Peep and the Big Wide World

Peep and the Big Wide World is a fun learning show for preschoolers and recommended for ages 3-5.  It explores basic science concepts with nature.  A little about the show: "Set in and around a pond, a bush, and a tin can, the show follows a newly hatched chicken named Peep, and his friends Chirp and Quack (a robin and a duck), on their daily adventures. Surrounding them is a large urban park — a place of great wonder and mystery, a place they are forever eager to explore, a place they call "the big wide world.""

We've checked out Peep DVD's from our library many times and enjoy it!  A new season begins Jan. 2010 on public television- it's a WGBH program.  In Utah you can watch Peep and the Big Wide World on digital channel 9.1 (uen).

For every story there are 2 recommended booksJust like Sesame Street, this can be an easy and fun preschool time with your child.
* Play games with Peep and Friends or find some activities!
* It's narrated by Joan Cusack.  See why she loves this show!

Reindeer Memory Game

I made a fun reindeer memory game with these free printable Reindeer Tags from babalisme.  She uses to share her printables so if you want the reindeer you have to sign-up!

Here's my tutorial if you'd like to use packing tape to cover them!

Supplies: 2 sheets of reindeer, card stock, glue stick, good packing tape, small baggie

1- cut out all reindeer
2- cut card stock squares (height 1 7/8"x width 2"-- measure exact to fit packing tape size)
3- (skip to #4 if only using squares) cut card stock circles-- if you don't have a circle punch/cutter it might be easier to glue reindeer first and then cut around them
4- glue reindeer to card stock with a small dot of glue  
5- lay down a 4½" or 5" piece of packing tape sticky side up and place one square/circle face side down to right half of the tape carefully making sure it fits in tape height and then fold over the rest of the piece to cover the back-- cut off extra tape
6- tape 'Reindeer' and some of the festive border on a snack-size bag to hold game
7- Have fun playing memory!!
* I made my game with both circles and squares to hopefully make it easier for my 3 year old to find matches. *

Button Fun for the Season

Homemade Gifts for Kids to Make:
◘  Button Bookmarks on Family Fun  ◘
◘  Button Baubles on Family Fun 

Crafts for Kids:
◘  Snowman Button Mosaic from Flipflops and Applesauce  ◘
◘  Button Snowflake Ornament on Parents  ◘

Peppermint Candy Ornaments

Two years ago I saw a segment on Decorating with Peppermint on Studio 5 (a morning show in Utah) and I got excited about the peppermint ornaments.  I made 20+ for my tree and they're my favorite ornaments.  These would make great neighbor gifts and a whole set could be a unique gift for newlyweds!

Arrange 5 to 6 peppermints on a foil lined pan with space in between each candy (start with making 2 or 3 first to see how they turn out)
Bake at 250° for 10-15 minutes-- watch closely 

After all the melting is complete:
*Spray one side with sealer-- allow to dry
Spray the other side with sealer-- allow to dry
Tie a ribbon around each ornament

*Spray in a well-ventilated area with newspaper down and wax paper under the ornaments.

A big bag (over 3 lbs.) of Brach peppermint candies at Walmart is under $5.  I made some green ones with the Great Value brand and they still turned out. I spent around $11.00 to make 30 ornaments (includes mess-ups).  You will have plenty of mess-ups-- sometimes they cracked after cooking and many times just one candy didn't want to melt good and it ruined the whole ornament.  When storing, layer them on wax paper in a small box and keep in a normal/cool temperature area if possible.

Barbie Kelly Dolls

 Barbie Kelly Dolls are cute and age-appropriate for my 6 year old daughter.  She has a Kelly Club 5 set (the 'hair stylist' gave them updated looks last Christmas Eve) and has a fun time with them.
CONS: Changing outfits can be difficult for little hands.  The shoes are even smaller than regular Barbie so they're even easier to lose!  The legs won't do a complete 90° angle to sit right.  Kelly Dolls are almost non-existent in local stores.  Every little girl wants a wardrobe for her doll but you have to search for clothes online and most of the time pay unreasonable prices for them.

PROSLike I said, they're age-appropriate for little girls.  They have adorable clothes that are cutesy and girly.  Role playing with Kelly Dolls is a lot less dramatic than with Barbies.  They take up very little space since they don't drive cars or own homes.  They're too young to have boyfriends or bras.

Search 'Kelly Club 5 Dolls', 'Kelly Dolls'  or 'Barbie I Can Be Kelly' on Amazon and eBay.  There are seller stores on eBay that sell individual dolls, clothes, outfits, shoes and accessories (on the left side do a search for 'kelly dolls' under where it says 'Search for a Store').

My daughter's getting the Barbie I Can Be... Kelly Professions set from Grandma for ChristmasTip- On Amazon the picture isn't always the exact product.  If you look at this picture or view all the images you might be confused.  Scroll down and look at Product Features and 4 dolls are listed.
2/2010- After playing with this set with my daughter I noticed they're slightly larger than the Kelly Club 5 dolls she has.