Gingerbread Man Theme Day

I have been missing Mommy School.  A lot.  But let's be honest--Christmastime is a crazy time!  I haven't found a second to spare.  But I have wanted to enjoy some fun Christmas activities with Little Man.  So I compromised.  Instead of attempting daily activities, I decided to do weekly theme days.  It's basically an all-day party!

 

Last week, we had an entire "Gingerbread Man" day.

You might remember that we had a similar gingerbread party last year.  It's so fun to see how much more I can do with Little Man in just 1 year!  We had so much fun with last year's party that we decided to make this a tradition!

Little Man loves our Christmas book advent SO much!  Every morning he wakes up and runs downstairs to discover the latest Christmas book wrapped up under the tree. On this day, he woke up and found "The Gingerbread Man" story book.  He wanted to read this over and over again all day long.

We ate gingerbread pancakes for breakfast.  YUM!

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Christmas Book Advent

Alright folks.  It's the day after Thanksgiving, so I am in "go" mode for Christmas!

Do you have that silly rule about not listening to Christmas music until after Thanksgiving?  I do!  Today I can listen to Christmas music guilt-free!

How do you look forward to Christmas?  We have several Christmas advent calendars:

* We have the Christmas tree countdown that I shared last year.

* We also have the classic felt Christmas tree calendar.  We will be pulling a felt object out of the calendar each day and pinning it on the tree!

* Of course we are continuing the Santa Beard tradition by adding cotton balls to Santa's beard every day until Christmas.

* Last week, I also shared this Super Saturday story book binder we made at my ward's Super Saturday.  We will use this as our family scripture study, sharing a scripture, song, and special Christmas story every day until Christmas.  (By the way, I have received tons of e-mails requesting that I share this with you.  I love sharing ideas with you, but I don't feel right about sharing someone else's work.  I simply made the binder cover in my class--the content of the binder was created by someone else.  Feel free to take this idea and make it your own!)

* Just like last year, Little Man is SO excited for our Christmas Book Advent.  I am sure many of you do this very same thing!

Every day during the month of December, Little Man will find a book wrapped up underneath the Christmas tree.  I don't know about you, but I LOVE Christmas books.  I can't wait to share some of my favorites with Little Man.  So several days ago, we wrapped up all of our books so they're all ready to go!   I combined several of my favorite books from our own storybook library along with a few books we'll be checking out from the local library.

Here are some of the books that we'll be reading this year:

Mickey's Christmas Carol

Merry Christmas, Curious George

The First Night

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

Santa's Toy Shop

Gingerbread Man

Here Comes Santa Claus

Mortimer's Christmas Manger

Little Robin's Christmas

Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree

The Baker's Dozen

Franklin's Christmas Gift

Jingle Bells

Frosty the Snow Man

Froggy's Best Christmas

Polar Express

A Piggie Christmas

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

What Santa Can't Do

Snowmen At Christmas

The Biggest, Most Beautiful Christmas Tree

Rudolph

The Mouse Before Christmas

Merry Christmas, Mom and Dad (Little Critter series)

Twas the Night Before Christmas

Room For a Little One

The Little Drummer Boy

You might notice that there are more than 25 books on my list because I am having a difficult time narrowing down the final book list!

I wrapped up our books in plain brown paper and used scrapbook paper scraps and my scalloped paper punch to dress them up a bit.  We plan to work on number recognition with the number/date tags on the books.

 

You may remember last year's book advent.

Every day in December, I shared ideas for crafts and activities based on our Christmas book for that day.

We will be repeating many of those same activities this year!

What books will you be reading this Christmas?  Do you have some good recommendations?

PS Don't forget about the Black Friday sale on the Silhouette!  Check out the secret page for the Silhouette Cameo here.  Almost everything in the Silhouette store will be 30% off.  If you use the promo code "OOPSEY", you will score an extra 10% off, for a total of 40% off!  The deals will be good from 12:01 AM on November 25th until 11:59 PM on November 28!  Maybe you can go do a little shopping??  :)

Paper Doily Snowflakes {Book Advent Day 22}

It's entirely too late, and I know I'll be hating life in the morning.  BUT I just can't go to sleep knowing I didn't share today's book and project!  Today's story, Dream Snow, seems entirely appropriate for me right now.  I DO dream of snow.  In Colorado.  For Christmas.  But it doesn't seem likely.  Mr. Oopsey Daisy (originally from California!) loves this sunny winter weather... but for me, it just doesn't quite seem like Christmas without the snow!

I am a HUGE fan of Eric Carle.  When Little Man was tiny, the only stories he would entertain were Eric Carle books.  He loves the bright illustrations.  So I just knew that he would love an Eric Carle Christmas story.  This book has little transparency overlays to show the snow effect.  Little man loved it!
I really felt like I was reverting back to my childhood for this project.  Today, I made paper snowflakes!  Not just any snowflakes, though.  Snowflakes made from these:
Paper doilies!
I found these at Wal-Mart in the baking section, and I knew they were destined to make the cutest snowflakes.  Ever!
I read somewhere that the perfect snowflake must be made by folding your paper into sixths.  So I did just that.  I folded each doily in half, and then in thirds.
I created all sorts of different snowflakes during naptime.  I definitely wanted some shimmer to my snowflakes, so I added a layer of glitter glue to the front side of each snowflake.
Because I wanted to string up my snowflakes, I hot glued some twine to the back, using tiny felt scraps to secure the twine in place.
I just love how they turned out!  So in the middle of this warm weather, these little beauties can help me keep dreaming of a white Christmas!

Can you tell I was inspired by eighteen25's glitter trees??

Jingle Bell Snowman {Book Advent Day 21}

Yikes!  I don't know about you, but I am ready to stay in and snuggle for the next few days.  We have had unseasonably warm weather in Colorado, so everyone is out and about.  Our local grocery store...library... fast food... heaven forbid, Hobby Lobby!  When it comes to battling crowds, I think I'm ready to throw in the towel!  I'm not sure how I'll entertain Little Man in the house all day, but I'll do anything to avoid the madness out there!
I am SO happy with how this little project turned out today.  Any guesses what book we read?? The one.  The only.  Mr. Frosty the Snowman!  Even though we did several snowman activities a few weeks ago along with Snowmen at Christmas, Little Man is still lovin' Frosty!  I think he's watched the movie 3 times.  So I know I couldn't go wrong with this vintage Christmas classic.
I tried to save some "wintry" projects for last... that way you don't have to wait all the way until next Christmas to use them!  You can take some of your Christmas jingle bells and create a sweet jingle bell snowman any time of the year!  I originally saw this idea on Kaboose.  (In fact, Amanda, one of my readers, just let me know that SHE created this lil guy for Kaboose... way to go, Amanda!)
I didn't take pictures along the way, but hopefully I can talk you through making your own!  To make your own jingle bell snowman....
* Paint 3 large jingle bells with white acrylic paint.  It was a little tricky to paint my metal bells, so I used several coats.  I mixed in just a bit of glitter glue to give the snowman some shine!
* I strung all of the jingle bells together using thin wire.  I cut a long piece of wire and strung the first jingle bell up from the bottom.  I twisted it a bit so it could be hung, and then strung both wire pieces through the bottom.  Then I took the wire down through the next two jingle bells.  To secure the whole thing, I went around the third jingle bell and twisted in all in place.  (This sounds much harder than it is!)
* Using my Elmer's painters, I drew on the eyes, nose, and mouth.
* I used E-6000 to glue a red ribbon around the snowman's head.  Next, I glued red pompoms on either side to look like ear muffs!
* I glued buttons onto the second jingle bell.
* Finally, I tied a ribbon around the neck to look like a scarf!
Here is a close-up of the face:
What a bright, cheery little face!!  He was so fun (and quick!) to make!  
Thanks for making Oopsey Daisy part of your day!

Book Advent: Day 20 {Christmas Action Cards}

This is it, my friends--Christmas is this week.
Can you believe it?!  I am half ecstatic and half overwhelmed. I have so enjoyed our book advent, and the extra bit of Christmas magic it adds into our days!  I don't know about you, but I really enjoy a little something special mixed into the drab routines of day to day!  I think Little Man does, too!
Today we read Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree, a charming story of a tree used in lots of different ways!  I haven't played on the computer much lately, but I've been wanting to do some kind of "action" activity with Little Man to review and celebrate all of the symbols of Christmas.  You mothers of little boys know how it is... boys just want to MOVE, and they often learn best through movement.  So I think these action cards will be a perfect way for him to see the pictures and act them out.
We will probably take turns drawing cards and then acting out the requested actions.  Here is what I came up with:
To create these fun action cards, I used fonts and clip art from DJ Inkers.
Clip art designs &/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers. 


You can download your own set of action cards here.
Enjoy!

Book Advent: Days 18 & 19 {No-sew Patchwork Ornaments}

Well, after a 7-hour baking marathon that lasted till the wee hours of the morning, now I can say we survived the weekend!  I guess by telling you THAT, I may have slightly gave away yesterday's story.
The Baker's Dozen is a "sweet" Christmas tale that we really enjoyed!  Naturally, we spent all evening baking.  Little Man LOVED helping to cut out the sugar cookies.  He was an expert decorator, but of course, test-tasting cookies was his favorite part!  We made and decorated 7 dozen cookies, 1 tray of peppermint bark, and a cake!
Today's story is an ABC Book.  The illustrations by Mary Engelbreit are exquisite!  To celebrate the "O is for ornament" page, I am sharing another--yes another!--ornament tutorial.  But I have a purpose for saving this one for last.  If you're like me, you might just be in gift delivery mode.  (I am so impressed by those of you who are already done!) Anyway, this ornament makes the perfect embellishment to any gift delivery!  Plus, this is one patchwork you don't have to sew a single stitch!
So in case you missed my tutorial at The Creation Corner...
Growing up, it seemed like we were always delivering Christmas gifts.  Piano teachers, soccer coaches, school teachers, friends, neighbors, you name it! The list of gift recipients was constantly growing.
We were a frugal family... okay, we were cheap!  But thank goodness for a crafty mama.  She put us to work creating gifts for our own school teachers.  I must have been quite young when my Mom first taught me to make these Christmas patchwork ornaments.  Each year, we presented our school teachers with our own lil' handmade Christmas gifts... yes, these very patchwork ornaments!
This year, I revisited the idea of patchwork ornaments and experimented with some new twists to this classic idea.  Come along with me, and I'll show you how to create a gorgeous gift for those last-minute people popping up on your own gift-giving lists:
For this project, you will need:
* Styrofoam ball
* Lots of Christmas fabric scraps (Ask your friends and family if they have some to spare!)
* Butter knife
* Scissors
* Ribbon
Cut several pieces of different shapes and sizes from your scraps.  There is no exact science here.  Just start cutting, and add different shapes and sizes!  Begin by taking your first fabric scrap and placing it on the styrofoam ball.  Use a butter knife to push the edges of the fabric into the styrofoam ball.  It should be nice and snug!
Continue with your next scrap, pushing it into the same groove as the previous piece.  This creates the "patchwork" pattern.
The trickiest part is that last blank spot on the ornament!  The styrofoam can give out if stressed too much.  Be gentle with that last piece in the patchwork puzzle!
Now just add a ribbon loop to hang your ornament by securing it with hot glue.  Simple and sweet!

This year, I decided to try some new things with my Mother's classic idea of the patchwork ornament.  I had fun playing around! I found some clearance end-of-roll fabric scraps at JoAnn's.  Here is what I came up with:

So which one is YOUR favorite?  I still love the original, but I must say I adore that lace!
By the way, if you get too attached to these lovelies and don't feel like giving them away, they make a splendid centerpiece!  Last year, I created a whole basket of patchwork ornaments (without the ribbon loops) and threw them on my coffee table.
There is something about these patchwork ornaments that is just so homey!
Alright--this is officially my LAST ornament tutorial.  Can you believe it?!
Enjoy your week of CHRISTMAS!

Book Advent: Day 17 {Polar Express Candy Trains!}

Happy weekend, my friends!


It's going to be an insane day of last-minute shopping, wrapping, and baking!  But it's all part of the magic, right?!  The countdown is on--one more week until Christmas!  The beautiful part about our Christmas book advent is that we are creating new family traditions.  I know for a fact that we will keep adding to our "Gingerbread Man" day each Christmas.  And I believe this book will continue making a special appearance also:
I don't know if there is any book more magical than The Polar Express.  My favorite day of teaching was our annual Polar Express pajama party.  So I decided to start up this tradition with Little Man.
When Little Man woke up from his nap, he enjoyed this train snack.  I saw this idea originally here.  I just used graham crackers for the train, mini Oreos for wheels, and frosting to put it all together.
Mr. Oopsey Daisy dressed Little Man in pajamas while I quickly set up a train out of our kitchen chairs.  The marched down the stairs and had to present their Polar Express tickets.  After I punched them, they could sit on the "train."
Little Man absolutely LOVED the train.  It took a lot of convincing to get him off the choo-choo train!  We read The Polar Express book, followed by hot chocolate.  Then, I gave my boys one of these candy trains:
For these candy trains, I used hot glue to assemble the candies....
*I used a lifesaver package for the main body of the train.
* I used a carmel topped with Hershey kiss for top of the engine.
*I used a Reese's peanut butter cup for the back of the train.
* The wheels are those adorable Brach's taffy candies.
We finished the night by watching The Polar Express Movie.  It was a wonderful time, and I know Little Man enjoyed every minute of it!

Book Advent: Day 16 {Gingerbread Man Party!}

If you are new to Oopsey Daisy, I am taking it kind of easy with big projects to focus on Christmas this year. We just moved into a new home before Thanksgiving, and as much as I'd love to do a ton of intensive crafts... right now, I can't even walk into my craft room!  In fact, everything is still in boxes.  And the boxes and I are friends until Christmas.  I am doing my best to focus on enjoying the magic of Christmas with Little Man, who is almost 2, and soaking up all the joy and wonder of Christmas-time this year!
I have been looking forward to this day in the book advent for a long time.  We read one of my all-time favorites, The Gingerbread Man.  This story is just perfect for kids... how can you NOT love a gingerbread man?!  There are tons of fabulous activities you can do with this, too.  We whipped out just a few for our little gingerbread boy party! 
By the way, this worked out perfectly because we were stranded in the house all day.  Mr. Oopsey Daisy accidentally took my keys with him to work!  I get restless easily and love my daily errands, but we really had a ton of gingerbread fun!
It all started with these little gingerbread man bean bags.  For this project...
* I used a template I found online and cut out 5 little gingerbread men (and women!) out of felt.  
* I hot glued the eyes, mouths, ricrac, and buttons before sewing.  
* Then, I just sewed all the way around their little bodies and left an opening to fill them up with rice.
* Filling them with rice was a bit tricky.  Because they're so small, I used a knife to work the rice into all of those little nooks and crannies!
* Finally,  just sewed up the opening!  
That's it!
This little guy is supposed to be Little Man!
Here is our little army of gingerbread people.  Aren't they cute?!  One is supposed to be Little Man, one is me (the brown-eyed beauty!), and one is Mr. Oopsey Daisy.  But because I had extra felt, I made two more for fun!

After reading the story, we did all kinds of things with our little bean bags!  We named the colors of the buttons and pointed out ways that the gingerbread men (and women!) were the same/different.  But Little Man's favorite part was doing a little bean bag toss.  We tossed them into laundry baskets.  Later on, even when I was using the baskets for laundry, Little Man shuttled them around!  What a sweetheart! :)
Next, we made gingerbread playdough!  Have I ever mentioned that I have no sense of smell??  Well, I am a 4-sense gal who relies on her husband's rather weak sense of smell.  I asked him to help me with my spices, but he tells me that it smells just like gingerbread!  We had so much fun playing with this today--it's been ages since we had playdough out! 
I let Little Man use cookie cutters to cut out his own gingerbread cookies. He kept trying to "eat" his cookies... it must have been that yummy-smelling dough!  
He was totally wrapped up in this for a while.  Success!
Finally, we mixed up our own batch of gingerbread cookies.  We made just 1 giant gingerbread cookie.  I did my best to sculpt a body!  As we baked it, I turned the oven light on, and I told Little Man to make sure that the gingerbread boy didn't try to run away!  He did this dutifully!  Then, once he had baked and cooled, I let Little Man design this cookies just the way he wanted.  He loved being in charge of the sprinkles!  After seeing the addition of the M&M's, his favorites, he couldn't wait to eat the gingerbread man tonight!

I didn't think he would like gingerbread all that much, but I was wrong.  He loved it!  I asked him which part of the gingerbread man he wanted to eat first--the head, arms, or legs.  He just replied with, "M&M's!"  He enjoyed this a lot!!  Of course he had to practice acting out the favorite line from the story, "Run, run, as fast as you can.  You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!"  He got some good exercise with all of his running laps today!

Here's one of my favorite sights... when he chooses to re-read a story I've taught him.  Life is good.

Thanks for making Oopsey Daisy part of your day!
PS If you would like any of the recipes I used today, just let me know!  I'll post them tomorrow if you're interested...

Book Advent: Day 15 {Dove Silhouette Ornament}

First of all, I just wanted to give YOU a big shout-out!!  Thanks so much for reading Oopsey Daisy in the middle of your hectic Christmas preparations.  As you are tying bows, hanging stockings, and frosting cookies, just know that I appreciate you.  I appreciate the opportunity to share my ideas with you!
Today's story, Little Robin's Christmas, was another reader recommendation.  I loved this book, and so did Little Man!  Counting and colors were reinforced, plus the illustrations were dang cute.  This is definitely a book we'll be checking out again!
Ever since I saw these silhouette ornaments, I knew I wanted to make one.  I've always loved the symbol of the dove at Christmastime.  The dove is the symbol of peace--the ultimate gift from The Prince of Peace. We may have read about a robin, but I had doves on my mind.
Say hello to my sweet little dove silhouette ornament.  This is one of my simplest crafts to date, and it is looking stunning on my Christmas tree!
I just so happened to find a dove cookie cutter in my stash!  I used a pen to trace the dove onto white felt.  I was sure to trace it as the mirror image of how I ultimately wanted it to look. 
Next, I traced a simple paper mache ornament (found at most craft stores) onto scrapbook paper.  After cutting out my circle, I mod podged them onto the ornaments.  I traced a paper circle for the front and back.

Next, I sponged mod podge onto the edges of the ornament, and shook some gold glitter on them. I am really loving gold and red this Christmas!  Because I wanted even more bling, I coated the ornament's edges with mod podge and shook on more glitter!  I also rolled the ornament's sides in the excess glitter on the paper plate to really coat the edges.  
I found these stunning embellishments at my local scrapbook store, and they were the perfect touch for the back of my ornament!  I think I might even like the back side of the ornament better than the fronts!  
I really love this beauty on my Christmas tree!

LOVE this!

Have I mentioned how much I love my Christmas tree?! 
I know I've shared TONS of ornament tutorials, but I just love dressing up my Christmas tree.  When you are renting and can't add your own personal touch to your HOUSE, it's nice to be able to dress up and own a TREE!  
Enjoy your day!

Book Advent: Day 14 {Rudolph Flannel Board}

It's almost 1:30, but here I am typing away.  I have a real problem.  I love climbing into bed and going to sleep.  But I also have a hard time stopping and going to bed!  Like many of you, I'm a night owl!  I know I'll be hating life tomorrow morning, but I still can't help myself!  Please, tell me that some of you can relate!  Or am I the only one with the night-owl disorder?!
We continued our Christmas book advent with another classic book:  Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  This particular version was a bit long for Little Man, but we plowed our way through it.
When he woke up from his nap, he found a Rudolph flannel board.  BUT Rudolph didn't just have a red nose--he had many different colors of noses!  Little Man had fun trying on all of the different noses.  He kept trying to get the little felt noses to stick on HIS nose!  This was a great way to review colors, too.  Little Man is just beginning to say his color words.  {So exciting!}
We did a flannel board story that describes Rudolph with all different colors of noses!  Finally at the end of the story, Rudolph is ready to help Santa because his nose is red.  It's a short and sweet rhyming story--super cute!
The flannel board visual aids were super easy to make.  I just cut a face out of tan felt, antlers out of brown felt, and circles out of different colors of felt.  I just added google eyes and drew on the mouth with sharpie!
If you would like to download the Rudolph story, you can print it here or here on Scribd.
Have a happy Wednesday!
Thanks for being here!!
PS Michelle from Musings of Me also has a printable Rudolph book using this same story.  You can print the story and use colored pompoms or buttons for Rudolph's nose on each page.
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