I can't participate in the mob shopping, I will at least be part of the fun by passing along some savings to you. From today through the end of the money, take 40% off anything in our Etsy shop - Christmas cards, wedding stationary, birthday invites and more. I'll even be discounting custom design quotes, so contact me for special pricing!
Happy Shopping, wherever you find yourself this holiday season!
Here are the lyrics to our favorite letter H rhymes!
The Wheels on the Bus (Horn)
The Horn on the bus goes Honk, Honk, Honk
Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk, Honk
The Horn on the bus goes Honk, Honk, Honk
All through the town.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king's horses and all the king's men,
Couldn't put Humpty together again
Jolly Phonics - H
I like to hop, hop, hop
Up and Down
I like to hop, hop, hop
/h/ /h/ /h/ /h/ /h/
(To the tune of I like to Eat Apples and Bananas)
Take the Rhymes a Step Forward!
Humpty Dumpty is a great way to start introducing Question words to your ESL student. I teach them the rhyme, using pictures, videos and drawings. Then I ask questions like these:
Q: What is Humpty Dumpty A: Egg
Q: What did Humpty Dumpty do? A: Sat on a wall
Q: What happened to Humpty Dumpty? A: He fell
Q: Who tried to put Humpty Dumpty together again? A: King's horses, King's Men
Another fun activity is putting the story in order. I drew 4 boxes on the board to represent what happened in the story. Then I had the children tell me the correct order. You could also use screenshots from a Youtube video and print them out as flashcards.
Hippo Has a Hat, doesn't have near as many H words as you might first assume, but it goes through several different animals and articles of clothing. Start asking good questions like "What color is the Lion's dress?" or "What is the caterpillar wearing?" This will keep them engaged in the story and will reinforce their English conversational skills. Of course, a great activity for these books would be to make a hat. You don't need anything but some old newspaper for that!
The H is for Heart worksheet is a fun one because, well, what kid doesn't like ripping up paper? You will have a happy class and a happy heart of your own during this activity. Just give the kids scrap paper of all different colors for them to tear and glue into the heart shape. And who knew? Tearing paper also helps with fine motor skills! While everyone is Happy, you can also check out the Happy/Sad Worksheet. Print it double sided and have the kids fill in the circles with the appropriate emotions.
Download the preschool letter H worksheets and letter H vocabulary flashcards to use for personal and educational purposes. Do not sell them or offer them as your own. Please give proper credit wherever you use them.
The flashcards are formatted for A4 and can be printed back to back, cut and laminated. There is a color and a black and white version in case you want to save on printing costs and do the coloring yourself.
Luke and I are married and have four little munchkins that travel the world with us. I blog about living overseas, travel, kids, education and graphic design.
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