Holiday Traditions You Don’t Want To Miss Out On With Young Kids.

This holiday season I am really starting to focus on traditions I want to start with my little ones. My son is almost 5 and daughter almost 2. There are so many neat traditions floating around, and I wanted to share a few that I’ve come across that I have already started or will be starting with my family.

Family time and memories are cherished by me. Of course, I like to create memories all year long but there is a different vibe during the holiday season. The cold weather, the holiday music, the holiday movies, snuggling up on the couch while it’s snowing. It just gives me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Let’s not forget the Starbucks holiday drinks that keep me from becoming a mombie all season long because we all know we stress over making the holiday season perfect for our kiddos.

Okay, so let’s get started. I’m the type of person who tries to enjoy Thanksgiving before I go all out for Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll decorate early, but I want my kids to learn and understand the true meaning of Thanksgiving also. Not just go straight to wanting toys from Santa… but sometimes that inevitable. Let’s be real. But hey, a mom can try, right?

Thankful Pumpkin. I started this back in October. I bought each child a small, plastic pumpkin to list what they are thankful for on. Each day we write one thing we are thankful for and on Thanksgiving we will display them on the dinner table for all family and friends to see. I’ve really enjoyed this, and some of the words that have come out of my sons mouth about what he is thankful for his too cute.

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Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Ever since I was a young girl, I always sat and watched the parade while my mother prepped and prepared Thanksgiving dinner. The floats, the dancers, the music. I was glued for hours. It’s a fun way to start off Thanksgiving Day. In between cooking, my mom would come and watch some with me while we talked about our favorite floats. It’s something I’ll never forget, and I hope my kids won’t either. I’m 27 and still love watching the parade to this day.

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Breaking the Wishbone. Usually, with the wishbone you make a wish and whoever breaks the bigger piece their wish would come true. Hence the ‘wish’ part. My brother and I were always the ones to break it together. We mainly used it as bragging rights because we all know one sibling needs to be the winner with everything. It’s an exciting way to end a fun filled day. Plus, I always believed my wishes would come true when I broke the bigger piece… and I still do today.

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Cutting Your Own Christmas Tree. I am SO excited to start this year. My parents always bought a real Christmas tree for my siblings and I during the holiday season. We wouldn’t let them buy a fake one until we were old enough. But seriously, who doesn’t love the smell of a fresh cut pine tree in your home?! That’s one of my favorite scents. Now that both kids can walk, we are going to cut down our own this year and I can’t wait! Now I might regret the watering every day and the pine needles constantly falling, but my kids are going to love it just as much as I did as a child. Plus, it’s an awesome way to create memories and have some family time.

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Bake Homemade Cookies. My mother is the queen of making homemade cookies from scratch. Still to this day, she makes batches and batches of fresh chocolate chip cookies and I am always right by her side helping her. When I was younger, it was licking the spoon and eating her dough. Today, it’s helping her every step of the way while my kids eat the dough. I definitely want to keep this tradition going until my children are old enough to share it with their children. My mother always hid them from us also so we didn’t demolish them in less then a week. I’ll be doing that also. Maybe stash them in my room, so I can sneak one or two. 😉

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Donate Old Toys. My kids are spoiled. Honestly, who’s child isn’t? They have piles and piles of toys in their room, the living room, everywhere! They can never seem to have enough. Well now, we decided every year before Santa comes visit we are going to donate our old toys to places where they will be used. The kids are learning that Santa won’t come unless they share old toys that they don’t play with, because they need to make room for the new ones. Plus, it can help other young kids who don’t have many toys enjoy their holiday season.

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Go See Christmas Lights. One of my all time favorite things to do. We are fortunate enough that our area has SO many places to visit during the holiday season. We always visit a place called Christmas Magic and we take one evening to drive around our area to look at all the drive thru lights. I am grateful for the people who go all out during Christmas, because my kids LOVE looking at lights. They are always amazed by it. My son now reminds me that we must go see Christmas lights before Christmas day. It’s certainly a favorite of his.

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Christmas PJ’s and A Movie. On Christmas Eve, my little ones get to open one present. It’s always their Christmas PJ’s and a movie. My oldest is now catching on to the tradition and he’s already pointing out certain pajama’s that he would like for Christmas night. Once they are opened and dressed, we snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie before bed. We also sneak in some hot chocolate and a peppermint crisp or two, then we pour some milk and leave some cookies for Santa when we’re done.

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Santa Tracker. Now-a-days it’s so much easier to track Santa. Us adults download the app on our smartphone and the kids can check on where he is at. My kids really enjoy doing this and it’s a good way for them to learn other locations in the world. For an awesome mom tip, download the Santa FaceTime app. The kids think they are FaceTiming Santa and he helps them stay on the nice list because Santa is watching. Mom win!

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There are so many more holiday traditions I would like to try. This time of year is my favorite and spending quality time with my family means to most to me. I’d love to hear what you have in store this holiday season.

I hope you have an awesome one.

 

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Awesome Target Finds for Kids: Under $5!

If you haven’t been through the Target ‘Bullseye’s Playground’ yet, you are missing out! I have found so many useful goodies in that little section for myself and for the kids. From house décor, to water bottles, to kid’s toys. It’s always an enjoyable surprise every time I visit the store. It’s always the first section we visit. Best part is, everything is $5 and under! You really can’t beat the prices of some of these knick-knacks.

We visited the store today, and since summer is half way over (unfortunately) and school will be back in session before we know it, I was able to pick up a ton of fun learning activities for the kids. I was honestly surprised how inexpensive these products were. I had to snag them up and share what I found. I’m sure I’ll be creating a part two to this post because I wanted to grab even more. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a monthly post, because you don’t even want to know how many items I usually walk away with.

This post is for the kids though. My son is only in pre-k this year two days a week, so he’s home with me a lot. I really want to make sure he keeps up with practicing what he learns in pre-k while also having some fun activities to do while we are at home.

Make Your Own Slime Kit. We opened this as soon as we arrived home. For only $3, this is an awesome craft to make! The kit comes with everything you need (besides hot water and two plastic cups). This was our first time making slime. So, with a failed attempt the first time, we had enough products to try a second time. It’s kept my kids occupied for hours. Mom win.

20 Count Modeling Clay. This twenty-piece set was only $3 and included 1 knife, 1 roller, 6 shaped cutters, and 12 clay sticks. It’s a great activity for children to be creative. The shaped cutters resemble animals so it can also be used as a learning activity for learning the colors of animals, or just for fun! If you want to make a purple giraffe, you do it!

26 Count Magnetic Numbers. For only $1! Yes, a DOLLAR! You get two of each letter 0-9 along with mathematical symbols. You can use these to help your children practice learning numbers, along with learning addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division! They stick great to the refrigerator or any metal you desire. I’m thinking of putting a metal board on my son’s wall in his room so he can practice whenever he wants. You can also use the back of the packaging to match the numbers to their outlines.

Dry Erase Lap Boards. These were also only $1! You really can’t beat it. These boards come with their own dry erase marker. The front is blank so children can use it to draw, write, or create whatever they wish. My favorite part of these boards is on the back. They have outlines of upper-case and lower-case letters along with numbers so children can practice writing their letters and numbers. If they mess up, they can just erase and try again. This is great for fun and learning.

Bubbles. While bubbles are usually inexpensive overall, my little one isn’t quite at the stage for mixing and creating things yet. She sure does love her bubbles though. To make it even better, it’s Minnie bubbles! She loves her some Minnie. These were only $3 and to my surprise it’s quite a large container of bubbles. They have multiple different characters to choose from.

Chips Clips. Okay, maybe this one is for mama, but for only $1 how can you resist! They are magnetic and come in different colors. I’m trying to teach my oldest who is four how to roll up chip bags and close them so they don’t become stale. These are perfect for that. Also, they are perfect for hanging art work from the kiddos on the fridge.

I am a Target mom for sure, and finding these steals make it even more exciting to visit each week! I’m excited to see what we find next time.

What Target finds have you found?

Keep checking back for more Bullseye’s Playground goodies we find!

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