Posted in Brands we love, Christmas, Education, Family Life, Fun Mamma SA Products we love, Parenting, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

3 Trending Technology gifts for kids this Christmas

Christmas time is the time for gifts and festivities, but how many of those gifts last into the New year?

Many parents are choosing to invest in technology gifts to help their children to foster a development of skills and knowledge that will equip them for tomorrow’s workforce.

Whilst the assumption that doing this may force children to grow up too soon, as parents, we also need to remember in our ever changing world, toys are advancing.

Technology toys range from STEM building kits to children’s tablets, loaded with software to encourage knowledge and learning in a wide variety of learning areas.

Making technology toys a winning combination of fun, imagination and learning.

The perfect gifts to invest in.

What are STEM toys

STEM stands for Science , Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Toys or learning kits that fall onto this category are thse that promote the learning of these areas.

You can read more about Stem for kids. And see an example of a first stem kit for preschoolers.

My top 3 technology gift guide

So, as a mom what would I be choosing ?

Here’s my list of the top 3 trending technology toys for 2019

1. Smart watches

Smart watches are widely available. They start at a price range of R300.

Most smart watches are touch screen and have a variety of features, but as parents our favourite feature is the GPS tracker.

With these watches you can also do two way chats, send an SOS, SMS, voice chat and have App remote monitors.

They are compatible with iOS or Android smart phones.

2. STEM kits

STEM is the study of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

There are many kits that encourage learning trough play by building and constructing these robots, solar transportation, creations and experiments.

You can buy simple kits that start at a price range of R50 from Game, Makro, 4akid and Takalot

3. Kids Tablets

Children love to use mom or dad’s phones and tablets.

Instead of fighting to use your phone or tablet, equip them with their very own safe educational tablet which usually comes equipped with educational games, pre-installed programs and applications.

These start from around R350 and are suitable from 3 years. Most tablets offer a warranty and come with parental control.

But how do you know which tablet to buy?

I found this guide from Pixelsmithstudios helpful.

This year give a gift that will keep them entertained, is durable and empowers your child to learn the skills through play.

Do you have any other Technology gifts you would add to this list? I’d love to hear in the comments below.

You may also enjoy reading about :

The Christmas kindness advent calendar

10 essential Christmas gifts for your baby

Posted in Christmas, Crafts

The Advent Spiral

Each Christmas we look for a way to introduce the heart of Christmas to Hamish and for a new and reusable advent calendar.

What does Advent Mean?

Advent is a term from the Latin word ‘adventus‘ which means “arrival“.Advent is a time, in the Christian calendar, of waiting for the arrival of Christmas and represents the coming of Jesus to earth when he was born as a baby at Bethlehem about two thousand years ago

The Spiral Advent

Last year I came across a spiral Advent calendar and was blown away by both it’s simplicity and possibilities.

The spiral was formed from wood or using a clay and had groves etched into the clay before it hardened.These little groves were used to hold a candle, marble or bead to count down the days until Christmas.Often there was a candle at the centre.

Our advent calendar

My inner craft mamma knew I could make one and sat down one afternoon with Hamish to make a spiral advent calendar.

We first gathered our supplies:

  • Some unused plaster paris to mould with
  • 24 beads
  • Craft paint
  • Paying brushes
  • Candle
  • Elastic band
  • Fir tree foliage
  • A toilet roll inner to form a nanger
  • Dry wet wipes
  • Red felt
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Some Christmas decorations to make a donkey, Mary and Joseph
  • Marker
  • A3 sheet of paper

How to make your Advent Spiral

To make the spiral I first drew a spiral shape onto a piece of paper.

This helped me to both keep to size and form as I molded the plaster paris on top of this outline.

Plaster paris was all we had in the house, but I would recommend using air drying clay, river clay, playdough,modeling clay or salt dough.Once the spiral was formed, I made 24 faint marks to mark out where each bead would bead to be inserted.

Hamish then used his finger to push each bead in.

These would become our daily markers.

Again we used beads because that is what we had avaliable but you could use marbles, candles, small toys, hearts,sequences,ectI wrapped some of our fir tree leaves around a candle using an elastic band to keep it in place and this became the centre of the spiral to represent Christmas day and the birth of Jesus.

We lit the candle on Christmas morning.Lastly I made the Christmas nativity charactes.

We would need a donkey, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus in a manager.

To make baby Jesus snug in his manger I first cut a toilet roll tube in half to form the manger.

Next I wrapped a bead into a dry wet wipe that I folded to look like a swaddled baby.

Lastly I cut a red felt heart and wings and placedar them onto the bead baby. Heart on it’s stomach area and wings underneath the body.To make Mary, Joseph and the donkey I took two Angels off our tree and cut the hair of one to represent Mary and Joseph.

For the donkey, I broke the antler off a wooden reindeer.

This became one of our favourite advents as Hamish, who was two at the time enjoyed moving Mary and Jesus up to meet baby Jesus.

Posted in Brands we love, Christmas, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Giving back, Parenting, preschoolers, Tweens & Teens

Superbook brings back the heart of Christmas

As a mom I love watching my children enjoy all the magic of Christmas.

We decorate the tree and make our gingerbread houses. We fill our stockings, put up the lights,remember to move the Christmas elf and enjoy the many other traditions around this holiday.

But

As a mom I also very much want my children to grow up understanding the real meaning of Christmas and know that Jesus is the heart of this magical celebration.

So how do I do that?

Looking after their hearts

When my older children were younger we would prepare for the festive season by attending Sunday school and reading a chapter of Luke in the Bible a day.

We made nativity scenes and told the story of the birth of Jesus.

Often on Christmas day I would read to them from their children’s Bible all about the story of Jesus.

As my children grew older, these traditions faded and aside from my lonely nativity scene and a few Christimes carols there was very little to remind them of the true reason to celebrate.

A new beginning

After Hamish was born, it became important to me to once again share the true meaning behind Christmas and each year I’ve tried to include him so that he would understand that Christmas is so much more than just a day of gifts.

Last year was his first Christmas, at 2 years old, that I felt he could understand.

Last year I bought him a new Children’s Bible and we read the Christmas story before making a homemade advent spiral using some tree angels and a lot of imagination.

Each day we would move the Mary and Joseph up a bead and he would tell me it was nearly time for Jesus to be born.

But was this enough?

A heart for God

Would these simple acts over a month a year bring my child’s heart to God?

I was convinced I needed more and as I sat pondering this I came across the CBN Superbook advert on Facebook.

An invitation to experience the Bible like bever before.

For just R99 I could invest in :

  • A DVD combo with two stories (The First Christmas & The birth of John the Baptist)
  • Family discussion guide which help to open discussion and extend on the teachings behind Christmas time and how to apply the scriptural lessons in their little lives.
  • Stickers of the Superbook character

To order your own click here

Screen time

We were away the weekend Hamish recieved his DVD package and on our first Monday home I settled him just before nap time and told him we were going to watch the story of Jesus.

He was intrigued from the first minute. The characters, Chris, Joy and Gismo, are fun and relatable. Modern day kids just like him that set off on a big adventure to discover the Bible through animation.

Gizmo the lovable robot is Hamish’s favourite character and I was impressed that the Biblical character’s dialogue is mostly taken from scripture, whilst great care has been placed on the careful attention to detail within the illustrations.

Children love animated stories and I know how much knowledge Hamish picks up from the other animated stories he watches so I was certain he would walk away from this story understanding the birth of Jesus.

I was also sure he would have many question and was really greatful for the famiy discussion sheet that I pre read and assisted me to explain the story to his little heart.

About Superbook

The Superbook mission is to take the stories of the Bible to children of all ages and has been broadcast in over 90 countries and translated into 50 languages.

Superbook is created by an award-winning team of artists and storyteller, who have worked on some amazing Disney movies like Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King and Mulan.

Each episode invites you into the pages of the Bible to experience God’s word as never before through captivating animation videos.

Now, children of all ages can learn to apply scriptural principles to their daily lives by watching the biblical events unfold on a TV, and through the Superbook App on a computer,tablet or Phone.

The App is aimed at children 6 -12 years but Hamish who is 3 has been able to play some of the games.

We watch the videos, discover the heroes of the Bible, enjoy the daily devotions and have fun learning new fun facts.

You can download the Superbook App from Aapple App store, Google Play or Amazon Apps or for more information http://www.Superbook.CBN.com

A new Tradition

We will certainly be watching The first Christmas many times before Christmas and have added it to our Christmas traditions.

But

More than that, I now have a little boy who understands the true meaning behind Christmas time and I will be using the Superbook App, videos and activity books daily to build his heart and character.

Posted in Brands we love, Christmas

10 Affordable stocking fillers from Hasbro

Each year we search for affordable, good quality and entertaining toys to fill the kids Christmas stockings.

To help us, Hasbro have compiled a list of their 10 top ‘stocking filler’ ideas for 2019

These toys are perfect for Holiday gifting, on the go entertainment or as small spoils to keep the kids busy during the long December holidays.

Hasbro’s Top 10 stocking filler ideas

1· The Monopoly Deal Card Game is all the fun of the Monopoly game in a quick-playing card game ideal for on-the-go fun.

2· Have a blast with Play-Doh Colour Burst, it’s the classic non-toxic Play-Doh compound with an innovative way to mix and play.

3· It’s a real treat to experience the irresistibly fun Play-Doh Ice Pops ‘n Ice Cream Cones Assortment. Instead of a can, Play-Doh compound come in an airtight container shaped like an ice cream cone or ice pop.

4· Blast into big fun with the Nerf Microshots Fortnite series of collectible, mini-sized Nerf toy blasters, which includes replicas of the FORTNITE TS blaster, FORTNITE RL blaster and FORTNITE Llama blaster.

5· Look out for the Lost Kitties Mice Mania milk carton singles, which comes with a mouse or kitty figure, meme stickers, two hidden accessories and a collector’s sheet.

6· Kids can image new adventures with their favourite rescue birds-in-training with the Top Wing Single Figure Assortment. Each poseable 7-cm figure includes a snap-on ‘wings’ badge.

7· The 15-cm Power Rangers Beast Morphers figures feature multiple points of articulation and design.

8· The Marvel Figures assortment includes classic Marvel design. Create scenes from the Marvel Universe and imagine incredible adventures with Captain America, Hulk, Iron Man and Thor.

9· My Little Pony Cutie Mark Crew combines the worlds of My Little Pony and Equestria Girls. With a tropical vacation theme each blind bag includes a 4cm figure, beach-themed accessory, collector card and storage case.

10· Collect My Little Pony Equestria Girls Fashion Squad dolls to mix and match more styles. Each mini doll comes with two outfit pieces and an accessory to dress her up in her signature style.

With so many fun and affordable options to choose from your child’s stockings can hold an entire world of play this year.

Hasbro products are available from leading retailers including: Takealot.com, Makro, Toys R Us, ToyZone, Toy Kingdom, Game and Checkers.
Posted in Brands we love, Christmas

10 essential Christmas gifts for your baby from Chicco and Prima Baby.

With Christmas just around the corner shopping for quality baby toys that are both educational and entetaining can be an overwhelming and arduous task.

We have made it easy for you with a selection of the top 10 essential items this festive season from the trusted Chicco and Prima Baby brand.

1) CHICCO FIRST DREAMS MOBILE

A multi-tech mobile that brings a magical atmosphere into the nursery. Ten minutes of gentle classical music, alongside a diffused nightlight will sooth baby off to a peaceful sleep. With 4 removable plushies, the mobile is suitable for all wooden and travel cots, as well as co-sleepers. Available in gorgeous pastel pink or blue.

2) CHICCO BABY SENSES ANIMAL COTTAGE

The best way to get your child understanding shapes and colours, The Animal Cottage teaches animals as well as improving motor skills. Hugely popular with the global market due to its developmental innovation as well as entertainment value.

3) V-TECH BABY FIRST STEPS ACTIVITY WALKER

One of the most high-tech walkers on the market, The First Steps by V-Tech Baby has songs, sounds, lights and much more to encourage baby to walk with fun and entertainment.

4) DISNEY BABY 50CM MICKEY AND MINNIE PASTEL PLUSH

As soft and cuddly as a plush toy can get. Standing 50cm tall, these gorgeous dolls in pastel variations of Mickey and Minnie Baby are representatives of one of the best-loved baby labels in the world.

5) CHICCO MOVE & GROW TUMMY TIME PILLOW

Made by Boppy, leaders in the nursing pillow market, this memory foam tummy-time pillow has lots of entertainment for your child, with a book, mirror, textures and colours to keep their developing minds busy and active.

6) CHICCO BABY SENSES STACK ‘N FUN CUP

A great way to learn the alphabet whilst working on your child’s motor skills. The cups build a large tower with a hole down the middle that a ball drops into to collect in the base, which is a 4-piece puzzle. A great development toy for toddlers starting to grasp cause and effect.

7) CHICCO BABY SENSES FINGER PUPPET

One of few traditional finger puppets on the market, the Baby Senses Finger Puppet is unique in the sense that it has animals and textures on each finger and provides wonderful bonding time between parent and child.

8) DISNEY BABY MICKEY AND MINNIE FIRST ABILITIES 25CM PLUSH

Available in Mickey or Minnie, this plush toy contains various activities for your baby to engage with. A gorgeous gift that will instantly become their new best friend.

9) V-TECH BABY MY FIRST GIFT SET

A collection of V-Tech Baby toys in a great hamper type set that will blow your little ones mind. Consisting of 4 tech toys that act as entertainment whilst helping them reach milestones.

10) CHICCO MOVE & GROW HAPPY HIPPY WALKER

Another great walker from the Chicco stable, the Happy Hippy Walker is a fun, colourful and interactive way to encourage your child to take their first steps. With flowers and a cute face, the walker is a great gift for any child this Christmas.

The above toys can be found in selected stores including: Babies R Us, Takealot.com, Loot.co.za, Thekidzone.co.za, selected Kids Emporium stores, Hamleys, Lilliputs and others.
Posted in Christmas, Family Time, Life with my bears

Our Christmas Traditions

I love Christmas time.

It’s my absolute favourite time of the year. I love everything about Christmas, the hype, the kindness people suddenly possess and mostly the ability to unashamedly spoil my children.But, more than that, I love the numerous traditions that surround Christmas.

A history of traditions

As a child, I came from a family of few traditions and so no two Christmases were the same.In South Africa we don’t celebrate cold, TV Christmases with snow or elaborate decorating and so it never felt like a “real” Christmas to me.My first marriage was pretty much trial, error and trying to make ends meet and so as much as we tried to maintain some sort of tradition often we were just winging it each year.I always made a trifle and had my children sleep under the tree on Christmas eve, but other than that Christmas was as abundant and busy as the years bonus would allow.

My favourite traditions

Of course as the children grew so did their need or want of Christmas traditions and the day became a symbol for great food and new gifts.My silent traditions seeping in where I could still could.I’ve always had a mental list of all the things we would do as a family in preparation for Christmas day and would silently tick off those I had accomplished each Christmas.

This is my list :

1. Make and share handmade cards and gifts.

I had a shoe box where I collected stationary, glitter, coloured card and stickers over the months for the children to ue to make cards and gifts.I still prefer a homemade gift to a bought present.

2. Sleeping under the Christmas tree

This was my favourite thing to do. It started by accident, my children did not want to go to bed after we put the Christmas lights up one year, and so I let them sleep on the lounge floor that night.For many years they would decorate the tree on the 12th and make a family bed to fall asleep while the Christmas lights flickered.

3. Family tree decorating

Decorating the Christmas tree with 6 children is like letting Christmas puke on your house.There’s no order as each child creatively makes Christmas their own.Our Christmas trees were always a miss match of colourful, odd and handmade decor. Our trees were a true representation of our home …. busy.

4. Christmas baking

Christmas was the time to go all out as we baked biscuits, gingerbread men and later, when they were older gingerbread houses.There is something about the smell of cinnamon and ginger in a warm house that shouts Christmas.

5. My trifle

Each year I would construct a trifle I’d learnt to make in home economics class.This multi layered treat never lasted long and contained no alcohol.It is just layer upon later of sponge cake, caramel treat, mix tin fruit , ultramel and jelly that has been topped with Orley whip.

6. Christmas caroling

We would sing all the time. In the kitchen, while walking or just playing together.Although I always wanted to go door to door caroling we settled for beautiful carol services at church over Christmas time.

7. Christmas stockings

I love Christmas stockings and nothing fills my heart with more happiness than rows and rows of Christmas stockings.I would hand sew the children’s stockings each year and my favourite year is the year I hung 10 cheap gas store stockings up for my children and their cousins.

Last year I got to hang 14 stockings and my Christmas heart was in it’s happy place.

8. Advent calendar

The one item we never missed was an advent calendar.A cardboard box, brightly decorated with little windows opening to tiny chocolates each morning.Many times I would discover someone had opened all their windows during the night and gobbled up the chocolates by the 10th and that would end our advent attempt.

9. Nativity scene

A nativity scene is important to me as it represents the significance, history and meaning of Christmas.Some years we would make our nativity, other years I would bring out a little ceramic model.

10. Christmas candle

I’m not sure where I first decided we needed a Christmas candle and if I think back, my memory of my earliest candle is the year my grandmother passed.But I would walk the shops until I found the perfect candle.There was often nothing elaborate about the candle, but my Christmas candle shines for those we wish were at our table and so, many years later I still buy a new Christmas candle each year.

13. Look at the Christmas lights

Each year the kids and I would walk through the malls enjoying the Christmas lighs and decor.Some years we would drive to the centre of town to enjoy the large lights the council had hung.

14. String popcorn

The year my eldest child celebrated her first Christmas, I was at my father and my teen sister and step brother were trying to avoid the parents, I remember we had watched a happy family Christmas movie where the kids had been stringing popcorn and I decided there and then that regardless of our home we would have a happy Christmas .My children always loved this tradition, although they ate more than they strung.

15. Writing to Santa

Each year I would sit with the kids and we would page through the Checkers toy guide and they would write or draw long elaborate lists to Santa.This was also a great way for me to see what each of the 6 of them wanted.

18. Christmas hat’s and props

I’ve never needed a reason to dress up so we have always had a box of Christmas hats and props for the kids to dress up in.

19. Christmas clothing

As a young girl my gran would gift us a church outfit ( even though we never attended church as a family) and a blanket every Christmas eve.I fell into the same habit with my own children, leaving out the blanket and gifted them a new outfit to wear for Christmas day.

20. Christmas movies

Who doesn’t love a Christmas movie?To me the true Christmas season would start when all the hallmark movies came on.I had a large collection of kids DVDs that all centered around Christmas and as a bedtime treat the kids would get to watch one a night.

As my own children have gotten older and we’ve adjusted to new family dynamics we have changed or altered some traditions.After I had Hamish, the need to impliment those traditions, one again, became essential. Only this time I had a new husband to consider and we had to find a compromise on blending our traditions together.

Whilst I still keep all of the above traditions, I’ve also added these new ones for Hamish

1. 24 Christmas book advent

From last year I collected 24 books that have a Christmas theme and we read one each evening in December.

2.Reading Christmas story on Christmas day

I bought Hamish a beautiful Children’s bible and we will read him the Christmas story on Christmas day.This year I also have the Superbook DVD which tells the beautiful story of The first Christmas for him to watch.

5.leaving Santa his favourite milk and biscuits and a carrot for Rudolph

Santa works hard and so we want to say Thank you to him and Rudolph by first baking Santa some biscuits and leaving him one with a glass of milk and a carrot for Rudolph on Christmas eve.

6.Christmas eve box

I love this tradition and we have a wooden crate for Hamish. Each year we buy a premade kit which usually consists of:

  • a Nice list certificate
  • Santa button that he gets caught on the tree
  • Santa key to come inside and deliver gifts
  • Reindeer bell that Rudolph loses
  • letter writing kit
  • letter from Santa
  • Reindeer feed
  • and some treats.


7. Elf

Last year was the first year we did an elf on the shelf and everyone in the family was an immediate fan.I had great fun thinking up things for the elf to do over the month of December. Hamish couldn’t wait to see what the elf had done.I think this is my favourite tradition.

8. Santa cam

This year we have a specially made Santa cam that will be watching to see if Hamish is behaving.This is really just a decorated bauble.

There are many more small cute things each year and I’m sure the list will grow .

I’d love to hear about some of your favourite Christmas traditions.

Posted in Cape Town - Things to see & do, Christmas, Events, Family Life, Family Time, Giving back

Slide into Summer with some Frozen Fun at Canal Walk Shopping Centre

Canal Walk Shopping Centre’s Frozen Fun Slide Park celebrates the launch of Disney’s Frozen 2

Get ready to slide into summer with the arrival of Canal Walk Shopping Centre’s Frozen Fun Slide Park, which opens on 29 November 2019 and runs until 5 January 2020.

The school holiday entertainment celebrates the eagerly awaited launch of Disney’s Frozen 2, the sequel to the smash hit 2013 movie, Frozen.

Frozen 2 follows Elsa, her sister Anna, and a host of friends, including the lovable snowman, Olaf, as they set out on their latest quest and will hit the big screen in South Africa from 6 December 2019.

Frozen Fun Slide Park

The Frozen Fun Slide Park is made possible by a collaboration between Canal Walk Shopping Centre (CWSC) and The Walt Disney Company Africa.

Sharing in the excitement of the upcoming launch, Canal Walk’s Marketing Manager, Vanessa Herbst said:

“Fans have waited for this movie for a long time and with its release on the 6th of December coinciding with the school holidays, we wanted to make the most of this magical time of year and give visitors a special Frozen experience.”

Canal Walk is well known for its family focused fun-filled events, and the Frozen Fun Slide Park will be no exception, with four frozen slides of varying heights appealing to thrill seekers of all ages.

But, if building a snowman is more your style, then an Olaf snow play area will help let the inner creative out.

Sessions are 45 minutes every hour, on the hour and will open from 10H00 each day (except 25th December and 1 January 2020), with the last session at 20H00.

This allows plenty of time for festive season shopping, or for entertaining energy filled kids during the holidays, not to mention a space for mom and dad to chill out in the heat of summer.

Ackermans print for Free!

The fun doesn’t stop here though. Ackermans is the retail sponsor for the event and will open a pop-up Frozen character activation at the event, where youngsters (and those young at heart) who have purchased a plain white t-shirt in store, can have a Frozen 2 character printed on it – for free.

The pop-up will operate at specific times. Check out the Canal Walk website for details.

Extended Shopping Hours

It is the festive season, so CWSC will extend its shopping hours from 29th November.

The Canal Walk Express and wrapping station will open on 6 December – wrapping starts at R15 per item and funds will be donated to charity.

Donate an Olaf

Because this is indeed the season of giving, a giant celebration tree will stand guard in the Food Court. Adorning this, will be a host of Olaf plush toys, you can donate R50 so that these cuddly Olafs can be given to children supported by Reach for a Dream or receiving treatment at The Red Cross Memorial Children’s Hospital, and Tygerberg Hospital.

Tickets

Tickets to the Canal Walk Shopping Centre’s Frozen Fun Slide Park are available on www.webtickets.co.za and on site at the event ticket booth and cost:

R100 – full rider

R80 – mini rider

R35 – non-rider.

Other Attractions

Meet Santa

Dates: 13 – 24 December 2019

Time: 10am – 9pm

Venue: Canal Walk Centre Court

Kids World Express

Dates: 7 December – 12 January 2019

Venue: Upper Level, Centre Court

Times: 10am – 5pm

Tickets: R20 per person

Magical Gift Wrapping

Dates: 6 – 23 December 10am – 10pm & 24 December 10am – 9pm

Prices: R15 – R55

Visitors are encouraged to share their festive experiences with Canal Walk Shopping Centre ….

Website: canalwalk.co.za

Facebook: Canal Walk Shopping Centre

Twitter: @canal_walk

Instagram: @canalwalk

Hashtag #FrozenFun #CanalWalk

Posted in Christmas, Crafts, Family Time, Giving back

The kindness advent calendar

I love everything about Christmas. I love the old traditions that mark the day, the holiday keepsakes, the cheap tacky decor that some shops sell and the lavish gifts all through the stores.

But more than that I love that Christmas is a time where families remember to include everyone, where neighbours greet and the malls are full of people smiling at each other. It’s a time where secret Santas are endulged in just to make someone else happy.

It is a time of magic and belief …

But it also fast becomes a commercial humdrum of wish lists and debit cards. Of us spoiling our children with expensive toys that to be honest may never be played with after Christmas day or are broken and discardead.

So, as we fill our homes with chocolate advents and cheap toys for bright red Christmas stockings, as we hunt down expensive wrapping and buy gifts that we have just paid off when Christmas rolls around again, how do we teach our Children the true essence of Christmas?

Kindness Advent

This year in our home I’ve started a kindness advent to do just that.

To teach Hamish, and remind ourselves, that Christmas is about our love and kindness for others.

It was incredibly easy to set up and you can use any little advent calendar that will hold 24 slips of paper.

We bought an Advent Calendar DIY kit from Busybean which Kerri stitched together one night a few weeks ago with her friend.

This little felt kit is much bigger than I first thought and each little pocket is big enough to hold a small sweet or toy.

Everything is precut and the numbers stick on with a little sticky tape. At a later stage I want to secure the numbers a bit better,by removing them carefully and gluing them on using bostick to make them more permanent .

This little kit cost R30 and was well worth the buy.

To personalise his tree, I added a few little Christmas pegs and each little advent pocket will hold a little slip of paper encouraging an act of kindness that we will help Hamish to complete each day.

My hope is that this becomes an annual family project and a reminder of the Christmas spirit.

Gifts of Kindness

The acts of kindness that I’ve included are:

  1. Feed the birds
  2. Donate 3 old books to a library
  3. Make Christmas cards for your friends
  4. Bake biscuits for your neighbours
  5. Take a treat to the police station, fire station , hospital or ambulance service.
  6. Phone your grandparents
  7. Make a special ” I love you gift” for your sibling(s)
  8. Smile all day
  9. Donate 3 old toys to a Children’s home
  10. Hug a friend
  11. Hide a happy rock that you paint for someone to find in a park.
  12. Do a chore for mom or dad
  13. Leave a Thank you note and candy cane for the mail man
  14. Gift 3 old pieces of clothing to a charity or homeless shelter
  15. Make a new friend
  16. Pick up litter or join a beach clean up
  17. Tell your family you love them
  18. Pick flowers for someone
  19. Make someone laugh
  20. Share your sweets
  21. Ask mom and dad to help you take treats to an old age home
  22. Help mom and dad prepare dinner
  23. Tell shop assistants to have a nice day
  24. Plant a tree

This is our list but you could write your own adjusting it to suit your family, child’s age and to acts of kindness that you are comfortable with.

Because the greatest gifts we can ever offer anyone are our time and kindness.